We love you, Dads

During the week leading up to Father's Day, we asked our audience to tell us about the most important fathers in their lives.

While we offered a giveaway as an incentive, the responses were so overwhelmingly beautiful and heartfelt that we knew these women needed no incentive at all to share these amazing words (and the wonderful men behind them) - just a simple request and a special day to tell the world about these incredible, hardworking men.

Sometimes being a dad can be an exhausting job, and the pressure to keep it all together can be overwhelming at times. Thank you to each of the women below for taking the time to thank these dads and fatherly figures by sharing their respect and admiration for all they do. And thank you to the dads who earned these words; your love and dedication make the world a better place.

Read on and please join us in saluting these family heroes, on Father's Day and always.

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My husband, Eric, works so hard to provide for us, all while keeping a positive attitude and light heart. He makes us laugh and helps us to think outside of the box. He's the daddy/husband jackpot!

Erin Harms


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My husband Bobby is a hard-working, selfless man who makes sure we have all we need. He's been amazing during this pregnancy, as he supports me and all my exhaustion and medical issues. He's my daughter's best friend and idol!

Karen Newell

My hubby Paul is the hardest worker I know. He's always fixing things or planting things, with the help of our two little ones. He always explains what they are doing and why, what tools they are using, why we grow our own food, etc. He makes sure they understand the importance of a good hard days work and the benefits of doing things for yourself. He really is the best guy I know.

Kate Davis


My husband, Colton, has so many great qualities that remind me of my dad. Without him I wouldn't have had the courage to push to create our family. We are a family of three, hopefully expanding to four, and I love that he wants to take us on adventures and share the world with our daughter, just the way my dad did.

Bridget Milburn Anderson


My husband Antonio is so selfless! He never hesitates to put everyone ahead of himself and never complains about how hard he works to support us. He makes it possible to live out my dream of being a stay at home mom raising our babies and I couldn't be more appreciative.

Tara Ramirez


Meet Dustin. He is the best father to his three boys and I am so lucky to have him as my partner in this adventure. He loves adventuring and showing his boys the world. He thrives in the outdoors and has plans to camp outside with his boys at least once a month in 2017. He loves impromptu hikes, camping, adventures, and will never turn down a bike ride to our local ice cream shop. His three major loves (besides us of course) are graphic design, taking care of this planet, and National Parks. He is actually kind of a nerd about it, but that makes us love him even more. 

Tiffany Wyse-Fisher


My dad, Joe James, has had many nicknames in his life...Smoke, General Joe, Papa. But to me, he'll always be Hero. I am 37 years old and no matter what, I know I can count on him day or night. Just last week he went to Walmart at midnight to get boogie suckers for my 6 month old who woke up congested. He literally drops everything to help me and my siblings. We are truly blessed!

Brooke (James) Massey


My favorite dad is my husband to our daughter (soon to be daughters!), Scott Starzynski. I am so grateful for how patient he is, how he searches out for ways to continually connect, and the way he fosters empowerment through positive nurturing encouragement. His consistent support helps me as I mother, and never a day goes by we are not aware of his love for us. 

Emily Starzynski


My husband, Chris, is such an amazing father! He's a big kid at heart, and is always up for an adventure! Watching him engage and connect with our daughter warms my heart and makes me smile.

Meghan Moody 


Jeff Selke is the best husband, poppy, father, stepfather, and son in law! He fulfills those roles with great love for all equally. He’s always there when he's needed with no complaints. He's a beautiful person, friend, brother, and brother in law. Our granddaughter has special needs and he will do anything to make life fun or easier for her. He’s such a special man! 

Melinda Selke


Grandpa Gary Pearsall is super special to our family, especially his granddaughter Beatrice. He always makes time to play and teach her new things, and helps fix up our house when he travels down from Moline. Grandpa Gary is our go-to guy!

Gretchen Pearsall 


My husband, Josh, is an amazing father to our daughter and son. He always makes time to play with them. He loves the outdoors and is passing that on to our kids. My kids enjoy bird watching with him, working in the garden and going on nature walks with him. 

Rachel Smith


The handsome guy on the left is my husband Andy. He volunteers as a coach for our son's soccer and baseball teams, takes our daughter to ballet class if my work schedule gets hectic and is always willing to give me a mama break if I need one, especially now during my pregnancy. He does everything with such patience and love.

The guy on the right is my dad and papa to my littles! He's the hardest working, most dedicated person I've ever met. He rarely misses a soccer game, baseball game or Nutcracker performance. He loves being a papa and we love having him as our papa!

Amanda Crusen


We love you, Dads. All of you.

- The mamas at Bushbaby and Independent Heartland 

This post originally appeared on Independent Heartland