A Father’s Day Like No Other

Dad studying and daughter drawing together at home

This past March, right as the world suddenly ground to a halt, we asked families – medical providers caring for patients during COVID-19 – to tell us what life was like on the frontlines of a pandemic.

And they answered:

Pharmacists and surgeons; 

Orthopedists and general practitioners; 

ER doctors and psychiatrists. 

Many who wrote to us were also working dads – parents in our centers, often talking about their wives on the frontlines; about their kids and what they needed; about figuring out with partners (many who were also caring for patients) how to balance child care with careers.

What came through were dads at the forefront of more than a health crisis, but a bringing-up-children crisis. At a time when “home” suddenly meant everything (work, life, school) at the same time, they were full partners in all of it; leaning into the moment when parenting and pandemic collided. 

And it wasn’t just dads in hospital rooms stepping up, but also men in home offices and online meeting rooms, where in the last four months fussing babies and bored toddlers were just as likely to make unscheduled appearances in dads’ laps as moms’; where, with schools shut down, it took all hands to work and parent at the same time.

“Fatherhood,” wrote the Washington Post, “is more visible than ever before.” And dads were showing the ethos of the truly modern dad. 

“It is hard to express the absolute joy I get from those dings on my phone throughout the day,” one working dad, ER doctor Akshay, told us about the best part of his day, “from adorable videos of my 14-month-old doing science projects…to cute pictures of her playing with her best friends.

“I feel truly connected to her and her experience.”

To Akshay and all the other dads who have experienced this moment, we say…

Happy Father’s Day

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

June 18, 2020

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.