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.