Reading over Twitter this week, this article http://mamaunabridged.com/2013/03/21/feminist-housedude/ popped up, which then led me to read the original article http://nymag.com/news/features/retro-wife-2013-3/ and had me shaking my head in dismay.
I’ll first start with my rant about all that is wrong in the original article in NY Mag. ” Kelly argues: Girls play with dolls from childhood, so “women are raised from the get-go to raise children successfully. When we are moms, we have a better toolbox.”” There are so many things wrong with this sentence! Yes girls play with dolls, boys can too!!! Why does nurturing play have to only be for girls? That is so entirely sexist! There are girls who have no desire to play with dolls, does this mean they will not grow up to be good mothers? And the poor boys who want to push a stroller or play with a doll get negative looks and comments, and Men take so much criticism when they become dads because they’re not seen as nurturing enough, playing an active role, they just “babysit” the kids. This mode of thinking is what’s wrong with society! Spend time interacting with your son, encourage him to play with whatever toys he wants, and don’t discourage the “mommy” playing, then perhaps our sons will grow up to be some of the best dads we have seen!
I chose to stay home and run a home daycare because I wanted to be home with my kids. But before my husband and I decided this would be best for our family, we also discussed the possibility of him staying home with the kids. Our job situations were our determining factor. Not that he couldn’t “hack” it, that he wasn’t nurturing enough, couldn’t do the domestic thing, but that financially, it made most sense for me to be home. I love being home, but I don’t credit my playing with dolls as a child to be the reason.
The second article hits it right on the head! If men aren’t given the “tools” or the chance to father, then how does anyone expect them to succeed. Fathers are often depicted as bumbling fools who can barely change a diaper. Comments are thrown around during family holidays, coworkers look at a male funny if he knows about breastfeeding, cosleeping, babywearing. So how, with all this negativity being thrown in their faces does anyone expect a man to be a successful, competent father? Mothers are given support, advice, offers of help, everyone flocks to rescue a struggling mother, or pat her on the back for a job well done. Fathers are given pity. My husband commented after one family holiday how it annoys him that everyone thinks he is an incompetent idiot in the kitchen. He’s not. He makes fabulous dinners, scrubs the dishes until they shine and on more than one occasion has let me nap while he preps, cooks, feeds the kids, cleans up and leaves me a plate of dinner. He IS competent. He is an active participant, and I’ve learned to support him, let him learn his way around “my” kitchen and stepped back doing it all. Sure, the meat has been undercooked, the rice crunchy and he’s forgotten vegetables. Has he improved? You betcha! I’ve been cooking and cleaning for a family long before I had my own. He didn’t start taking on as much responsibility until the last few years. He didn’t need to, I DIDN’T LET HIM. Whoops, bad choice on my part!
So maybe if these feminists stop trying to be martyrs doing everything, and actually trust their partners, let them make mistakes and learn from it, start showing our sons how to run a house, cook, and see their fathers being active and equal participants in the house, we will see a shift from clumsy, useless fathers to outstanding, amazing, completely competent fathers and husbands! Stop bitching and start supporting!!