Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sex is SO Not Happening!

I was feeling like I had a little bit of writer's block this morning, and was toying with the idea of just not posting anything today-because I actually do that a lot (meaning NOT POST), as those who read this regularly know. However, I followed a little blog trail and came across this post by Discovering Dad. Now, I will put in my little disclaimer here by saying that I have absolutely NOTHING against this guy personally. Like many, many parents, he is just trying to find his way to being a good father, and God knows that we all have to do that our own way. We all have our own perceptions about what that means and how we are supposed to go about doing it, and I give him a full 10 points for making an honest effort. ESPECIALLY when he told those slacker dads (of which there are millions!) to STOP giving real dads a bad rep-I hear that, and give a resounding Hallelujah to him for making that statement.

That said, this particular post really pissed me off. Again, not at him personally, but about this testosterone-laden, oh-so-manly-mindset that is portrayed in it. See, I don't understand why men feel like they deserve some kind of accolade for being a parent; I don't get why they feel like they have to asked to do something around the house. I mean, if the garbage is full, the baby is messy, why the fuck should I have to ask you to dump it or change him? Unless you are blind and have no sense of smell, you should be able to see what needs done. Just do it. And quit bitching about how picked on and overworked you are. By nature, that is the definition of being a parent; if you really want to BE one, get used to it.

He also talked about the "reward" system; being a guy, of course his idea of a reward is sex, but also mentions that there are other kinds of rewards. And I am thinking, um, again, why should you get rewarded for being a parent? Maybe after spending the day working either outside OR inside the home, then having to spend the evening cajoling, asking, begging, and bribing you to help out, giving you a happy blow job to reward you is SO not happening. I am tired. I have been puked on, done four loads of laundry including your dirty underwear (can you not freaking WIPE?), I have made dinner and asked you nicely to take out the garbage and get Baby ready for bed, and when that didn't work, I asked again, not so nicely, and when it still didn't happen and the six year old has homework and the 13 year old is pissing and moaning about how hard HIS life is, while you watch the game, well, honey, ain't nobody getting fucked tonight. Rewards? Please.

I understand this thought process, though, I really do. Many, many men are trying to take more an active part in parenting, and I commend those who do. It IS work-which Discovering Dad acknowledges freely. To be fair, men are living with stereotypes that are hard to overcome, because they are "supposed" to be the bread-winners while mom stays home and takes care of the kids-to do anything less than that (or MORE than that) just isn't the accepted thing to do. By the same token, though, expecting your wife or partner to feel like she has to teach you to do the right thing, to ask instead of tell, to respectfully and lovingly ask you to mow the lawn and if you DON'T, to not take up the slack, and then blow you, well, you ask too much.

I have come up with my own little list of Do's and Don'ts for those of you with a penis:

1. Don't pretend you don't smell the shitty diaper. Just change it already. It can't smell any worse than the bathroom after you have spent 20 minutes in it. Just think: you might be rewarded for this one! The reward would be a clean, sweet-smelling bottom that DOESN'T HAVE A RASH. This is why we do it when you don't FEEL like it; it isn't about taking up the slack, it is about making sure our kid is clean and comfortable.

2.Don't pretend that you are going to mow the lawn as soon as the news is over. You know you aren't going to. Also, don't bitch when I don't pick up the slack and we get ticketed by the city for having an overgrown lawn. Cut the grass, pay the ticket, or hire the neighbor kid.

3. Do give me the same respect you think you deserve. We don't care if it is chicken from the grocery store deli, provide dinner one night. And then make sure the dishes are done afterward. I might really like the chance to have 20 minutes alone with the teen aged daughter who just had her heart broken for the third time this year.

4. Do fix the fucking fence instead of yelling at the kids for not watching the dog closely enough.

5. Do thank me every single day for not only squeezing these kids out of a very small place, but for not killing them within the first month. Thank me for making the choice to stay with you even after I have asked a thousand times to have the leaky sink fixed. Thank me for putting up with your mother and pretending that it doesn't matter when she tell you that you could do better.

In short, you are asking for a lot, you men, but don't seem to be willing to do the same in return, and even more a problem, you don't see why we think we deserve more from you. In your mind, it seems like as long as we women are getting SOME help, we should bend down and kiss your sweaty feet-and then give you a reward for being a parent? I commented on this post about how I am better off being single, and I think I am right-because if this is the kind of 50's behavior men think they deserve, no thanks.


Jeremy (Discovering Dad) said...


