Does Father Know Best? A Response To @MomLogic
I was recently alerted to an article that Momlogic had posted titled “10 Reasons Why Father Doesn’t Know Best.” Going in, I knew it was going to contain stereotypes that paint all men as ignorant slobs who don’t do any real parenting. I was quite surprised at the list, though, especially because it was posted to coincide with Father’s Day last year. I felt the need to make a rebuttal. Not a point-by-point, mind you as some don’t apply to me (don’t have a daughter) but more to the general point of the article that dads are idiots who probably shouldn’t be allowed within 5 miles of any kid.
Dresses the kids in flip-flops and shorts on a 45-degree day. (When the thermometer hits 100, he sends them out in fleece.)
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fashion expert. I’ve been known to wear (or let my kids wear) clothing that clashes horribly. There’s a reason my dress clothes are divided into “Matches with Black” and “Matches with Brown.” Still, I understand basic temperature issues. I wouldn’t knowingly send my kids out in clothing inappropriate for the outside temperatures. That said, B dresses the kids most days because I know my limits. I stink at matching clothes so she dresses them. Of course, I pick up the slack elsewhere (as you’ll see later on). Parenting is about being a team. Each person on the team will have strengths and weaknesses and you need to cover each other on the weaknesses so the team stays strong.
Thinks “quality time” with his kid means watching “Jackass: The Movie” with his six-year-old son.
I’ll admit that I love spending quality time with my sons watching TV. I’ve gotten NHL hooked on Ben 10 and he loves when the DVDs arrive from Netflix because it means that we’ll sit on the couch together and see more of Ben’s adventures. I do other things with him (like making a board game, more on that in another post), but this is something I can do with him during the often hectic workdays when I only get free time long after he’s in bed. Of course, I know the limits of watching TV with my boys. Most times, it’s a kids show and I love watching that. When they venture into my shows, I’d make sure it’s a good show and I try to work in morals. For example, if we’re watching Batman, I point out how Batman is trying to solve problems with his brains and not just with his fists. I definitely wouldn’t let them watch something like “Jackass: The Movie.” (Putting aside, for now, the fact that I’d never watch “Jackass: The Movie” even if the little ones weren’t there.)
When left alone with the kids to make dinner, serves cinnamon rolls on paper towels as the main course.
Dinner at my house is nearly always prepared by me. This isn’t to say that B can’t cook, but I actually enjoy it. Remember that whole strengths and weaknesses thing before? Well, cooking’s my strength so that is one area where I pick up slack from my weaknesses areas. The only way I’d be serving cinnamon rolls on paper towels would be if I just cooked them myself and even then not for dinner. (Dessert, maybe.) You can look through some of my Cooking With TechyDad posts to see some of the dinners I’ve made. Yes, MomLogic, some dads cook!
Nearly gets in a head-on collision with another shopping cart when playing “race car with your toddler in the driver’s seat.”
I’ve been known to get carried away while playing with my kids. Sue me for enjoying playing with them. Of course, I know the limits and wouldn’t put them in dangerous situations, but still she seems to be decrying all dads for what was likely a momentary lapse in judgement. (I guess perfect moms like MomLogic never have lapses in judgement while all us dads are idiots.)
Insists on wearing his “World’s Best Dad” T-shirt, even when it’s filthy.
Was the “World’s Best Dad” shirt given to him by his kids? Perhaps there’s a sentimental reason behind his desire to wear it that is overriding the dirty nature of the shirt. Yes, dads have emotions beyond “want to watch sports”, “want more beer” and “want sex.”
Instead of giving the kids a bath, he hoses them down in the backyard.
As with cooking, giving baths is “my job.” They behave for me during their tubs. Yes, MomLogic, I use the tub. I also use soap, shampoo and washclothes. I get behind the ears and dry them when they’re done. The only time I’d consider a hose down in the backyard would be if they were somehow so filthy that they would track too much dirt in the house. Even then, the backyard-hose-down would be a temporary measure. Its sole purpose would be to get the kids clean enough to enter the house where they would proceed directly to the tub. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
Actually believes “father knows best.”
I don’t believe that “father knows best” all the time but neither do I believe that mother knows best always. More like mothers and fathers are a team and should work together to raise the kids. If you are actively undermining the father (or vice versa – if a father actively undermines the mother), then there’s something seriously wrong. First of all, it puts more strain on mom. Mom won’t trust dad to do anything and will try to do everything herself. She’ll constantly see the relationship as her and her kids plus that useless guy who just gets in her way. That’s not a recipe for a successful partnership.
It’s going to filter down to the kids as well. Kids pick up on these kinds of things and they’ll start wondering why they should listen to dad when he says not to do something. After all, he’s just an idiot, right? Mom says so all the time. So why listen to him at all.
In the end, if MomLogic’s husband epitomizes her top 10 list, perhaps he’s an idiot. There are idiot men and idiot women. They’re idiots because they’re idiots, not because of a certain chromosome. By all means, rail against him. I’ll back her up and tell him to man up and be a real partner in their team. But to condemn all dads as idiots who don’t know the first thing about parenting is to condemn 50% of the parents out there based on one guy’s actions.
I urge MomLogic to rethink her article. Imagine the hoopla that would ensue if I penned a similar post titled “10 Reasons Why Mother Doesn’t Know Best” which painted all mothers as idiots who don’t know how to be parents. I’d (rightfully) be strung up over it. Why is it acceptable because it’s about dads and not moms?
UPDATE: Thanks to Rob for pointing out that they’ve reposted this again. This isn’t just something they did last year. Apparently, they thought it was so hilarious, they would share it again. Here’s this year’s version (same as last year’s but with a brand, spankin’ new URL).