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A Mom Says She 'Tested' The Dads At Her Son's School Simply By Gathering Parent Emails For A Birthday Party

Photo: PeopleImages.com - Yuri A / Shutterstock
Parents celebrating their son's birthday

What started as a joke when one mother was scheduling her son’s birthday party has turned into a full-fledged debate about gender roles on Twitter.

Twitter user, Sonya Bonczek tweeted about her experience while she was collecting the email addresses of the parents of her 3-year-old son’s classmates to send them invitations for his birthday party.

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The mom noticed three dads gave their wives' email addresses for the birthday party.

“Been running into dads of my 3yo’s classmates and asking for their emails for his birthday party and so far 3 out of 3 dads have proceeded to give me their wives’ emails instead. This is now a social experiment,” she tweeted.

Bonczek later tweeted that the social experiment had been a joke, but it had caught the eye of many people and was the inspiration for an opinion piece in the New York Times.

Her tweet read, “I was only joking about a social experiment! But y'all went ahead and got the whole thing into the paper of record.”

Many people discussed how it’s always the mother who has to deal with planning and managing their children’s activities. 

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Twitter users shared their experiences in similar situations.

One user wrote, “I was being very liberal when my daughter was young and gave birthday invitations to the dads I saw [at] a daycare. Never got RSVPs. Had to contact the moms. Learned my lesson.”

Another user wrote, “My husband is a teacher and this fall our oldest son is starting at that school where he works. The school just sent out an informational email about dates & forms we need to fill out etc, and they only emailed one of us, guess which one.”

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Many dads admitted that they pass on these things to their wives for various reasons.

One user wrote, “I hate to say it, but I too pass off a lot of the networking/scheduling to my wife. She's the master of the calendar. She tells me where and when, and I get it done. I don't want to network with kids' playmates. I handle sports coaching, billing equipment, travel, etc.”

Another person wrote, “As a former stay-at-home dad, I never felt comfortable scheduling anything because my wife owned the schedule.  She knew if my kids were free on the weekend and I did not. Therefore I, too, cut out the middle man…me.”

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However, many couples stated that they handle things equally but are unable to because of social norms.

One person commented, “My husband is never, ever included even though we parent 50-50, sometimes 60-40 in his direction."

"Don’t get me started on how often everything finance, mortgage, etc comes to him first even though I’m the primary borrower and money manager.”

“I’m the primary social coordinator for my kids and I feel like anytime I RSVP for a birthday party, or inquire about a play date, etc. the mom on the other end (always a mom, with the exception of one friend) seems weirded out that it’s a dad contacting her,” another person commented.

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Sanika Nalgirkar is a News & Entertainment Writer. She has a master's degree in Creative Writing. See more of her writing on her website.

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