Gender wars

Yes, this is a reactionary hot take. I’ll deny the accusation the title is click bait, it’s just a rebuttal to a Lifehacker article momsplaining why husbands suck. I’m ridding off their headline. If you think its bad, you’re right. It is bad, the moms started it, blame them.

See what I did there? It’s not my fault, it’s their fault. Follow closely, as this will become a common theme.

The post on Lifehacker is a TL;DR of Jancee Dunn’s new book How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids. Disclosure: I didn’t read the book, likely won’t, and I just barely read the article summarizing it.

This is a hot take and we’re playing off stereotypes, after all.

“mothers, even on day one of parenthood, [are] way ahead of fathers in terms of know-how and expertise. And unless she’s willing to instruct (and he’s willing to be instructed, and the instruction is more worthwhile than just doing it herself) it’s easy to slip into an arrangement in which moms shoulder the bulk of the childcare and housework.”

Woah, woah woah woah. “Willing to be instructed?!”

You know what? Screw it.

I can’t do a list like they did because these lists don’t help anything. These books don’t help anything. Open letters bitching about spouses do nothing. (And I realize me complaining about their complaining probably does nothing too).

COMMUNICATE, people. It’s not hard.

We are all adults. We got married for a reason. We had kids for a reason. We love each other, we work well together, and co-operation shouldn’t be a four letter word.

Moms who are wound so g-d tight that they celebrate books and articles like that andcan’t loosen the leash, need to step back. Dads referred to in those articles and books that are so flipping lazy they think it’s 1957, need to step forward.

PARENTS need to meet in the middle and pull the rope together. Parent and partner are remarkably similar words, let’s make them interchangeable.

Parenting is a team sport and books like this perpetuate a gender war by placing blame at the foot of husbands instead of celebrating communication and co-operation. Marketing matters in defining conventional wisdom, and tomes like this while arguing they are trying to encourage change, simply fall upon stereotypes and perpetuate them.

By defaulting to dads as being the problem and moms being the know-it-alls, the authors are just continuing the stereotypes.

Attitudes change when we normalize something. Listen to this episode of The Age Of Persuasion by Terry O’Reilly called Rethink the Shark. I cite it often when I talk about how we change societal attitudes from stereotypes of doofus dads to embracing involved dads. When something is omnipresent it is normalized and becomes accepted as a part of mainstream culture. Momsplaining books like this article celebrates only serve to normalize the stereotype that women are in charge and are mad about it.

That’s now how things are.

I, and the greater dad blogging community, have been preaching for years that we’re capable of “doing the work.” There are entire communities devoted to Daddies Doin Work and At Home Dads. We’ve championed diaper changing stations to be more widely available. We’re actively petitioning for better family leave from companies. and begged massive companies to brand family products as INCLUSIVE instead of only targeting to moms.

I guess you could say the author recognizes that with a backhanded passive aggressive compliment, I guess.

This is slowly changing—men attend baby showers now, and daddy blogs are a real thing—but women are, generally speaking, still running the domestic show.

Truth is, there is no blame filled list of 5 Ways Not To Hate Your Wife After Having Kids, just like there shouldn’t be a blame filled list of 5 Ways Not To Hate Your Husband After Having Kids.

There is, however,  one thing you can do, to keep the peace, and live a happy, healthy, family life: COMMUNICATE.

That’s it. Talk to your spouse, pitch in, share, communicate. No blame. No game. Just sharing. It’s not that hard.

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