Great post! First, the link to my post at Discovering Dad is broken, so I thought that I'd let you know so that your readers can come over and throw rocks at me :-) Every point you make about Dads doing what's right without having to be asked, cajoled or bribed is right no the money. I hope that if you reread my post that you might see that the context was aimed at how to make a "good" dad even better - a dad who isn't already a slack-ass-MF into one that willingly does even more. My background is in management, and I took the same principles I used to getting people to maximize performance and applied it to the healthy spousal/parental relationship. I understand why women who have had bad experiences, or are in a bad situation right now with a lazy ass slacker dad, might take offense at some of the points - that was not my intent. However, for those of us dads who are really trying and being proactive in our role as both husband and father, the tactics described will work to get even more out of us. Sounds like you are a supermom, and I respect and admire that very much! If no one has told you lately, then I will say "Thanks!" for all that you do for your kids and family - sounds like you do a lot for them. Jeremy @ Discovering Dad

April said...

And here's my problem with Discovery Dad's post - it was aimed at MOMs and not DADs. I'm all for what he's trying to do in terms of helping the dads become even better dads, but where's the article about - look, your wife's had a hard day, too. Change the friggin' diaper already. I think that's what upset you about that article as it did me.

Kori said...

I did re-read your post-three times-and while I will again say I give you points for being a good dad and for making an honest effort, I fail to see how or why men should be rewarded in any way for being a parent. Just knowing that you are doing the right thing should be reward enough. Men should not need to be treated any differently than womne do when to comes to parenting. Period.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

I wouldn't go as far as to say that I'm upset by any stretch of the imagination, but....

I don't need motivating to be a husband, good or bad I'll leave to my wife to decide.
I WANT to be her husband, and a good one.
She WANTS to be my wife, and a good one.

I don't take an extra breath mint to reward her for bringing me a cup of tea, and she doesn't offer sexual favours when I bring in the mail.

We WANT to be with each other, and even though we often SUCK at being a good husband or wife we do it because we want to. Not because of what we might earn out of it from the other.

As for the Dad argument, I'll timidly step out of that one ;0)

FreedomFirst said...

I have to agree with Kori, as usual. The idea that anyone would deserve a reward for doing the right thing is absurd. Rewards for stepping up should end when you reach adolescence. Only toddlers should have to be bribed or rewarded for doing what is expected of them.

Hahn at Home said...

Now, that I could relate to - I had one of those men types once. Actually, he was pretty good as far as they go, but no kidding - I had 5 under age 7 at the time, two fosters with major issues, I never got to leave the house except to pick up kids, and three of them were in diapers. I did all the yard work, the gardening, the laundry, dishes, shopping, blah, blah and when I'd ask him to pick up HIS dry cleaning it was like I was a major bitch! And he wanted sex? Hah.

Anonymous said...

Well, I can't say that I found the post annoying or obnoxious in any way. I think that Discovering Dad made an honest effort at alleviating hostility and promoting cohesion in the home. So, having said that, my rant isn't against him.

But, yeah, Kori, dead on, sister. Why should a man have to be rewarded for doing what needs to be done? Taking out the trash or changing a diaper is something that I would do simply because I saw it needed to be done. I shouldn't have to be asked and then praised for doing it. No one tells me what an awesome parent I am for being in a library with my toddler on a Saturday, but if a man does it he's the bee's knees. (did I really just say that?)

How's that exactly?

BusyDad said...

That post sparked a lot of debate and I did chime in with my .02 over there as well. And now I'm jumping in here to just say a couple things. I don't believe in "roles" - whoever is closest to the trash when it gets full takes it out. Kind of like the Wonderball game. Easy as that. BUT, I think both sides do need to do the little things for each other that make the other person WANT to be in that relationship. It's not about rewards, it's about adding good stuff to the other person's plate so that they are in general happier with you. That way, the sex comes naturally, the dishes get put away and everybody's smiling. Of course, this is just a theory. I am a terrible husband. And I fall into the tit for tat BS too easily. Not really with physical tasks (I just do what needs to be done: feed the kid, clean the dog poop, whatever, - I don't care about that stuff), but with the emotional give and take. More so than tasks around the house, I find emotional give and take the hardest thing about a relationship (sex for affection). And I am failing. Miserably. At least I can cook a damn good dinner (and clean it up).

Kori said...

We are ALL guilty of falling into the tit-for-tat thing, I think. nobody is perfect, not in any way, shape or form.