My sister noted that if it wasn’t a big deal, why was I making it appear like it was a big deal?
Because the conversation needs to change. We need to see involved fatherhood as the norm not the outlier. When I make a big deal about something that isn’t a big deal, I’m doing it to make this the new normal.
Specifically, though, I was inspired to make that Facebook as a massive middle finger subtweet to a post from Scary Mommy that really got under my skin. Not just in content, but in tone.
A post like this is par for the course with SM. It’s a site where Moms go to swear and rally around the flag of “eff you, I’ll parent how I want.” At the same time, the fangirls for the page share a sisterhood of martyrdom. Read the comments on the post above and it’s a chorus of “MEN ARE STUPID“ with a refrain of “OMG, MOMS DO ALL THE THINGS!“
Well, Moms, you don’t have to do all the things. You’d be well served to loosen up doing all the things and accept the fact that there are dads out there challenging stereotypes and trying to be right alongside you doing all the things.
This week some friends of mine gathered for their annual At Home Dad Conference. Yes, a conference for dads who run the family household exists, and hundreds of them attend each year and have for twenty one years. You read that right, involved fatherhood isn’t some newfound phenomena.
Many of those fathers in that video will reconvene in February at the Dad 2.0 Summit. Again, it’s all about changing perceptions on fatherhood, celebrating what it means to be a man in this modern era, and supporting each other in ways to promote parenting as a gender neutral responsibility.
We fight for change tables in men’s rooms. We fight for parental leave. We fight for equal rights for gay parents. We fight for the marketing of family products to not be exclusively branded about moms.
But I wonder if the sanctimommies want to change the stereotypes? It would rid them of their cross of “OMG BEING A MOM IS HARD!“ that they cling to to define both their outrage and raison d’etre.
Being a parent is hard, people. It’s not exclusive to moms, it’s not exclusive to dads.
I’m rocking the Single Dad life this week with dishes in the sink, laundry piled up, and happy children under foot. We found time to go have snowball fights (I know, snow in October is wrong, but it’s my life), build all the LEGO, and run numerous errands.
It hasn’t been easy, it hasn’t been hard, it’s just what I have to do.
— Dove Men+Care (@DoveMenCare) January 28, 2015
This week I’ll juggle a full time job, after school pickup, making lunches, making dinner, running to activities, getting homework done, finally getting to the laundry and dishes, preparing for some client presentations I need to do, etc etc etc.
Those aren’t “mom jobs.” Those aren’t “dad jobs.” They’re PARENT jobs. Yes, they are easier when you have a fully participating partner parent and become a little tougher when you have to do it on your own, that’s just the way it is. And it’s what I signed up for when I chose to have a family.
— Dove Men+Care (@DoveMenCare) February 20, 2016