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Sunday
Dec092012

Anything Moms Can Do Dads Can Do... Equally. 

In the almost two years since the inception of this blog/Facebook page/website, I've realized two things: 1) there are a lot of great dads out there, and 2) there are a lot of moms who seem to be threatened by that. Now, I write a lot of posts that come straight out of my daily life. I enjoy being a dad and I take great pride in being as hands-on as the best of them. I'm not trying to impress anyone by doing what any father should be doing. If anything, I'm merely trying to impress upon the next generation of dads that being an involved father is possibly the most rewarding job a man will ever have. I love my kids. I love spending time with them. And I certainly love the fact that my wife and I are on equal footing when it comes to our roles as parents. But for some reason whenever I post anything about taking care of my kids, on my own, without any help from my wife (i.e. giving her time to herself) someone (more often than not a mom with an axe to grind) thinks I'm looking for a pat on the head, and that irks them. Well, guess what... their small-mindedness irks me.

Why can't a man post his escapades with his kids without some mom trying to shit on him for it? And, it's always the same old shit. "You're not doing anything moms haven't been doing for thousands of years," they say. "Why do you deserve a pat on the back for doing something you should be doing anyway?" they say. "Those are your kids" they say, "You should be able to care for them." And, they're right. I should be able to care for my kids. And you know what, I should also be able to talk about my day just like any mom blogger does without some feminist, or momzilla, or insecure ninny getting up in arms over the fact that, barring giving birth or breastfeeding, I can do everything they can do when it comes to raising a child. And in some cases, even better.

Am I looking for attention? Damn right I am- but I'm looking to draw attention to something that is obvious to me, and not so obvious to others. Are you ready for it? Here goes: being a great dad/parent (to small children, anyway) is pretty easy. It requires three things: 1) The willingness to learn (be it through reading, instruction or trial and error), 2) A confident wife/mother of your child who will allow you the autonomy to parent differently than she does, and 3) the willingness of society at large (the parenting magazines, the media, the old school moms) to accept that gender roles do not remain stagnant, and today's new dads are interchangeable with their mom counterparts.

I'm not trying to take anything away from moms. I'm a big supporter of single moms, stay-at-home moms, working moms, etc. I'm trying to build up dads. And, in doing that, I would hope I'm merely setting an example, like so many of my dad blogging contemporaries, that involved dads are a valuable asset to the parenting equation. But many don't see it that way. There are still those who see dads as secondary care givers who should be given orders and not be trusted to care for their own children. There are those who want to still believe that moms are superior when it comes to childrearing. There are those who see caring, competent dads as a threat to the centuries of propaganda that says moms are better "wired" to handle anything in the domestic domain. And from where I stand that's bullshit. It's brainwashing. It's backwards. Especially when the world should be moving forward.

For the record, I post what I post because I like talking about spending time with my kids. I like talking about being a dad- a better one than my own father. And I like writing about my experiences so I can share them with other dads, and moms, and grandparents and non-parents, or anyone who wants to listen. I like talking about parenting. I like learning about it from those who have gone before me. And I like sharing what I know with those who are just starting out. I don't need a pat on the head for doing what I do- I'm going to do it regardless. I do it for my kids. If people like that, it's just a bonus. If you don't, you have to ask yourself why. Because if I'm a threat to you, there's something wrong with the way you look at what I represent. I'm just a parent doing what comes naturally.

And, if I say so myself, I'm damn good at what I do. I'm a dad who doesn't need a mom to show me the way. My wife and I share everything equally. We are equal in all things parenting, and that's the way we like it. If that upsets you, well, I'm sorry, but when I'm dressing my daughter in the morning, or doing the midnight and 4 a.m. feedings for my son, or changing diapers, or cleaning up puke, or cooking, or cleaning, or coming home from work and giving my kids a bath and reading them bedtime stories, or taking care of my sick child, I'm not thinking about you-I'm thinking about them and the memories we're creating together.

I'm a New Dad. And I do what I do for my kids, not the notoriety. Maybe that doesn't impress you? But it sure got your attention, and maybe it will get the attention of the guy who is about to have his first child, and give him the courage he needed to be the best dad he can be. And that works for me, even if it doesn't seem to sit well with you.

