Daddy is NOT an Idiot
By bklynjenn on June 16, 2013
I think there is probably one thing we all, both women and men alike, can agree upon; the stereotype of the bumbling dad has got to go. You know, the guy struggling to open the stroller with one hand while the baby screams bloody murder in the other. The guy staring blankly at the diaper tabs. The dude sleeping on the couch while his toddler eats paste. And so on.
I am not saying this idiot does not exist in some households. But if he does, it is only because we are giving him water and sunlight and allowing him to thrive. It is only because we have accepted him. For some reason, while our society expects moms to be superhuman machines, running a board meeting while folding laundry and baking lasagna with a baby latched on to our boob, our expectations of men are pathetically low. As in, just show up low.
Do you know who the good parents are? Usually just the ones who put in the effort. So yes, if you are a dad who really does only manage to see his kids on Sundays your Team Umizoomi trivia is not going to be up to par. If mom does bedtime every night, it is probably going to be a little tricky for dad to know the routine. Hey, I can't change a tire. But I could learn if I wanted to. I just need to put in the time.
After giving birth, my breasts made milk to help sustain my baby. Unfortunately, my husband's didn't. So yeah, I was better at that. But all the other stuff? My husband did just fine. Hey dudes, stop making excuses. And ladies, stop enabling them. In honor of Fathers Day, I call bulls--t on these common misconceptions about parenting:
1. Only nursing creates a bond with baby. Dad can't compete.
Bulls--t! Yes there is a special connection when you nurse your child. But you know what else is special? Sleep. The extra sleep you get because you pumped so dad could do the 3am feeding. Or prepared the formula. Or whatever, who cares, you are sleeping! And that precious moment when your little one falls asleep on your chest, belly full, perfectly content. That has nothing to do with boobs. Or gender. That is all love right there.
2. There is no way dad can remember all these little details. Only a mom can hold 6 appointment times in her head and remember all the things to put in the diaper bag.
Bulls--t! If your husband can recite every line from The Dark Knight Rises, he can remember to pack a bottle and some wipes. Really, we need to stop acting like our men are idiots. I know that women are better at multi tasking but your dude is perfectly capable of learning these skills too. And if he accidentally forgets the change of clothes he will just make something out of duct tape and twine. Men are really good at improvising.
3. He doesn't even know how to turn on the dishwasher. Or separate the laundry. Or boil water.
Bulls--t! He knows how to do all these things. He could probably disarm a nuclear weapon if he was called upon to save humanity. Make a schedule and stick to it. He will do fine. Oh and do we really need to separate the whites and the colors? Really really? Are ya'll actually doing this? Cause all my clothes go in that machine together, in one big jumble. Sure my husband sometimes ends up with pink socks but hey, my time is valuable.
4. He lets her get away with everything. Only I can discipline my child.
Bulls--t! He can discipline just as well as you can, sometimes better because he has often gotten more sleep, and is therefore farther away from tears. Again, just have a plan and stick to it. Be a team. Support each other. It works.
I could go on for another ten pages but what it comes down to is this. Being a dad is about more than just showing up. I know this because I had a dad who not only threw a ball sometimes, he cooked and cleaned and swaddled me and changed me and read to me and woke up with me at 2am and did all the things that my mom did. And he did fine.
I also have a wonderful husband who not only knows how to turn on the dishwasher but manages to load the dishes in it too. We are a team in every way. He knows Maya just as well as I do and is perfectly capable of doing every single task of parenting just as well as I can. We are raising our child together. Which is how it should be.
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