The Dumb Dad

Did you all hear what the Census Bureau said a few months back?
They said that when mother is staying home with her kids, it's "parenting", while when the father does it, it's a "child-care arrangement".  In other words, Babysitting.

This should be shocking to us all... not just to the poor stay-at-home dads that get NO respect and have a hard enough time as it is, but also to us women!  I mean, they are basically saying that dad's are useless... only "babysitter worthy".  

Since 2010, 32% of children are staying home with dad... that's one in three families!  So what's with this idea that dads are incapable?  Why are they looked down upon?  Why have we made them into Dumb Dads?

Now, this is just my personal opinion, but I strongly believe that we women have done it to ourselves.  We have shot ourselves in the foot.  We want so badly to be treated equally and have high paying jobs (I am Woman, hear me Roar) but that doesn't mean that our other responsibilities have faded away.  Throughout the course of time, it's been the man's job to go out (hunter) and the women's to stay in and care for the house (gatherer).  But in the last century, roles have shifted and morphed.  That's a good thing... but there are consequences that came upon us.  The women now want to be the hunter AND the gatherer... (I don't need no man!) and what has happend to us... we're worn out, exhausted, stressed, over worked.  And what exactly has happened to our men?  They have turned into a pile of mush... the Dumb Dad.

It's sad to say, but a lot of men would really rather not be the hunters OR the gatherers... they wanna chill, watch football, play xbox, eat doritos.  The perfect example I can think of is based on the first people to ever walk this planet... Adam and Eve (this is not a debate as to whether you believed they were actually the first people or not... it's an illustration... don't let me lose you!)  When everything was going well, Adam was having a blast... as soon as things got hard, he pointed fingers, hid and acted like a little boy.  But wait, ladies, Eve was in the wrong too... she wanted to CONTROL Adam... she needed to dictate what was going on... that was the FIRST mistake!  So, it's in our nature... women want to take control, men want to go-with-the-flow.

This is what has happened to us.  We have allowed our husbands to become our children.  We treat our husbands like they are incapable children.  We leave them lists, call to check up and be sure that they've eaten, nag at them and repeat things to them like they are incapable of comprehending simple commands.  YOUR HUSBAND IS NOT YOUR CHILD!!!

It really frustrates me when I hear people saying, "Oh, I left the kids with my husband... pray for them, hahahahaha".  Really?!  You left the kids with their FATHER... have some faith that he can handle it!  He's not incapable... he's not dumb... he's fully able to take care of the children that he helped bring into the world.  But YOU have to let him!  You have enable him!

Your husband is NOT dumb... he was smart enough to snag you, wasn't he?  So what happened between then and now.  When did he turn into Homer Simpson?

But now, men are insecure because we have babied them.  So they call and ask stupid questions... just making us feel like they can't possibly handle it.  This happened once and ONLY once in my household.  I left the kids with their father, who is fully capable of handling anything and everything thrown at him.  I went to work.  While at work, he called and asked me what he should give them for lunch.  I had not left him a schedule or a list or a lunch or anything... I figured, he is a grown intelligent man, he can figure it out.  BUT, he must have been insecure because he called me to ask.  My reply was this, "do I call you when you're at work to ask you what to feed the kids?  You can figure it out... and if there's nothing at home, then you can go out".  Was that harsh?  Maybe.  BUT it never happened again.

My husband is a trooper.  He is so amazing with the kids... and NOT just as a playmate.  He plays with them, but he also feeds them and bathes them and changes diapers and takes them out and teaches them and disciplines them.  He is a PARENT... NOT a babysitter!

Mothers, you need to trust your husband with your kids... they're not MY kids... they're OUR kids.  Raise the bar of your expectation with your husband... he will meet it.  He might not like it at first, BUT later he will feel confident and secure and he will build a beautiful relationship with your children.

If women are going to be hunters and gatherers, then it's time for men to do the same.  That means NO MORE "hands-off" dads.  NO MORE "not great with the kids" dads.  NO MORE "only a playmate" dads.  NO MORE "babysitting" dads.  And it starts with us... will we allow them to come into our territory of being a parent?

To read more about the Census Bureau, you can follow these links:


Danielle-Marie said...

Yeah I'm going to respectfully disagree with you here. While men are fully capable, women tend to be instinctual with their children. I have no doubt about my husband's ability to look after our kids, but I did have to teach him before he knew how to do it. My husband will help in any way that I ask him to but I have to prompt him.

I don't think it's "babysitting" but I do think it varies from person to person. Some men need lists and direction to get everything done. Others don't. If I don't remind my husband to put his pen up when he's finished using it, he will leave it in the kids' reach every time. When I leave him with the kids I have to leave a written schedule out otherwise he loses track of time and my kids entire routine ends up in shambles. And I am STRICT about maintaining our routine.

So yeah, just my thoughts.

Anna said...

Wow, Nicole, That was really something to think about. I will remember this when I have kids of my own.

Helô Laguna said...

Fantástico o seu comentário Nicole!

Shawna said...

Good post!

However I will say that although I don't think it's a women vs. men thing, I do believe it's a *personality* thing when it comes to taking care of the kids. My personality works well with staying home with the husband's does not. Certainly he can keep them alive when I'm gone, but if I was shopping around for a caretaker for my kids I wouldn't choose him lol. I knew this about him when I married him so it's something I'm fine with. But somtimes when people say things like what you posted about I just want to say "well, you don't *know* him" lol. It's a case by case basis really. My husband has his strengths and weaknesses and I know mine...we divide up all of our household responsibilities with these in mind, including various tasks with the kiddos :-)

Callie Nicole said...

This was a good post Nicole - the way society acts as if men are dumb is actually a HUGE pet peeve of mine - I read a book on this subject not too long ago. Your comment about how we've "shot ourselves in the foot" in this area reminded me of it - it was called Save The Males: Why Men Matter And Why Women Should Care by Kathleen Parker. There is one chapter I'd recommend skipping (you'll know it when you come to it), but I felt like there were alot of good points in it.