Be a Man About It

Men and women are just different. There’s nothing more to say about that broad subject, so I’ll just move on to the relevant conclusion: which is that moms and dads parent differently. To be even more relevant, I’ll let you know that, in many peoples’ minds, this means that moms parent correctly and dads parent wrong. More to the point, if you are a dad, you are never going to do any given task to the complete satisfaction of your wife or other mothers, so why bother? Trying to stick to a mom’s codes of conduct when you are a man is just an exercise in futility. Even if a woman loves you, you have an almost guaranteed chance of failure in their eyes? Despite this rigged system, men still try to load the dishwasher the ‘right’ way. And when their wives tell them to stop tossing the baby in the air because it’s dangerous, even though the kid is loving it, the men do what they’re told. Good luck with that dads.

I do a lot of things that I don’t think most moms would approve of or even think about. My boys throw laundry into the washer like it’s a basketball game. I use certain video games on my PlayStation, which aren’t educational games, to teach them about different concepts and vocabulary (I can already hear most women saying, “yeah right”). I let them talk to me however they want, and I don’t get hung up on ‘respect’. I encourage dads to try to doing things around the house (and with their kids) in their own style. I also invite any dad who reads this post to comment with your own story of parenting in a distinctively man’s way. I would love to see other ideas and could use more tips myself.

I think a lot of guys could make the mistake of believing in all this indoctrinated bullshit when they become a father. These days, most men think that in order to be a good parent, we should listen to moms or use them as a role model instead of those misogynistic or deadbeat dads of our past. I remember when I first became the stay at home dad, I thought to do things the way my mother did, and I used this as my point of reference for how I took care of my kids and my house. Not only did it feel fake, my endeavors to be a good mom/dad failed. I was having no fun and my boys were hating it too. There were many times that I had all the laundry done, homework too, and dinner on the table (a feat my wife never accomplished when she was the stay at home) and never got any credit for it. It may as well just have never happened. But don’t worry, I’m not going to cry about it. I’ll just be a man about it. I finally decided to just start parenting like a dude. Now I’m the one killing it in my new job and I’d pit my skills against any mom any day.

Now don’t get me wrong, women do a great job as mothers and they should be seen as a positive reference, but I think that we men aren’t giving ourselves enough credit. Furthermore, moms have certain ways of doing things that can sometimes seem too strict with kids. In my experience, mothers are more cautious and controlling when it comes to letting their kids do things, while dads are a bit more relaxed and adventurous with kids. And this makes sense if you think about the fact that moms literally spent blood, sweat, and tears in the process of making these kids. So they are a little more careful when it comes to a child’s safety than a dad is.

For example, anytime my kids climb on top of the couch, my wife gets so scared they might fall off that she immediately yells at them to get down. I, on the other hand, don’t freak out so much. I let them have their fun. In fact, I feel that if you were to yell or distract them, you would be increasing their chance of falling off the fucking couch. You’d be causing the accident you worried about to actually happen. I certainly keep an eye on my boys, and if things do get out of hand (like they start wrestling on top of the couch or pushing each other) I just grab them off the couch myself and let them know they should be more careful. And I tickle them for punishment! There’s all this drama that doesn’t even exist when a guy is the stay at home, and the mom is at work all day. It’s really a much better environment.

You might not realize it it, but women are pretty judgmental of each other. Unfortunately, this affects there parenting styles and ultimately fucks up their kids too. There are all these weird social etiquettes that moms have with each other that I simply don’t have to worry about as a dad. Some moms might not allow kids to do certain things because they are worried what other mothers will think of them. Guys aren’t so susceptible to such judgement. I care very little what other dads or mothers think of how I do things. For example, my 2 year kept wanting to wear his Ironman costume well after Halloween this year, and I had no problem with it. We went everywhere with him in costume. Places like the library, grocery store, park, you name it and he definitely got looks, but I didn’t give a shit and we both loved it. His need to dress as Ironman, everywhere, finally wore off after a few months, and we’re back to normal clothing again, but I look back at it as a real bonding time for us.

At the park or playground, while most moms are sitting around (chatting with each other or watching their cell phones) letting their kids play on their own, I like to play along with my kids. I might look stupid, but I’ll jump on a jungle gym to chase my boys around. I can be silly and show them how to do things they might not of thought of. Have you heard of many moms taking the time to teach their kids how to climb a tree? How to make a loud burp? Sit and laugh with their kids while watching a movie where Captain Underpants fights Professor Poopy Pants? Dads have a different way of doing things that kids really appreciate.

For my late talking son, I tried to spark an interest in him to speak when he was younger by trying to get him to describe stuff like farting and burping. He thought it was great, and at a time when he had very little vocabulary at all it was amazing to see him so entertained by learning how to say things like stinky, ew, and gross. My wife was mortified at first, but soon saw his interest and success in this kind of embarrassing talk as a good thing.

Now, I should make clear that I’m not trying to change the end goals of any of the activities that dads need to do. Fathers can’t pretend that keeping their house a pigsty is just a man’s way of doing things. What I mean is, you still need to have the house clean at the end of the day, kids have to be fed, garbage taken out, etc. It’s just like any other job. However, there is no reason you have to do it in any specific way. Just as long as you get the job done.

Just watch any movie where a mother and father have to switch roles. When the mom gets a new job, the movie always show the woman killing it at work just like she was able to do when she was in the home. When the dad loses his job and has to become the stay at home parent, the movie depicts the dad as a virtually useless buffoon who only seems to fumble his way through the housework with the help of the children. In contrast with reality, dads have many inherent traits that lend well to child rearing and housework. Moms deserve respect and all that but, as a dad, I’ve got to be competitive and say that dads can do it better than moms. Sorry bitches.

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