Friday, November 8, 2013

Dads Who Need to Grow the F Up

I'm a mom of older kids. No, we haven't hit the teenage years yet, but I've made it through diapers, learning to walk and talk, trying to figure out what in the hell is wrong when my kid is screaming because they can't say, "I fell and got a boo-boo," and so much more.

As I sit back and watch these new moms come along, I'm amazed. Back when my kids were young, no one cared if you breast fed or bottle fed, co-slept or had separate beds, homeschooled or put them in public schools. If a kid was a little shit, we moms didn't wonder if there were 5,243 behavioral or psychological problems with them, we figured they were going through a phase or were just a spoiled little brat. We didn't have to worry about whether or not their meals contained gluten, or soy, or one of 350 other ingredients banned by European countries but perfectly acceptable to serve in the US.
Amen. Courtesy of Someecards

And we didn't have to worry about whether or not our husbands could watch our kids without killing them.

What? Worry about the father of the child being able to watch their own kid? If you haven't heard about this newest development in the parenting realm, consider yourself lucky, because it seems to be a growing epidemic.

My journey with this subject started a while back on some random mom forum I was on. A woman complained that she wanted to go out with a friend of hers for a cup of coffee for about an hour or so, and her husband, the child's father, refused to watch their 4 month old while she was gone. So, she didn't go.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. What the fuck? Why not? It was an hour. And he's the father.

I figured the string of comments following her post would be outraged women like me, wondering why she
can't leave the house for an hour to get some of her sanity back. Instead, of the 100-something comments that followed (that yes, I read because I was fascinated with this and sucked in beyond my control), 90% of them were other women who were going through the same thing this new mom was. Stories poured out of how these women hadn't been out of the house without their child in upwards of a year, because the husband refused to watch the kid for even a grocery store run. Then, the stories changed to how new dads had never even changed a dirty diaper, and their kid was near potty-training age, and how these men refused to get up with the baby in the middle of the night even one time.

Get the fuck out of town! Seriously?

A few brave veteran moms piped up and asked if these new moms couldn't or wouldn't leave their significant others with the child (there's a huge difference). The answers were unanimous- they "couldn't". They desperately wanted to just have a few minutes of peace to themselves, away from home, so it wasn't a case of not wanting to leave their newborns, or having Mom Guilt set in for wanting some time to regain their sanity. They all stated they couldn't leave home because either their husbands flat-out refused, or they were scared of how competently things would be handled while they were away. These ladies had absolutely zero confidence in the men they chose to have a child with.

Mind. Blown.

I had to gather more research. I was like Christopher Columbus when he hit land- in a strange new territory I knew nothing about. I hit up other mom forums to find the same dilemmas. I started clicking on people's profiles, to see if there was a trend with this new phenomena.

There was. 99% of these women were in their early 20s. Most of them had been married for at least a year, and to my surprise, most of the kids were planned pregnancies.

I had to take a step back for a second. I was 21 years old when I had The Girl. I had been married for almost 3 years, and Hubby was 23 at the time (so we fit the demographic). I remember leaving him at home with her a week after she was born so I could go to the salon and be post-baby pampered for an hour or two. There was no argument. There was no, "But I can't take care of a one-week-old" from him. Instead I got, "Go. Get out. You just birthed a child that you carried for 9 months. You deserve it." And while I thought about my newborn the entire time I was gone, I didn't worry. I knew he had things under control.

So, why is there a trend now of fathers refusing to take care of their children?

Sadly, Inklingers, I don't have an answer for that question. I have some hypotheses, but that's as good as it gets.

Maybe the people who are now in their early 20s, having kids, aren't as mature as my generation.

Maybe this problem always existed, but the information wasn't as easily accessible as it is today thanks to online mom forums and social media.

Or maybe I was just a selfish mom who was going to take time for myself every now and then, forcing Hubby out of his comfort zone.

Without performing an actual test study, and looking for common variables, I have no way of knowing why this is happening.

Does it sadden me? Most definitely. Being a mom is stressful, especially being a new mom. Once you get a kid or two under your belt, things get a little easier (until sibling rivalry or jealousy comes into play), but some of the women venting had 2 and 3 kids, and as they added more children to the equation, their significant others protested even more to being left with them, saying they definitely couldn't handle more than one kid without the mom there.

I do, of course, have advice for ladies going through this, and for the men they are married to.

Ladies: Fuck 'em. If you want a cup of coffee with your girlfriends for an hour, then go. Seriously. Don't listen to his bullshit, just go. If you want to ease him into things, then head to the grocery store to pick up a few things (don't go on an extreme couponing mission for 2 hours), and tell him to watch his own child. Or, throw your husband in the deep end, and pamper yourself at the salon for more than an hour. While you are worrying if he'll sink or swim, I can almost guarantee he'll swim. Your child will be fine. Your pool might look like a tornado hit it when you get home, but your kid will have time to bond with their father, and your husband will see what it's like for you each day. Fingers crossed you'll gain some respect after it.
More my style of advice. Courtesy of RottenEcards

Husbands of Ladies: Grow the fuck up. It's your child. Your wife, the mother of your child(ren), deserves some time away from the circus that is early motherhood. If you can do the deed, you can accept the responsibilities of parenthood. This kid is under your domain for at least the next 18 years. Suck it up and be a man, be a father to your child. And whatever you do, don't use the word babysitting. It's not babysitting if it's your own kid. It's called being a decent father and husband, for crying out loud.

I wish these new moms all the luck in the world. There are entirely too many other things to worry about in motherhood. Whether or not your husband is capable of watching his own child should not one of them. Wanting to take some time for yourself is not a bad thing, no matter what your douche of a significant other might tell you to try and get out of stepping up to the plate and taking some of the parental responsibility. If he pulls the "You're being selfish" card (like many of them women stated their husbands did), then tell him he's being selfish for not watching his own kid.

And then you take your "selfish" ass right out the door and have coffee with a friend.


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7 comments:

  1. Just a theory of my own, but I am seriously wondering if this is the start of the societal breakdown we are bound to encounter from allllllllllll those parents who do everything for their kids. So maybe the Little Johnny that didn't want to do his science project because 'it was toooooo haaaaaarrrrrrrd' or he didn't 'liiiiiiiiike scieeeeennnccccceeeeee' and ended up having one or both parents do it for him has now grown, married, and reproduced but hasn't grown out of that attitude. Or you know, there could just be growing number of assholes out there. Either way.

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    1. Amen sista. On everything you said. This is why we get along so well, lol.

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  2. I think you're right about everything besides it being a new thing. I think it's just that with mom-bloggers and FB exploding the way they have in the last few years that women are starting to open up more. And yeah. Men need to MAN THE FUCK UP. Shit is ridiculous.

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  3. Reminds me very much of my husband.. who thinks that is he works everyday, he is entitled to some sort of a break from kids.. without understanding that I am working on them 24/7..

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  4. I could not agree more. I use to have this fight with my husband all the time.

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  5. One of cousins is going through this right now. Her hubby doesn't change diapers, watch kids, any of the parenting duties. His excuse is that his dad never had to do it and he shouldn't either. I'm thinking that as times have changed women are falling in to taking on multiple roles naturally. For men it's a little more difficult...

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  6. I am going through this with 2 kids (8 and 1) they have different dads and neither of them will help me at all! Idk when it became ok for men to behave this way, while im doing all the child raising, house keeping, cooking, and working and I can't havr an hour to myself! Since the youngest was born the only free time from children I have had is when I am at work. I'm a wreck.

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