Sunday, February 3, 2013

The male peacock.

My husband and I have this on going conversation about how men with babies attached to them, not unlike wounded war victims, are somehow heroic and women, with these same accessories are seen as, oh, I don't know- overwhelmed.

"You sure got your hands full." says every robotic person on the planet that comes into to contact with me. When clearly, yes, with my cellphone in one hand (snapping IG pictures) and a Target shopping list in the other, I might literally have my "hands full". Let me preface this with, I do not think this is in any way, shape or form meant as a compliment or even a reassuring comment about my awesomeness as a Mother. It is more like, "geez lady, how many kids do you have?".

And no I am not always snapping pics or shopping at Target but running errands is when I hear the most chatter. The most judgment comes when I am dashing from one place to another, with a child on my hip, one at my feet and another one by my side. I am one of those people that will do everything outside the home in the same day. I hit the post and the market and the craft store and the pet store and the doctor and the dentist (well...?) in one day, all the other days, I am "working".

Enough about me.

Enter to the story, let's just say, my husband. And what do you know, he is SUPER DAD! All the old ladies are looking at him adoringly and thinking "oh his wife is SO lucky, look at what a hands on Dad he is". The mere sight of this guy with a toddler and a sippy cup and he's the fucking Pope of all Daddy's. He is a god damn saint. These ladies have no idea my husband is afraid to walk out of the house with all of our kids, let alone sit down at anything more than a coffee shop with them. They don't realize he has only been out of the house for 8 minutes and he will be quickly heading home, as to not exceed his 12 minute rendevous with our brood.

Now is the time I should add the information that my husband IS, in fact, a fantastic Dad. He is supportive, he is strong and a total softy. He teaches them how to play guitar, has a princess voice and how to grow a garden. He changes diapers and wears them (the kids, not the diapers) in a sling, pushes a stroller. The bastard even plays ponies.

BUT! Why in the shit-storm that I am creating, is he put on the Papa pedestal and I merely look like I'm in too deep?

And I get it, I am! I know I am. But why isn't he? I am out numbered like a motherfucker, but so is he! I have three kids, two are 3 and under but SO DOES HE!
He... let's be honest, he doesn't and can't do half the shit I do, nor do I want him to. He wouldn't want me on stage playing the bass and singing "Smoke of Hell" anymore than I want him handling this mess.
It's an agreement we have. I'm like "stay out of my way and be helpful" and he's like "stay off the stage". "Okay?" "Okay."

My problem isn't with him. When I see him wearing the baby in a sling or holding hands with our girl, I get all weak in the knees too but I'm not chasing after him because he dropped his binky.
People will sit and stare at him at restaurants when he is sitting with the kids but if it is just me and them, they are praying not to be getting set next to us.
People dash over and hold the door for the guy with a stroller, I get the same door dropped on mine. Recently I saw people stare at him from across the room at the library, he had the baby in the stroller and was helping our daughter find a book. They have no idea he hasn't used his library card in so long, they had it flagged so he could be issued a new one.

I feel a little like I am dogging him out. Like I am saying he doesn't deserve this praise, well of course he does. Parenting is not for pussies. Any two people can make a baby but the endurance to not only raise a child, but raise them right... this is something many (most?) fail at. The will do it for a few years and the kids get into school and their gone. Or worse, be a helicopter parent until the kid gets into middle school and then they just set them free. They have no idea it is like letting a lion out in a bunny farm. Bad idea. That is when they need the most parenting... I think of it as them being toddlers all over. Remember when they start getting mobile and crawling turns to walking? Just when you thought you had it all under control, the kid calls an audible. It's like that, but that is a whole different entry I guess.

I don't think I need to be thanked for the thankless job I am doing every day. I chose it, I CHOOSE it but seeing the differences, they just make me laugh. They make my husband laugh too, he thinks it's hilarious, he enjoys seeing people fawn over him like they would a male peacock. Do we ever notice the female? NO. No fancy tail, no fucking fawning.

I would finish this off with a nice rounded ending, but I am going to go stay up late tonight and watch a movie, so tomorrow morning Mr. Wonderful can go out and turn the fucking park upside down.


  1. Totally agree re. public perception of dads/babies & the inane things that people spew. My worst one so far was when we were in the process of adoption, with birthmom matches falling through, and trying to hang onto hope & faith, and more people than I can count said some version of "now that you're adopting you'll get pregnant! hee hee!!" Um. NO.

    Anyway... great to see you back &kicking ass. Enjoy the family togetherness time :)

  2. Some friends and I were talking about a similar thing the other night, but dealing with school lunches. Our kids are older than yours, mostly high school with a few younger sibs thrown in. Anyway one mom still makes her kids lunches and we were all, "what? They should make their own!" Then a different friend said her husband still makes their kids' lunches and we all thought that was kind of sweet. Til we considered it for a minute.

  3. Ha! That is funny. You know, I'd probably think the same thing. It is sort of in us to think they men are doing something amazing, maybe because generally it's a woman's world.

  4. Linluna It's absurd. Some people really have no filter.

  5. A dad wanting to be 'round his kids still seems like an exception to the rule acc to a lot of people. As if being with our children is something we only have to do and not actually enjoy. My hubby wearing Iggy in a Hoppediz made the frontpage of our newspaper - wow Superdad! Me wearing the same kid in the same sling made people ask why I wasn't "Letting her have her freedom"...

  6. Y E S. (read this a while back and nodded my head the entire time)

    ryan and i (for a few years) were both district managers for starbucks coffee... same position, different teams. it was incredibly eye-opening to see the pedestal he was placed atop every time he a) showed concern/interest (ie- asking his managers questions about their family/kids), b) showed any sort of domestic ability (i.e. cooking/cleaning at meetings/in their stores), c) took extra time to listen/teach/help.... ALL of the behaviors that i displayed with my managers each and every day~ that were expected/assumed... not nearly as appreciated. not that i'm bitter or anything :).

    and btw, it continues to happen- beyond the workplace... all of the females in my family think he is a HERO. ;)