No, Dads AREN'T Complete Idiots (So Give 'Em A Break!)

Photo: weheartit

Raising kids isn't a mom's work — it's family work.

I’ve never been one to talk much about the dads on my blog because honestly, they aren’t my focus on this lovely little space of mine on the Internet world but lately, I’ve found myself increasingly more and more aggravated with people and commercials that make men, specifically fathers, out to be complete imbeciles who can barely take care of themselves let alone their children (Lysol is the *worst* offender of this for which they will probably lose my business).
You know, enough already.
I know that for companies like Lysol, their target is the moms because supposedly, moms rule the roost. I get it. However, what I’ll never understand for the life of me is why they feel the need to make the dads out to be fumbling, goofy, idiots.
You know the commercials I’m talking about. Mom comes home from a leisurely afternoon of shopping only to find the house destroyed, dinner bubbling over on the stove and exploding all over the kitchen and dad is standing in the living room hanging onto his kid upside down (barely) by the diaper.
You guys want to know who taught me how to change a diaper, mix formula and feed a baby? This man right here – my DAD.
Growing up, I watched my father raise three girls. 3 GIRLS. How the man is still alive, in one piece and has managed to keep all of his natural hair is beyond me. And all those things that are supposed to be “women’s work” in raising kids? Get out of here.
Growing up in our home, you could find my father doing one, or all, of the following on any given day of the week:
  • Brushing hair up into ponytails
  • Changing diapers
  • Playing dress up and having tea parties
  • Shuttling the girls to and from dance classes
  • Diffusing hormonal meltdowns
  • Delicately dealing with Aunt Flo issues
He’s pretty damn good at this whole father thing even though, GASP! He has a penis and by most standards, is supposed to be an idiot. Imagine that!
To be even more blunt, he was probably a far better parent to us girls growing up than a lot of women we knew. He was calm, less emotional and far more rational. He was a conscientious father. One who felt confident in his abilities and didn’t feel the need to second guess himself or question everything to death like women can do (sorry not sorry ladies. It’s the truth).
Want to know who else is rocking parenthood? This MAN right here. My baby daddy...
This man works 40 – 50 hours a week, has completed and earned not one but TWO Master’s degrees, has two paying freelance writing gigs, is preparing to go to school again this summer and is raising our daughter and doing an amazing job if I do say so myself. He is all hands on deck and jumps right in to deal with our little Chickie.
Actually, truth be told, he complains a lot less about the tedious things than I do and nine times out of ten, he’s the first one to get up in the middle of the night when Chickie wakes up.
Cooking? He has a culinary degree. Done.
Laundry? It’s always washed, folded and put away.
Potty training? He’s right there on the front lines dealing with the shit {literally} right along with me.
Grocery shopping? On lock.
Boo-Boo fixer? He puts on the best band-aides and always makes sure Chickie has her favorite brands.
Dressing a little girl? All done and all coordinated, complete with bow. 
Imagine that. You can have a penis and still parent! 
I know the “norm” is typically women handling these types of things and staying home with the kids while dad goes out and earns the money but the reality is that this just isn’t how the world runs anymore. Dads are increasingly staying home with their children while mommy goes out into the working world to make the bacon.
Raising children is no longer just “women’s work.” It’s family work, meaning dads today are playing a larger role than ever in raising their children. They are doing more, if not in some cases, all of the things that are considered domestic responsibilities for women. 
And thank GOD for that. Why wouldn’t we want our men involved in the parenting process?
From the day we brought Chickie home from the hospital Michael and I both agreed that we were in this together. We share all the joys, the challenges, the good, the bad, the rewards, and sometimes the setbacks of being parents and I’m so grateful for that. I’m so incredibly grateful for my own father and the father of my child who recognized within themselves that raising children just isn’t women’s work. It’s family work.
And news flash! The men are just as capable of taking care of the kids as women are. 
I’m grateful that the fathers in my life knew within themselves that while the role of being a dad may be challenging, they could do it and jumped right in to tackle the challenge. I get so tired of hearing women say, “Men have a harder time with kids because they aren’t natural nurturers like we are.” 
Horse crap.
That’s such tired, worn out babble that I don’t even know how to process anymore at this point in my life.
Women don’t own the franchise and rights on raising and taking care of kids. Just because I have boobs and a vagina, it doesn’t mean that I’m supposed to be the one with “natural” mothering, parenting instincts and abilities. No one, regardless of anatomy, is born knowing how to take care of children or how to be a parent. We’re all in the same boat on that one. We’re all learning every day, how to be the best parents we can be while taking care of, and raising our children. No one has cornered the market on perfection where child rearing is concerned.
Men, wear your badge of father with pride. Thank you for holding it down in your homes and with your children but most importantly, thank you for your penis. Without it, none of us would be possible.


This article was originally published at Shiraz In My Sippy Cup. Reprinted with permission from the author.


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