Dads don’t get nearly enough credit for who they are and what they do. Problem is, many women (well, at least, my group of women) quibble far too much about what they don’t do. Amongst the women with whom I associate most, there’s an overwhelming consensus that Daddy-O gets the sweet end of the parenting deal.
Yeah, you’ve read all the polls and articles decrying how we modern-day moms continue to do the majority of cooking, cleaning and caring for the kiddos even though we work outside the home in numbers that rival dads. I call it the ‘I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan and never ever, ever let you forget you’re a man!’ backlash. All this leads to a lot of frustration for us very verbal girls.
Just recently, I engaged a group of professional associates about how difficult it is to know what to get dads for their day. I remember thinking how men often get shorted because all their gift possibilities are contained on a single, steely shelving unit, slapped square in the middle of the store aisles. Most women find it an annoyance — not the limited supply of gift choices, but the fact that we must circle around that steely shelving unit to get to other parts in the store that interest us more.
But, as most of us in the circle felt a little pity for the men in our lives and the shallow amount of thought that goes into gifting them on Father’s Day, one of my business acquaintances slapped us back to reality by saying: “That’s because everyday except Mother’s Day is Father’s Day!” As you can imagine, there was plenty of high-fiving and amen-ing. Her observation, to me, is right on point. So, why do I feel kinda guilty about the constant assault on men in general and my husband in particular?
Maybe it’s because deep down, I know I have a good one. Sure, he still has not learned to read my mind or push in his chair when he leaves the dinner table or put his plate in the left-hand side of the sink. He still buys items from the grocery store that should be purchased from the drug store (you know, for cost effectiveness) and he continues to leave a trail of his belongings throughout the house, despite my many years of pleading with him to be a better model for our boys.
Yet — and this is a big yet — the awesome male of a man placed in my life to be the father of my children is a darned good guy. He teaches my boys to respect me and other women and other people. He’s a constant and good provider who, despite a busy schedule that often takes him out-of-town, makes as many school programs, conferences, recitals and games as possible. He loves us — and we feel it.
All in all, I’d say my children wound up with one heck of a dad. So, ladies, if you feel the same, perhaps the best gift we give our men this year won’t come from that steely shelving unit in the center of the store aisle, but from our hearts and our zipped lips. Even if for one day only.
Kysa Daniels is a journalist, nonprofit professional and mother of three boys. For more Adventures in Parenting and parenting tips, email firstname.lastname@example.org.