This morning I was dropping my daughter off at school. On the walk home, I noticed a guy getting his crying child out of his van. There was a baby in the back seat as well. Mom was nowhere to be seen.
I thought to myself, “Hey, that’s cool Dad is doing the drop off this morning! What a good dad!”
Then I stopped myself. What the heck did I just think? Those words actually entered my mind? What was wrong with me?
This is actually one of my biggest pet peeves and here I was thinking this dad was so awesome for actually taking care of his kids! They are his kids, of course he should be taking care of them.
Nobody tells me good job when I drop my daughter off every day for school. Nobody gives me a pat on the back for getting up and getting all of my kids off to school each day. But I do it every single day. Why? Because I’m a parent, that’s why.
They Are Adults. They Can Do It.
I can assume most men are capable of getting up, getting kids fed and dressed, and then loading them in the car to drop them off at school. It’s not rocket science. I’ve been doing it for years and I don’t consider it a skill by any means.
Heck, when my daughter was 3 months old, I got called for jury duty. My other two kids were 4 and 2 at the time and I was to be at the courthouse at 7 am. It was an hour from home and I had no back up baby sitter for them.
My mom offered to meet me there to take the kids until I was done. So, I got us all up, dressed, fed, drove an hour, met up with my mom, and reported for jury duty. Is that some special feat? No, it’s just called getting shit done because you have to.
Nobody gave me any credit for doing all of that. But you know if a dad did the same thing, everyone would be going on and on about how amazingly awesome they are.
Don’t Give Praise For Minor Things
Or the time when my mom was so very impressed that my ex knew what size diapers my son wore. Um, I also knew what size diapers he was in. Where’s my praise? Oh right, I’m the mom, I’m supposed to know that. Dads aren’t though.
Clearly we aren’t giving men enough credit for their abilities. Or maybe it is the men who don’t step up to their responsibilities that make these other guys look good. I don’t know. What I do know is that we, as a society, need to stop giving so much praise to dads who are simply parenting.
We need to get out of the mindset that only women can be the caregivers. Of course that is the more traditional role but men are more than fully capable of doing it as well. A lot of them are really good at it too!
Seriously, stop downplaying the abilities of men. In a way, it is treating them like a dummy. Oh, clap, clap, clap, you help put your child’s coat on! Look at you! You are so good at that! I’d find that insulting if someone said that to me. I’ll assume that men do as well.
They Are Just Parenting
Parenting is parenting. It doesn’t matter if it is a man or a woman doing it. Children need to be taken care of and whoever is able to step up to the plate to do it at any given time should do it.
If you ever find yourself uttering praise to a dad who is just simply doing dad things, check yourself like I did this morning. Give the guy a bit more credit. He can handle those every day tasks just as much as the mom can.
Oh, and if you notice a dad that is reluctant to actually parent, remind him that he is fully capable of doing so. Don’t give him a pass just because he is a man.