“Oh, is your husband babysitting the kids?”
“Who’s watching your kids?”
“Is your mom helping out with the kids?”
Out of all the questions that anger me as a mom, questions that revolve around the out-of-date societal assumption that my husband is incapable of taking care of his own children are at the top of the list. My husband is the father of my children. In no instance should he ever incapable of caring for them on his own.
This type of question indicates a greater social problem to me: the assumption that fathers are incapable of taking care of their children. That assumption is not only incredibly insulting, it is inaccurate. The fathers I know are heavily involved and invested in their children’s lives. They are capable of taking care of their children and do so regularly. They watch children when mothers are working, out of town, or simply needing a sanity break. They coach sports teams and help with homework.
To be completely honest, I believe these assumptions have a lot to do with the stereotypical image of an overbearing mother. One who is so set in her ways that no one else, including her husband, can possibly take care of her children in the “right” way. Combine this stereotypical of a mother with the stereotypical image of a bumbling dad and it’s a recipe for frustration, offbase expectations, and asinine questions like those listed above.
I’m realistic enough to understand that there are real-life mothers and fathers that are accurate representations of those stereotypes. However, in my experience, those are few and far between. The real-life parents I know are equally involved in their children’s lives. They work together for the better for their family.
Going forward, let’s all agree to stop the stereotypical questions and comments. It does nothing but make people feel subpar.
Join the #StopSexism FACEBOOK GROUP here.