It's a bummer to hate on dads just as Father's Day comes around. And lord knows, I know a lot of truly amazing fathers, but still, there are some who are just not cutting it and to them we say: You barely even deserve to celebrate.
Fatherhood is changing. We're more likely to see a stay-at-home dad out with his children in the middle of a Wednesday. Dads who take both kids to the grocery store are no longer commended for being "such amazing sports" and are instead just seen as the norm. And yet there is a whole other contingent of men who still think it's 1950 and, ladies, we are the ones who need to say enough is enough.
On CNN, Jeff Pearlman has written a wake-up call for dads with a list of 10 things they should do. He issued this after a woman burst into tears at a preschool function and admitted her husband never came to any of these things. It's unacceptable and Pearlman knew it, too. But this is our fault, too, ladies.
People behave the way they think they can. And when long-suffering mom sighs her martyr sigh when dad says he is golfing again for five hours, then we are silently agreeing to his behavior.
Stay-at-home moms have gotten into the mindset that they need to be appreciative of the hard working hubby who brings home the bacon. He needs his rest on Saturdays, right? So why not just get up with the kids one extra day and let dad sleep in. Why should he have to get up early EVERY day? It's generous and thoughtful, but it isn't doing anyone any favors.
The way I see it, my husband should WANT to spend every down minute with his kids. He works 50+ hours a week, so when he IS home, there is nowhere else he should want to be. He makes all their school plays, takes them to the store on his own, and handles bedtime (and wake-up) almost every day. He is their father and just as much of a parent as I am.
Part of this is who he is, but part of it is what I demand. I didn't want to have kids on my own. Had I not met my husband, I'm not sure I would have been a mother. The reason I wanted children is because I loved him and wanted to raise children together. I can't imagine being with a man who didn't want to leave work early to go pick out his daughter's new bike -- the one he arranged for, ordered, and picked out himself.
But it isn't just the wife who suffers from the "present but absent" dad. The kids also suffer. My children have two parents from whom they receive equal care and love. We both kiss boo-boos and give baths. We both read bedtime stories (though he does more) and braid hair (though I do more). We balance our strengths and weaknesses and provide our children with a true family. This is what I wanted and what we wanted together.
If men can't get it together to know what they're missing, then it's up to us to tell them. No more weekend golf games and nights out with the buddies. A "family" isn't mom doing everything while dad drinks G&T's at the country club.
Good dads: We salute you. Bad dads: Get it together. Your time is fleeting and you are missing all the best parts!
Do you have a good dad/husband or a bad one?