Saturday, August 17, 2013

It's Hard Out There For a Dad

It's tough to be a dad these days.  No matter how hard you work or how hard you try, you log onto Facebook and see something like this:

Now, before I say anything about how much I despise these little girls rule, boys drool placards (as if you didn't already know), first I have to address the most pressing problem:  If you're going to say something, say it correctly.  It's "me neither."  Ugh.  Sorry to be picky, but the grammar in these memes makes me want to strangle people.  (Which is actually quite fitting, since the sentiments expressed also make me want to strangle people).

You see, I have a serious problem with women who go around wearing their motherhood like it's part of some blue-ribbon contest in which they are the prize apple pie.  Fathers work hard too, ladies.  Just because their job descriptions are different does not mean their work is easier or less deserving of empathy or praise.  And just because they don't perform many of the night-feeding and diaper-changing and puke-cleaning duties that are tackled by the mother, it doesn't mean they aren't contributing to the family, and it certainly doesn't mean they are lazy.   (I know of a woman who spent 30 years complaining that her husband never contributed to the family (because he didn't help with the house or kids) before it finally dawned on her that going to work every day, whether he liked it or not, actually was contributing to the family.  *facepalm*)

While it's true that many men find it easier to relax than their wives do if there is still work to be done, I seriously doubt this meme is the result of a man who sat on the couch all evening in some sort of clueless stupor while his wife scrubbed the floors.  More likely, it is the result of a man who had a long day at work, came home, and decided to put his feet up even though his wife was up to her elbows in dishwater.  Then, instead of sitting down with him to relax for a few minutes or asking nicely if he would be willing to help her get the rest of the dishes taken care of (remember, he doesn't read minds!), she gets all peeved because she's working and he's relaxing and grrrrr how can he be so oblivious???

In spite of what many wives seem to think, the ability of their husbands to sit down and relax when the stove isn't sparkling clean is not some sort of neanderthal flaw, nor is it proof that women are holy angels whose only defect comes in being bonded to someone with Y chromosomes.  For heaven's sake, ladies, quit being so self-righteous!

Recognize that if your husband comes home from work and plops down on the couch with an exhausted sigh, it's not necessarily out of some kind of willful disregard for how busy you are or how dirty the kitchen is (frankly, he probably doesn't even care how dirty the kitchen is).  He's just tired and needs time to recharge - just like you do.  Instead of getting in a snit, show him some sympathy.  Be a little more understanding.  The nicer you are, the more understanding he will be when you need a break.  Believe me when I say that a woman who is kind and empathetic to her husband will find that he is willing to do anything for her.

He might even help with those dishes now and then...


Katie--the amazing one, not your other friend named Katie. She's amazing, too, but not the same Katie as me-- said...

I like the suggestion that she sit and rest with him for a bit when he gets home. They'll both feel better, which will make the evening even more delightful.

Amy said...

Right on! I, too, share your general irritation with the way men/dad's are treated these days. Whenever I see yet another commercial mocking them I always think of you and know that you would share in my annoyed disgust. I wish more people noticed and refused to laugh.