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I'm not one to complain, but it seems no matter what we as dads do to prove ourselves to be capable and equal partners in the raising of our children someone has to come along and spit in our faces. And I'm not talking spit up from our kids, I'm talking about some media outlet or some company with some brilliant marketing campaign that just needs to come right up to us, hock a loogie and gob over everything we as dads are trying to do.

Now, I don't want to call people stupid, but if you're so daft that you don't realize that your words or commercials or corporate image not only infuriates dads but also incenses millions of moms, well you might be in need of an education of where the real world is heading.

Will I bore you with statistics? No. I won't bore you with the fact that the number of stay-at-home dads grows every year. I won't bore you with the fact that the number of dad bloggers grows every day. I won't even bore you with the fact that some of the top minds in marketing believe that involved dads will emerge as one of the most powerful forces in the economy in the years to come. True, I have those statistics, but I don't want you to feel like I need them to make my point.

What is my point? I'm glad you asked...

My point is this: we don't live in the 1950's, 60's, 70's, 80's or 90's. We don't live in the year 2000, and we don't even live in 2010. We live in 2012. And, in 2012, dads aren't dumb asses. We cook, we clean, and we care for our kids. If we don't, it's more likely than not that somebody is interfering with our willingness to do such things- like a berating, controlling spouse who nitpicks at everything we do, or a newspaper article that refers to us as secondary caregivers or "babysitters" to our own children,  or conglomerates that create commercials that make us feel like assholes. It's like dads are the idiots of the parenting world. But, if we're so dumb, how is it that we're picking up on your condescension, and telling you we're not going to take it anymore?

Here's the cold hard reality as I see it. You (certain moms, the media, governments, corporations) want us to step up our game and be the best that we can be, but you can’t shut up long enough to stop making fun of us to give us credibility of any kind. You want to make fun of us? Fine, perpetuate the stereotype of dad as the baffoon and guess what, that’s exactly what we'll give you. You want to paint a picture that most moms are hard done by because they get no help from dads, great, but just remember you reap what you sow; you get what you pay for; you make the bed you sleep in.

Many (and I agree, not all) dads are more than capable of handling the responsibilities of parenthood. They want it. They need it. They love it.  But what they don’t want is to have to deal with a bunch of misguided people defining who they are based on some bullshit, at a glance analysis. “Dad’s aren’t as attuned to their children as moms,” “Dad’s aren’t as attentive as Moms,” “Dad’s don’t have breasts or a vagina, or a sensitivity to the needs of a helpless screaming child,” and they certainly can’t run a household, right?

Wrong! Dads are capable. We can do a lot of things, but we don’t want to deal with the bullshit. So, if you want to tell us we can’t run a household, we’re just going to let YOU do it. If you tell us we can’t schedule our kids, or plan appointments, or manage our time, we just won’t then.

If you tell us we’re not good enough or smart enough or fit (suited) enough to do all the things that moms can do, then you can take your f’ing attitude, stick it where the sun don’t shine and get stuck with all the hard work of raising  OUR kids. Oh, we’ll still be around, watching cartoons with them, playing G.I. Joe and Barbie, and splitting a Baby Bon Bell, but we won’t lift a finger to do a single f@#&ing thing that you ask until you give us the respect worthy of a person, a parent, a positive influence in the waiting who is ready and able to be the best man that he can be.

Let’s call it like it is: you want good men to be great dads then tell moms, the media, the government, and corporate America to get the f@#& out of their way and let them show that, given the opportunity, they are the next best thing to sliced bread. And that stuff rocks!

Stop being part of the f@#%ing problem and start being part of the f@#&ing solution.

End rant.

Support the Dads Don’t Babysit Petition

 Related Links:
Huggies Dad Test campaign gets it mostly right
Building Involved Dads, Confident Moms


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Reader Comments (9) you got me all worked up!
Great post! :)

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhenry amador

Well, you didn't offend me because I get where you're coming from. It's all part of media stereotype. Men will probably always be joked about as being doofuses who have NO idea what to do with kids, just like women will always be the ones in laundry commercials, cooking commercials, baking commercials and generally taking care of the kids (and being naggy)- when we all know that not ALL moms are like that. Not all moms are the cookie-cutter perfect mom, and not all Dads are completely clueless when it comes to the needs for a child. It sells shit to think of things that way though, or the companies sure seem to think so.

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHoldin' Holden

Love this! And I totally agree with you - SAHDs don't get the credit that they deserve. I have met more and more of them through blogging, and I respect each and every one of you!


March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNon-Stop Mom

The sad reality is that there are baffoons among us that DO make us look incompetent. What's the saying " one bad apple spoils the bunch" or something like that. We know we are capable, and as long as my kids know I am capable, that's all I really care about. It's sad, but EVERYTHING in life gets a stereotype. We just need to look past them.

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaddy's in Charge?

The Children's Project - How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children applauds you for saying it like it is! Family as a Learning Community definitely exists in your home. Congratulations!

I think just like there are some dads who are idiots, there may just be an equal amount of moms who are idiots as well. The problem is perception. But dads like you, me, and John from DiC (among man others) are working to fix that.

Society and the media continue to perpetuate these misperceptions about the clueless dad who has no idea what he's doing, who is lost without his wife who constantly rolls her eyes at her moron husband. But we continue to laugh and watch.

But things are changing... I'm sure you watch Up All Night, or have at least seen it. Will Arnett's character in the SAHD. And he's competent, loving, and organized. Sure his character has amusing flaws. But the producers and writers of this comedy chose to portray the dad as capable and nurturing.

I'll take that as a victory.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaddy Knows Less

I TOTALLY agree! It's a shame, but it's a fact. Men have to work twice as hard at home and women have to work twice as hard at work I guess...and when it comes down to it, those wasting the time judging don't deserve the time we spend worrying about it! As long as our children know, that IS all that matters! I nominated you for The Sunshine Award on my blog today...BECAUSE you are so capable!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNika Corwin

Hey, I'm with you. We're told to "step up" and then we're told to "step aside."

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBloggerFather

This takes me back to Sociology 101. A piece I wrote was along the same lines as "If we don't, it's more likely than not that somebody is interfering with our willingness to do such things."

Bottom line is this: Too many Moms were rightfully complaining about their hubbies not stepping up to the plate.
As Adam rightly points out, that complaint was only valid for a number of years past the post women's lib hey-day.

On the other hand, many started to feel threatened by our increasing competence in the caregiver role. It sounds far-fetched, I know. But he who feels it knows it. It's very real. Not only do competent daddy caregivers take away their luxury of being able to take the higher moral ground and therefore the right to complain. It also leaves quite a few mothers struggling to find their new roles in the household.

We need more guys speaking out on this issue instead of thinking that it makes them sound like complaining wimps themselves. Women can't be super-moms and still keep all the work to themselves. They have to give up BOTH if the real goal is equality. Know what's going to happen if they don't adjust?

Men will get off their butts instead of withdrawing, and start DOMINATING again within a new role in the household. Now THAT would be truly sad. I, for one, always maintained that male dominance was largely responsible for the shorter life-span of the male gender. I don't WANT to go back there.

March 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRodney C. Davis

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