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(Barely) Controlled Chaos: 2

Raising the standards for dads in parenting media

Like most moms of my generation, I read a lot of parenting magazines and books and listen to parenting podcasts on my smartphone while I am supposed to be working.  My own mom scoffs at this and my grandmother would have found this downright hilarious.  They figured out this parenting thing on their own, without the aid of the internet.  (Can you even IMAGINE not being able to google pictures of pink eye at 3 am while trying to figure out if you can send the kid to daycare or not the next day?!?!?!)

One theme I have noticed that permeates parenting media is the free pass daddies seem to get.  I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts today (Manic Mommies, seach them on itunes or stitcher.com) and there was an expert of some sort pontificating on how to make my life easier and get what I want.  The topic turned to housework and how instead of being frustrated that our husbands aren't loading the dishwasher correctly, we should just be glad they do it at all.

Huh?  Let me understand this.  What this "expert" was saying is that rather than expecting that the steak knives are correctly placed in the dishwasher point down, so I don't slit my wrist while fishing out my coffee pot at 5:30 in the morning, I should commend my husband for doing the bare minimum amount of effort needed?  Yeah.... No.

I show up for room parent duties, and while it is appreciated, no one gives me medal for bringing the cupcakes for someone else's kid's birthday.  But when a DAD does it, you'd think cancer has been cured.  We even celebrate dad's incompetence with T-shirts saying "My Dad Dressed Me" or "Daddy Did My Hair!" My husband actively shudders when someone asks him if he is "babysitting" his own children.

Ladies, we need to RAISE our standards.  There is nothing wrong with expecting grown men to act like adults and do their share of the housework correctly and without nagging, cajoling, or bribery.  I'm all for a fair division of labor.  I can't grocery shop.  It's totally overwhelming and confusing to me.  My husband enjoys it and is good at it, so he does it for me.  If he cooks, I clean up.  If I cook, I clean up...  Ok, it doesn't always work around here either. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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