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Man up?

When my kids were younger, I’d sometimes attend evening functions like bunco with friends, or an Air Force spouse’s group meeting. Invariably, someone would ask who was watching my kids. Um, hello, I have a husband.

And then when I mentioned that said husband was with them—is it really “watching” or babysitting when they’re your own children?—the other woman would express surprise, or crack a joke about men not being able to handle it.

Are we living in the 50s? In my experience, the only men who are too inept to handle being home with their own kids are the ones who choose to leave the day-to-day parenting to the mom, or the men whose wives won’t “trust” them to handle the parenting properly even when they want to.

The first time I stayed home full time, my oldest was 18 months and I was pregnant with Number Two. Woman and mother or not, I questioned whether I had the ability to properly care for my own son ALL DAY LONG. After all, I didn’t have training like his daycare providers did. (I know, don’t laugh.)

How would I entertain him between meals? What would I feed him for lunch every day? Would I provide the right kind of learning opportunities and environment? How would I handle two when Taz came along?!

All silly questions in the end. I just figured it out. Dads can do the same if given the chance, and if they’re willing to take the initiative. Give them the opportunity for an equal share of the responsibility. If they don’t take it, ask.

Maybe some women enjoy being the family martyr. In my opinion they’re shortchanging themselves, their husbands, and their kids.

Rant over.

0 Comments

  1. Curtis

    Reply

    I like your rant. It was never a consideration at my house. My boys weren’t property or responsiblity split between two unequal factions. When I hear “watching” used in relationship to a persons children, less than happy thoughts go through my mind.

    I wanted to be a father. I Looked forward to being a parent. I saw it as a 24/7 event. I understood it as a calling. I decided very early that the best way I could add my bit to the community was parent my boys into becoming men.

    They were/are my heart. I consider parenting the most important thing I ever did with my life.

    it might be the only thing I got right. All this faffing around with the american dream is just that. And, I’ve got a resume to demonstrate I did no small amount of faffing.

    So, yeah. I’m in when it comes to “watching’ the kids.

    Rant on! 🙂

  2. Reply

    Interesting. And sad that in today’s day and age there are Neanderthals roaming amongst us. I can’t imagine it any other way. They’re “OUR” kids. They are our flesh and blood. It was never discussed, we just understood.

    Unfortunately, I think those men that don’t do it have been enabled and been given silent approval to behave like Jr High kids. Some men will take advantage of any and every opportunity to not take on the responsibility… but they also will find one day, they don’t recognize their kids.

    So, I better go to the chaos that’s ensuing right now in our den. We have two of our neighbors over with their kids. That’s six kids, three moms, and me… the solitary dad. The other dads were busy 🙂

  3. Reply

    “They’re ‘OUR’ kids.” Exactly, Ara!

    It is sad that there are men who don’t want to participate. Or maybe worse, don’t feel like they can/should. And I almost find it even sadder when the wife prefers it that way. Otherwise what would she whine about? 😉

  4. Ryelle

    Reply

    Right on Gwen. Well said. I think your boys are excellent examples of good parenting!

  5. Reply

    I agree with you, and I think men like it when we need them and ask for their help.
    Well it is not that I am an expert in children education but maybe in man lol lol lol ….

    • Reply

      I agree, Mirella. Some men are insecure about their abilities (much as I was!), and only need someone to believe in them and allow them to take the chance.

      And yes, you’re definitely an expert in men. =)

  6. Reply

    This is so right. I know I’ve had this conversation in the past couple of months, too… I just don’t remember when or with whom! I know my husband will be a great dad, and I wouldn’t want to cheat him of the experience.

    • Reply

      Thanks, Kali. I love the way you said that you “wouldn’t want to cheat him of the experience”. I think that’s exactly what happens sometimes.

  7. Reply

    Great rant and something that I can’t believe people still think is strange. I’m involved with my kids and don’t have a second thought about needing to watch them and/or do things. It’s called being responsible. The problem is most men don’t give a sh** and the common-reaction IMO springs from that issue. Glad your husband isn’t one of them! 🙂

  8. Reply

    My hubby wouldn’t stay alone with our girls until they were school age and barely then. Of course, I’ve been told if they had been boys it might have been different. I didn’t believe that until our grandson was born. Yes. Boys make a difference to some men.

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