Hey Moms Who Blog/Complain About Their Husbands,
I’ve really got to get something off my chest. I want to do it now because, well, Mother’s Day is coming up in a few weeks and it would be bad form to school the fairer sex at the time when their ultimate sacrifices are heralded.
You deserve that, by the way. If it was up to me it would be Mother’s Month, frankly.
I don’t tell my own Mom enough how grateful I am for all she did for me. Even now, as a parent, I tend to celebrate Mother’s Day for my wife more than my Mom, and I hope she can appreciate my gratitude by proxy.
But that’s a story for next month. Let me cycle back to what I need to get off my chest: stop being so condescending to the men in your life. To your husband. To the father of your child(ren). Stop treating them like a fool.
I belong to a great group of Dads that works hard to change the media messaging of how Dads are treated. We rally against brands that treat us as doofuses in their marketing, or forget we even exist. We praise real and inclusive descriptions of fatherhood and we challenge each other to do the work that shows fathers are equal players in the family.
We work hard at changing the media messaging. Whenever a new example is brought up, Doug French, co-founder of Dad 2.0 Summit and partner at XY Media simply chimes in the comments with “we still have work to do.”
We do still have work to do because it’s not just the media that needs to have a channel change, it’s our own partners. Parenting is a team sport, but when so many women get in their clubs and mock the men in their life, how can we truly have an equal playing field?
Jennifer Borget blogs at Baby Making Machine. This week, before jetting off on a well-deserved relaxation vacation without kids, she wrote a blog post about her husband. It was one of those cheeky “my husband knows nothing about raising kids so let me momsplain to him how it’s done.”
Her regular followers and friends chimed in with “you’re such a good writer – this was fun to read” and “Perfect!!!” Then she called one of the best storytelling Dads in the blogosphere, Whit Honea, an idiot and well, it was on. The link to the post was shared in our group and legions of Dads, realizing the “work to do” jumped in the comments to set the record straight.
While this sort of commentary may play in the locker room of gender politics that is The Battle Of The Sexes, you can’t perpetuate this type of stereotypical garbage in public. You can’t. You need to rise above. You need to do better.
These types of listicles may play perfectly in the UberMom Pinterest world, where you pass out next to the minibar when you get away from the kids, but it doesnt play in the real world (just like that WSJ stereotype didn’t play).
And I wonder, Moms Who Blog About Their Husbands, who is really to blame for this situation you find yourself in? I mean, you reap what you sow, right? If you have such a tight grip on your family unit that your husband has no idea what time the kids wake up, what they eat, or what his daughter’s favorite night-time toy is, what kind of family do you have? Do you just blog to your husband, or do you actually talk to him?
My wife puts our youngest to sleep, I put the oldest to sleep. We play favourites like that.
So I don’t hear all the stories Charlie makes up before he falls asleep. Then, after the boys are out, and we get our 45 minutes of quiet time before falling asleep ourselves, we talk. We share. I don’t blog a letter to her telling her how to do groceries, or pay the mortgage, she doesn’t tell me how to cut the grass, or do the laundry. We share. And it’s not the kind that you find with a blue and white thumb next to it. We really share.
Parenting is a team sport. Dads, for the most part, are grown men. We are perfectly capable of the unconditional love that allows for us to make sure our own children won’t die from malnutrition. It took a while before I spent some time alone with the boys, but when I did my wife left me alone without lists, because of course she could. You know, unlike the wife of this Reddit user:
If you control the hell out of your family, and do everything for everyone, I’m not surprised you have to Blog About The List You Left Your Husband, because why would he ever want to interfere in your Mother of the Year crusade? You’d bark him right the hell off.
I don’t expect it all to be sunshine and roses. My blogging style may mostly stray to the highlight reel of my life as a parent, and I know many of you prefer to show the ugly underbelly and share your struggles and passions. Some of that deals with a partner who doesn’t participate, and when that happens it deserves to be called out. But you have to be careful how you do it, the tone you take, the words you choose, the places you call them out.
There’s a small group that likely thinks a post like this one is cute and funny, but really it’s just a sad commentary on the marriage / family / control they have created. These sorts of things are lowest common denominator, unfunny stuff that perpetuates on Facebook walls as silly e-cards, but really do nothing to elevate the conversation or forward anyone’s cause. Whether you’re a stressed out Mom (let me guess, you need wine), or a doofus Dad (let me guess, he puts on a hazmat suit to change diapers, can’t boil water, and never asks for directions), these posts are just reductive.
Cmon, Moms Who Blog About Their Husbands. Loosen the leash. Invite your husband to be an equal player in the family, because if you’ve got 2 kids and your man has never spent more than 6 hours alone with them, *you* might be the one doing this wrong – not him – and that’s no good for anyone.
BTW, I can’t wait to show you what I got you for Mother’s Day. You work so hard, you sacrifice so much, you deserve it.