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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dads Are Parents

I think the talk of Dads being involved comes up at least once (probably more) in discussions Moms have with their girlfriends, sisters and other fellow Moms. We complain about us as Moms taking the role as more of the caregiver and that we sacrifice countless things for our kids. I had an epiphany if you will Dads are parents, but just have different parenting techniques.

As Moms, we typically are the ones that take off work a bit more or stay at home all for the sake of our kids. We forget that sometimes Dads often have higher paying jobs despite that we shouldn’t have gender bias in the work place and should be paid equally, but it is a reality. It isn’t that my husband doesn’t make career sacrifices as well. My husband sacrifices time in the office to be home with the family at a decent hour so we can all eat dinner together even though everyone else at the office works until my son’s bed time. He still takes off for school events in the middle of the day. We just know that logically if one of us has to take leave because our kid is sick, then it should be me. I get paid less. It is just fact.

We as Moms also pride ourselves in getting fantastic Valentine’s Day cards for our kids Valentine’s Day parties, pick the cutest outfits for special events and organize fantastic birthday parties. Kids would still survive if everything wasn’t planned to the tee. Valentine’s Day cards may be done last minute. Clothes would be bought but be kept simplistic. There would be no 15 million shirts or 10 million pants in the drawers to choose from. Birthday parties would be kept simple with a BBQ, a few games and alcohol for the parents. There would be no pony rides, moon bounces and over expensive goody bags. Dads would have needs met, not over done or over planned.

And when Moms say they have sacrificed, this and that, Dads have sacrificed too. They sacrificed living in a logical and sane world when our pregnant selves were over emotional and made absolutely no sense (like when we needed everything cleaned this instant and it was 8 o’clock at night and no one was coming over the next day). They quietly and patiently listen to over emotional phone calls from us when they should be in a work meeting, but instead hear about poop on the walls or what HIS child just did. My husband and I play things 50/50. We take turns on who gets to sleep in on weekend mornings. He gives his last bit of food because his son wants it. He also gets no concept of privacy as our son has to be in every room he is in, including the bathroom. He makes sure that before he goes out to play poker that our son is quietly nestled away in his crib, that I (the Mom) has a drink, the phone and a movie to watch. I’m just saying, Dads do sacrifice. They just sacrifice sometimes in a different way.

I also think Moms stereotype themselves and get mad over it when we in fact do it to ourselves. Yes I said it. We say things like “he’s babysitting the kids”. No he isn’t babysitting. It is his kids. Does it dare call it babysitting? If he does…then God help him. We feel guilty for asking our husbands to do this or that when they should do this or that. Moms tend to have “Mommy Wars” on who is better, the stay at home Mom or the working Mom. Would men ever argue about that crap? We tend to push our husbands out of the way with doing things “our way” because we feel it is the correct way to do it. I am sure that sibling fights would be refereed, cuts would be mended and school projects would be finished. It would just be done differently.

I am not saying that Moms don’t sacrifice, because we do. We just can’t act like martyrs or that Dads don’t know what they are doing. Give them a little credit. They do know what they are doing just give them that chance or they will figure it out. It just won’t be always YOUR way. Remember this, they do listen to you boss your kids around and them around usually without a word. Would you stay so quiet as to have that be done to you? We are event planners, organizers, shoppers and referees because we choose to be. Dads can do that too. They just rather not listen to you tell them what they are or are not doing right, when to do it, why they didn’t do it correctly and what they should have done.

So in the end if Dads ruled the roost (I mean really ruled the house) and Moms listened and did what they were told to do, it would be a bit different of a world and perhaps a simpler world and less over planned. Moms and Dads are both needed in each family. Both balance each other out. Each help each other through their own parenting techniques on how to manage a household. It doesn’t have to be a one woman show, because if you remember Dads are parents just with different techniques.

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