Here’s my short list of irks that produce very large, lollygaggy eye rolls of judgement:
facial hair on the 25-35 year old male crowd
Specifically how everyone has one and, yes, I see the obvious problem with that last one.
The beards, the blogs, the business stairstep breakaways. I surrender to the reality these are the current, trendy annoyances of adulting in the twenty-tens. I will try to keep my gaze locked in place and simply cheer you on if one to all on my short list describes you personally. (Nothing personal.)
There is, however, one phenomenon happening right now that I would like to call complete bullshit on.
We are dumbing down our daddies. We are branding them incapable and operating under the implication of incompetence.
Our husbands are parents too. Not just the part-time help. Not something reminiscent of the fun uncle or the “wait ’til your” disciplinarian. Not even the other (tacitly understood lesser) parent.
Let’s let the daddies of our children be 100% full-on parents.
Let’s enough with the portrayal that dads are bewildered by children, lack any instinctual bend toward their needs, and enter a conundrum the equivalent of a full-scale political crisis when presented with a poopy diaper.
More than anything, let’s stop couching this expectation of male insensitivity and inability to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our children in church gender roles. I cannot with that.
It’s true I am an emotionally driven decision maker. It’s true Nate is a rationally driven decision maker. This doesn’t give me an infinite “no thanks” to using intellect or reason. Nate doesn’t get a standing pass on emotions.
We are parenting in a unique era where EQ is not only recognized but lauded, where marriages in and out of the church are losing their patriarchal dominance, where we are concerned about locally sustained and globally connected.
These men who are becoming our husbands and fathers of our children, with their penchants for craft beer and pompadours, are just as likely to babywear as we are. They are stepping up to parent in an engaged way generationally unprecedented. Let’s let them without questioning motive or masculinity.
I worked Sundays for the last five years, which means Nate would take our two, then three, and sometimes five while fostering, carload of kids to church. Every week receiving the equivalent of the non-ironic slow clap from parking lot to children’s ministry doors for braving a public outing as a father alone with his kid crew.
Receiving comments about babysitting for the day. “Not babysitting,” he says. Just being a father.
The cost of continuing low expectation for the daddies of our children is too high.
For starters, the kids in my house would experience a scurrylotta more yelling from Mama On The Brink if I were the only one in charge of every.single.damn.aspect of their day.
It’s easy for us women to confuse being Wife and Mother with the crushing responsibility of maintaining the happiness of our husband and kids. Let’s not let low expectations for our co-partners in parenting become the reason for losing our autonomous identity through overcompensation of being all and doing all for others.
We alienate ourselves. We alienate our husbands. They miss opportunities to know their own children and to be seen in return.
Probably most poignantly, our sons and daughters are watching.
Time to expect and allow daddies to be parents too.