“One of the greatest things a father can do for his children,” Howard W. Hunter, the former president of the Mormon Church once said, “is to love their mother.” Now we can grant that our notions of what a family is has expanded since he made that remark, likely beyond what he was remotely comfortable with. We have single families. We have divorced families. We have trans families. We have blended families and co-parenting families. We have gay families and even poly families.
But the truth of the sentiment doesn’t change–in fact, it only expands. The best thing you can do for your kids is love the person who brought them into this world. The best thing you can do for your kids is love the person you are parenting them with.
Because in doing this, you are creating a powerful example for your son or daughter. You are making your home feel safe and kind. You are showing them what a good relationship looks like, what happiness looks like. Even if you are no longer with their mother, or if their mother has deeply hurt or even betrayed you, you must love their mother. No child benefits from seeing their father dislike–let alone feel hate–towards the person responsible for 50% of their DNA. No child benefits from seeing their mother forgotten, ignored, or under-appreciated.
Love their mother and you teach your kids. Love their mother and you make them feel love. It’s the greatest thing to do.