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When I’m asked how I juggle so many things at once, I often tell people, “I have a wonderful partner,” and people often smile and nod absentmindedly. But in honor of Father’s Day, I thought I’d clarify that it’s not that he’s a supportive husband, he’s a great partner.

There are countless things that my husband does that allow me to do all the things I do everyday. He’s a wonderful cook, he doesn’t shy from poopy diapers and is always up for bath time.

But, while I’m grateful for all the day to day things he does that help our family get out the door, fed and down for bed each night, that’s not what I mean when I say I have a great partner.

paul pennaWhat I have is someone who not only complements me, but who understands why I do all of these things — someone who would never in a million years find it odd that his wife would run for office with a baby on her hip — someone who spent the first nine months of our first daughters life caring for her while I worked.

— And someone who shows his girls each day what a partner should be. As my girls grow they will see the natural give and take of two equal adults negotiating life. What is most important each day changes and it is never about who’s the mom and who’s the dad but about what makes sense and what the family priorities are that day.

They see a dad who will pick up the slack when mom travels, or when I have back to back meetings for a week. And a mom that does the same when it’s dad’s turn to have a crazy schedule.

If you ask me, we need more dads like him — more who can show our daughters that, with our own determination and the right partner, we can do anything and that the right partner is the one who fosters your dreams and who clears obstacles instead of making them.

My girls and I are lucky that we get to spend each day with such a man.

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Cathleen Lewis
Cathleen, the Mayor of Lawrence Township & a full-time Public Affairs professional, counts her best job as being Mommy to Abigail (3 years) and Bridget (6 months ). A New Yorker originally, but Boston raised, Cathleen enjoys the challenge of raising the girls in a mixed household with her Yankee-fan husband Paul. She hopes to make up for the confusion by encouraging the family’s love of Rutgers football. She dreams of sharing her love of beaches, margaritas, music and adventure but is happy to squeeze in a family walk with the dog and a back yard BBQ these days. Formerly an avid reader and writer before work, life and children; Cathleen hopes she hasn’t lost her ability to capture thoughts through the written word but often can’t remember where the grocery list is.

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