This has gone on for too long and it needs to be addressed! I am hopping up on my soap box and bringing the topic of “fatherhood” to light. I am positive that I will offend a few in the process, but it’s 2018 and you can’t order a coffee without offending someone (sorry vegans, I love dairy).
Before I go on my rant, let me explain a little about my husband, Jamari. From the moment we found out I was pregnant he fully jumped into fatherhood with both feet. He never missed a doctor's appointment, was my labor coach, completed all the firsts for Audrey (diaper, bath, swaddle), has never missed a pediatrician appointment, and is told almost daily that he is remarkably hands on. But I wouldn’t expect or accept anything less. (Which is why I have been stewing about this blog post.)
In our home everything is shared and I can confidently go away for days knowing he has absolutely everything under control. He knows and responds to Audrey’s whines, understands her attempts at communication, learned her ASL, and knows her routine. He is as good as I am, if not better because he has the patience of a saint and doesn’t swear.
Jamari is my husband, partner, Audrey’s father, my equal…right? Until it is time for me to go out solo or take a shower then he becomes her ‘babysitter’? WRONG! I am peeved when I am asked if Jamari is “babysitting” Audrey. No, he is parenting. No one asks if I am babysitting when I spend all day with her running errands or home with her when Jamari runs to the gym. I am not sure when it became socially acceptable to assume a father is less than a mother in terms of duties and responsibility but in our home I promise it’s equal. Granted, I am home with Audrey more and understand her routine more because of being a SAHM but every single task completed for Audrey can be and is done by either of us. My heart breaks when I hear other Mamas tell me that their husband, “wouldn’t even know what to feed them” or “I can’t leave him with the kids, he’d be overwhelmed”. Why is this being accepted? Both parents should have an active role in their child’s growth, well being, and health which translates that both parents should feed them, bathe them, and change that nasty diaper! It is insulting to Mom’s and Dad’s alike to expect anything different. While the world is concerned about stepping on toes offending the newest fad diet or wearing leather, why are we not peeved when Dads get a round of applause for everyday tasks Moms are assumed to do? Don’t get me confused here, I am not saying I am not appreciative for the exceptional man I am married to and chose to parent a child with. But, I am insulted when he receives a pat on the back for carrying Audrey in the carrier, pushing the stroller, putting her to sleep, or staying home when I go to get my nails done.
Until people stop treating dads like a secondary parent with ridiculous accolades for things that should be expected, I will continue to correct the comments with, “he is a parent” . Although, I will publicly say, THANK YOU for the extra weekend sleep I get and never ever calling me to come home because you couldn’t figure something out. * High Five * To the dads out there who do the same things I do as a mother, who whole-heartedly accept their role as a father and don’t look for compliments, and Moms, who constantly have to defend the equal role policy in their homes. The world will catch up one day…