It’s time for a Revolution!
Grab the torches and pitchforks… It’s time for a revolution! Ok, maybe not *that* kind of revolution. (You in the back, please extinguish that torch.) This is a virtual revolution.
For a long time, dads were regarded as parenting jokes. Who’s the guy who’s clueless about everything kid related? Who wouldn’t know what to do with a stinky baby and a fresh diaper? Who would scratch his head over anything cooking related that didn’t involve a microwave, grill or ordering out? Yup, that’s dad! Who’s the guy who drives mom crazy by lounging on the couch in his underpants watching football and drinking beer while she takes care of everything around the house? Dad! Who couldn’t care less about the fact that the kids are climbing on the bookshelf so long as they don’t knock it over until the commercial break? (All together now…) DAD!
Or, at least, that’s how dads sound if you look solely at the way certain TV shows portray them. They’re the bumbling know-nothings whose overly patient wives tolerate for some unknown reason. (I’m looking at you Homer Simpson!) If the wives were to leave the kids in the care of "TV Dad" for an afternoon, tons of stuff would be broken and everyone would only barely escape serious injury. Dad would learn his lesson for the week (that Mom is always right) and all would be well.
I even saw this play out recently on an episode of The Middle on ABC. (NOTE: I don’t normally watch this show and only caught the end of this episode.) From context, I picked up that Dad and Mom had previously "agreed" on what to do when they found themselves in a financial pinch. Unfortunately, each thought the other agreed with them. Dad wanted to cancel cable TV and use the savings to pay some bills. Mom thought they should "spin the wheel" by paying for cable and ignore the bills. Dad was angry when he realized that Mom paid for cable TV which would cause his newly sent checks to bounce.
So far, so good. A realistic scenario which results in Mom being in the wrong. I was actually impressed since this is a rarity on television. As Mom and Dad are arguing (Mom doesn’t see why what she did was wrong), Kid shows up and tells Mom/Dad to watch what’s on TV. The news report says that a company (presumably the one who previously hired Dad) is starting up again. The implication is that Dad now has his job back and their money problems are over. Mom says "We spun and won!" Then Mom/Dad/Kid all jump up and down excitedly and hug. Fade to black and run the credits.
Wait… What? So mom did something financially irresponsible which could have dug them deep into debt and is only saved by random chance and she’s celebrated as a hero?!!! Is the lesson here is that Mom is right even when Dad seems to be the only one with financial sense and Dad should have ignored the mounting bills because Mom said "spin the wheel"?
This is exactly the sort of perception that we at the newly launched Dad Revolution are trying to overthrow. We aren’t seeking to take anything away from Moms. They are amazing and deserve every lauding they get. Unfortunately, however, Dads seem to have gotten the short end of the stick. With the coming of the revolution, hopefully people will see us as the diaper-changing, house-cleaning, meal-cooking, responsible fathers that we are! Viva la Revolucion!!!
P.S. My post will run next Friday, April 30th but you’ll be stopping by there every day, right?