Dads matter. Let's support good ones and not try to tear them down.

Here are some great dad blogs you may want to check out:
http://www.fodder4fathers.com/dad-blogs/
If you would like to add your dad blog to the list, please comment here.

 

***Article featured on www.mamapedia.com, December 28th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (4)

Adam,

You are 100% correct about promoting fatherhood! It isn't only our children that need positive role models but parents too. I know when I was a social worker full-time i heard so much negativity about dads. I would hear, "Dad's are non-existent" or "Dads aren't capable of doing much when it comes to children." I might agree with the idea somewhat but only because the dads that were non-existent or not capable didn't know how to relate to children or no one would ever give them the opportunity to relate.

Fatherhood isn't a part-time job, it is a full-time, 365 days a year (366 on leap year), round the clock adventure. If men won't take the time to talk about the positives about fatherhood how are we ever going to change society's perception? Unlike what the media portrays, dads are NOT bumbling idiots when it comes to children. They just need to be given a chance to do what they do best, "be a dad."

Aaron

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDadblunders

I'm completely and totally with you. I'm a mom, and when my daughters' father and I were together, I'd have KILLED to have him be as involved with our kids as you are. He seemed to hide behind his job, that his work was the important contribution. He frequently didn't have time or energy for the kids after work, and it made us all nuts. Now, we have joint custody. He has had to step up, and while he still has a ways to go...he's getting there. He is an involved dad, even if still not as much as I'd like. But he takes his girls, he spends time with them, plays with them and puts them to bed and gets them up for school in the mornings. He keeps abreast of health needs, and is by their side and mine if they're ill. And he communicates with me regarding discipline in both our houses, even overriding me if need be (but not often...). I have friends who are single moms who struggle to do it all themselves, and I count my blessings to have him in their lives. He isn't the best dad...but he's a good dad. He's THEIR dad.

December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPernRider

I have to say that your so incredibly right! I was raised by my father until I was 14. He wasn't perfect but he was my daddy and he did a darn good job. He didn't give me everything I wanted, but I got everything I needed. He taught me to appreciate everything and to respect and not judge people no matter what. Not to take myself to seriously and to have fun. Funny thing is, that I found my mother to be a great disappointment when I got to meet and know her. I think that being a mom does not automatically make me amazing. I do the best that I can. I should be able to take care of my daughter just as much as her father (hubby) should. I shouldn't automatically get an award. Women tend to forget that we're human beings. That we all want to be good parents. We shouldn't be judged based on gender, that's very narrow minded. We need to move forward not stay where we are. I respect all parents. There's good dads and bad dads. Just as much as there's good moms and bad moms. I guess what I'm trying to say is that father's don't get enough credit, because we women generalize and criticize mostly everything. Those women who date the wrong man, and when the snake comes around to bite them on the ass they go proclaiming that all men are the same. So if a woman has a bad if not that great father, depending on their prospective they think all men are idiot or that they don't have the maturity to be a father. News flash: There's some pretty shitty mothers out there. I would know. I have a great father. He's always been there for me no matter what. Through surgeries, girl problems and everything else. The fact that my father and not to mention my husband are great fathers is true testament how wonderful a parent can be. As well as my mother showing me that again there's crappy humans out there. You read right HUMANS. Not male or female. I don't see sexes. I see the word parent.

September 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCinthia

I think you're wrong about what it takes to be a great dad. The sad fact is that there is politically correct notion that men can look after and raise kids as well as women but the fact is that society as large disagrees and doesn't give men an equal footing.

Even well meaning people have this underlying impression that men can't do as well as women, the number of times I've been asked if I meet many men at P&T groups, or hear someone saying I'm a great dad because I get the 2 kids to school every morning and take the third out with me every where that I must be something special... would they say the same about a mum making the same commitments to their childrens up bringing? I don't think so, it would be taken for granted that they would do this. In much the same way as women take issue with you talking about doing things with the kids as if you are looking for praise, would these same people say the same to female bloggers?

The fact is that in spite of society, not because of it's support there are many great fathers and dads out there, who make the commitment to forego paid work, sacrifice their personal freedom and social life for the benefit of their kids. Speaking of which one of mine is waking up and I'd better get him back to sleep.

March 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCormac McCann

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