Attitudes Towards the Modern Father

feminismIronically this was going to be the topic of one of my posts, but I wasn’t going to cover this for a while. Today, however, I received a comment on my Twin Difficulty Rating: The 1.6 Factor post from a person named “Rick” that has bumped this topic to the top of my list (more to come at the end of this post). To be honest, overall I’d have to say that most people have been very accepting and supportive of my role as a father, who is very engaged in the parenting of my children, but there have been some exceptions.

Implied Doubt of Parenting Ability

This can be subtle or it can be overt and it can manifest itself in many ways, but the concerned do-gooder is out there and waiting to doubt the abilities of the modern dad. The general modus operandi here is to either a) “Tell” on me (usually to my wife, Jenn) about something I’ve done as a parent or b) Ask me if Jenn knows about something I’ve done as a parent. Either way the implication is that I’m not the one that should be making parenting decisions.

The upshot is to create a situation where, even though Jenn and I are sharing the parenting duties, the “do-gooder” is making it so that ultimately Jenn has to double check everything I do, which really just increases her work load. This reminds me of the 1950’s mentality where all tasks related to child care were the responsibility of the mom. Nothing like invoking 1950’s style family values to “empower” my wife in her role as mother (he says sarcastically).

Shunned by Moms

When at the park or play gym with my kids, there have been times when other moms have shunned my attempts to socialize. In fact, recently a friend needed a place for her nanny to bring her kids for the day, but the nanny declined to come over to our house on the days when I was at home with the kids, but did come over on the day my wife was home. To be fair, the nanny had never met me, and I suspect that she has some fairly conservative values, so I suspect this was purely a situation where she was avoiding spending long periods of time in a house with a man she doesn’t know. I realize women have reasons for these behaviors, but it still leaves me with greater difficulty getting  a playdate!  Ultimately, being shunned by other moms and caregivers just leaves me feeling as though outdated concepts of child rearing are still out there.


Then there is our “man” Rick, who commented:

Grow some balls and blog about something better than babies. Here are some ideas: GI Joe. Guns. Fishing. Monster trucks.

I don’t really feel the need to respond to this comment, other than to say that this is another example of out dated attitudes towards modern dads.

To end this post, I want to reiterate that the vast majority of people have been very positive towards me in my role as a father, but it is worth noting that there are some dated attitudes towards men and the role they play as parents today. What are your feelings on this topic?


4 thoughts on “Attitudes Towards the Modern Father

  1. I’m truly fascinated with the ideas surrounding parenting roles! especially by the above mentioned “do gooders ” or as I refer to them as the “taddlers.”
    random phone calls from your mothers co-worker who spotted your husband and children at the park…. the children were not in hats and appeared dehydrated.
    dad takes kids to Costco and allows them to
    sample from the vendors even though mom only cooks and allows gluten free products, thankfully Mrs Smith from down the road is there as a “helpful reminder” that “dads in trouble”
    its as though mommies have to give this invisable seal of approval on our counterparts parenting choices. when intact we look at it and say “good the kids spent the day outside playing, the shopping is done, and they have eaten”
    its as though observers don’t realize that both parents have equal levels of experience and exposure. as if some how mothers as parents age in dog years and are vastly more experienced and knowledgeable.

    sample samplesample

    1. Thanks for the comment Jessie. Those are exactly the types of examples that I am talking about. I think it’s good to talk about it to make people aware of the changing times and the fact that fathers are taking on more of the parenting duties that used to be seen as the domain of mothers.

  2. I cannot for the life of me think of a societal benefit to G.I. Joe, guns, fishing, or monster trucks. There is no greater role on this earth than that of a parent. I am so glad to be living in a time when gender rolls are breaking down so completely and the importance roles of fathers is better understood. And while a lot of the parenting has come a little more naturally to me as a mother, my husband is killing it as a dad, and I couldn’t be happier about it!!! (Although having twins has knocked us both on our ass in a way that neither of us had anticipated.) What an incredible challenge mingled with amazing benefits!

    1. Hi Barbara. I couldn’t agree more with you about how great it is to see gender roles breaking down. As a father, I am really happy and excited to be part of that for a bunch of reasons, not the least of which is that it makes me happy to know that my daughter will be growing up into a world that is becoming more fair for women. I would also have to say that in our family parenting has certainly come to my wife more naturally than it has to me and that having twins has also “knocked us on our ass” as well! Thanks for the comment.

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