I don’t know why, but from what I’ve seen, dads are about 1,000x chiller with one another than moms are. While you guys are all judging one another on just about everything -- breastfeeding, sleeping, vaccinations, whatever -- we pretty much give the other dads we see high-fives and nod. You’re doing your best, dog. I get it.
All you have to do is look at the comments section of any parenting site. (Maybe even this one? I won’t say.) If it has to do with birth, schooling, or, again, breastfeeding, women are all up in one another’s business.
I just don’t see that from dads. You know how many negative comments and/or judgments I’ve gotten from my guy friends about my parenting? Absolutely zero. And I’ve been a dad for five years! I’m pretty sure I’ve made at least a few big mistakes in that time. In fact, I know it. I’ve even told some of my friends about these mistakes. Their response? Either they don’t care, or they understand, because they’ve made some mistakes too.
Do we dads set the bar too low? After all, we’ve heard a lot about the ongoing crisis in fatherhood. You know, deadbeat dads, dads barely in their kids’ lives, all that stuff. Maybe there wouldn’t be as many dad-related problems if we got a little preachy with one another? I can’t say. But we’re just not. (Maybe I’m just lucky all my friends are good dads?)
Where does this lack of parenting judgment come from? One guess: Dads just aren’t as fascinated by the families of their dad friends as moms are. Example: I’ll be on the phone with a friend, someone I haven’t spoken to for a while. At the end of it I’ll get off, having had a great time, catching up. My wife will ask how my friend is doing, and whether his pregnant wife finally gave birth. My answer: I don’t know? This always blows her mind.
But we were talking, you know? About stuff we always talk about: politics, comic books, maybe sports, stuff we did in summer camp in 1987. Timmy taking the bottle doesn’t always make the cut.
But if we did discuss our kids I’m pretty sure we would have said we each were doing a good job.
Why do you think dads aren't as judgmental of other dads as moms are of each other?