My husband is an involved, hands-on dad; which seems to be “rare” and impress others. I see some women praise and show-off their husbands like they won some kind of trophy. Among mom groups, it becomes a competition as to which husband does the most and who will shine as father of the year. But being a hands-on father shouldn’t be a rarity, fathers must be involved, it’s called: parenting!
There are single moms and single dads raising amazing children and my hat goes off to them.
But I’m writing about homes where there are two parents. Yes, moms tend to do most of the work when it comes to raising the children because men were expected to work while women took care of the household. But times have changed; many women are employed and balancing work and kids. However, many stay-at-home moms like myself no longer allow this stereotype of the father being just a provider.
My husband works really hard and I appreciate all he does for our family. However, that doesn’t mean that he gets a free pass when he gets home. I’m at home all day with our son doing everything and the second he comes home, it’s his turn. Of course I’m sympathetic to him having a rough day or problems at work, but again, that’s not an excuse for him not to contribute to parenting.
My husband loves being a dad and takes an active role in parenting and not just because it’s his responsibility.
Just because my husband is the one employed, doesn’t mean he can’t change a diaper. Many men expect to get home and not be bothered. But children don’t understand if dad is tired or had a rough day and frankly they don’t care. They want to go outside, play with toys, or just talk to dad. But some dads will simply sit on the couch, which children see it as they are ignoring them and don’t want to spend time with them. Children will remember which parent played with them, attended their events and was physically and emotionally supportive.
I don’t understand why it’s rare for a father to be “hands-on.” Why is it rare if he does the grocery shopping, if he does the carpool, if he helps with homework and other activities, if he bathes the baby; it’s shared responsibilities. Parenting is not a list of dad does this and mom does that. It’s not a balancing machine of who does more or less. Parenting is about communication and working as a team. It’s unfair for one parent to carry all the weight.
And moms, it’s not a competition.
There’s nothing wrong with praising and showing off your husband. It’s great if he’s an involved father, but it’s not a blessing, it’s his responsibility. For moms that don’t have a partner that takes an active role in parenting, that’s a deeper issue that only you can handle and deal with because it’s your relationship. But remember, fathers aren’t babysitting; it’s not a temporary job. They must have an active role in raising the kids.
And men, don’t “help” expecting to get praised or be shown some sort of gratitude. Don’t be a Facebook dad either; someone who shows off for social media. Be involved because as a man, as a husband/partner/boyfriend, as a father, it’s your responsibility. You don’t get to pause fatherhood, or contribute when it’s convenient, you don’t get to pick and choose which part of parenthood you want to do. Those children depend on you and the type of father you are will shape the type of adults they become.