I just read this great article about dads by Vicki Larson on The Huffington Post and I had to share it here.

It really made me think about the double standard we place on the men in our lives. We modern women want our children’s fathers to do it all; be there for us at every prenatal appointment, be with us for every single night feeding, do an equal share of diaper changes, make enough money so we can stay home, or willingly and cheerfully stay home while we go back to work (whatever we decide), make dinner, take the kids to school, activities, and of course support us emotionally because darn it this mothering business is tough. But we don’t necessarily want to give them credit for doing any of this or doing it as well as they can. Why? Partly because they don’t always do it the way we want it done, and partly because we can’t wear the supermom cape as proudly if people knew we don’t actually do it all by ourselves. And divorced dads do have it worse because, as Vicki says, people automatically assume he did something wrong to end the relationship (which is crap because women can be a$$holes too…)

It always amazes me when ladies tell me they made their husbands get up for night feedings. I never asked my husband to get up with me in the middle of the night when I was breastfeeding the babies. While it sucked to be awake in the middle of the night, I knew that I could take a nap when the kids napped; he still had to get up early, drive to work, deal with people who don’t care that his baby doesn’t sleep and be productive during the day so that he could keep the job that was supporting us all. To his credit, he somehow knew when I was at the end of my rope and would get up, take the baby (usually Helen) and send me back to bed, because as he said, “I can only handle one crying woman at a time”.

And really, would it kill us to be a little more accepting that their standards are different than ours? Do you have a partner that “daddysits” on a Saturday while you get to go grocery shopping and run errands by yourself? Nice! And what happens when you come home to find lunch remnants on the counter, a mess on the floor but contented little people sprawled over the the other half of their genetic code on the sofa? You probably get angry at him. Is a little mess really the end of the world? No. Why? Because it means he’s fed them and played with them and done his job, just as you do yours, but his standards of tidiness are different.

Kids sitting on daddy

I usually love the time after dinner when Lee plays with the kids while I load the dishwasher. It’s peaceful for me, and its quality time for them. But sometimes I just want to throw the dishes in the garbage and scream at the mess, because I am tired of being the one who cleans it up. This is normal too, and those are the nights he makes me a martini, sends me to the couch and does it himself even though he would rather sit down and drink it.

We women want our men to do what we want, when and how we want it and not complain. Well, if the tables were turned and men got what they wanted, we would all be wearing mini skirts, low cut tops, stockings, garters and stilettos to make dinner and do the shopping. That’s not ideal either.

I guess what I am getting at, in a not too elegant way, is we need to be nice to dads, give them credit where it is due, know when you are being a crazy shrew and let it go.