Okay, I admit it. Guilty as charged. I once wrote the phrase, “moms are generally better parents than dads. And that goes double for me” on the parenting website Babble. And I took endless shit for it. Rightfully so. But my lede was intended as a sucker punch, drawing moms in before I lectured them on a long list of things that moms actually don’t always get right (in my humble opinion) when it comes to raising boys. My list wasn’t intended to limit the spectrum of gender roles for parents nor kids, just push moms to think a little outside the box if they hadn’t already about what having a penis might mean in terms of how to deal with a male child.
Apparently Babble didn’t get the joke, or the memo. Since for mother’s day they published a list of ten things that moms do better than dads. No following lecture from a dad to moms about parenting, just a flat statement of fact.
Ready for this crap:
- Hugging (my hugs are legendary…think what happens when a 230 pound man takes a crying baby in his arms with a heart full of love)
- Injuries (do you know what it’s like to sleep with your toddler in the hospital on New Year’s Eve when his asthma is so bad he can’t breathe?)
- Changing Diapers (there’s this thing called the daddy lock which involved gently holding down a baby’s legs while protecting yourself from urine…)
- Preparing Health Foods (does cooking for two kids starting at ages 1 and 3 for six years solo count?)
- Keeping Kids Clean (bath time is the best ritual there is according to this dad, along with mandatory room cleaning)
- Snuggling (Please see my NYT piece: “Man I need a good cuddle” and the Gawker response calling me a pussy for saying so)
- Cooking (not sure the author can count but see #4)
- Going out and about (he seems to say dads can’t get anywhere without forgetting the diaper bag…listen after years of solo parenting my kids know its military precision when we leave the house)
- Expressing Emotion (WTF, really? I basically droop love all over my kids all day every day. They know that I know they are the best thing that ever happened to me)
- Making Sick Kids Feel Better (again, see #2. Add the thousand times my kids have vomited all over me and my command of the kids pain killer alternatives for fever)
Moms are not better. Dads are not better. There is a wide spectrum of parenting and roles, many that have nothing to do with gender. But when I read articles like this one it just makes me so mad and sad (see #9 above). So many men I know are awesome dads. That takes absolutely nothing away from moms. But to claim that we can’t feed, clothe, cuddle or care for our kids as well as moms is so insanely wrong on so many levels I think my head is about to explode.
What do you think?