My friend, Meghan, and I joke all the time about how in our next life we want to come back as a Dad. I say “joke” but there are times when I’m pretty sure we both mean it. Being a Dad is where it’s at. There’s a level of intuitiveness that you have to possess as a mother (or at least fake) that dads don’t have/need to have that allows them to enjoy the fun of having kids but with less of the work, worry, and responsibility. Think I’m off base? Next time you’re out to eat, look at a family with young kids. I can guarantee you that the dad has eaten more of his food than the mom and may even – gasp – have completely finished his meal. And that’s just one example. Now, before anyone gets too heated (mostly the dads out there) let me say a few things:
I’m not trying to diss dads in any way. Dads are awesome. My husband is an amazing and present father who also works his butt off to make sure the Wifi is paid up so I don’t have to deal with AJR losing his sh*t if YouTube Kids didn’t work. Watching him with our kids makes my heart feel incredibly full and my face contorts into this creepy grin as I watch them from afar:
He also does a ton of stuff that I am beyond relieved I don’t have to do: taking on all the pressure of being the sole bread-winner for our household, having to assemble Ikea furniture and children’s toys, killing spiders, mowing the lawn, and listening to me talk nonstop during that show we’ve been trying to watch.
With credit given where credit is certainly due, I stand by my statement that I want to come back as a dad and I have a solid reasoning for why I would want to do so.
Pregnant/Childbirth: Dads don’t have to be pregnant or push out a baby. One could argue that they also don’t get to experience the gloriousness that is maternity pants, but I digress. My husband always says he had it worse because while I had the baby he had to SEE me have the baby. He is still alive today because I’ve decided to take that as a “joke” rather than his actual opinion on the matter. I get that watching the disgusting and fluid-y miracle of birth is traumatic, but I’m pretty sure that having to push a watermelon out of your lady business and spend the next 4-6 weeks wearing a pad the size of a Tempur-Pedic pillow as you raid CVS on the regular for stool softener, witch hazel pads, Motrin, and ice packs, all while doing your best to treat the affected area without actually having to LOOK at it, is much worse.
Diapers: Fact: Dads don’t have to change them as frequently. Here’s where all the dads will say, “hey now, I changed 3 diapers today!” Um, if you know how many diapers you’ve changed then you’re sort of like that semi-racist person that says “But I have a (insert ethnicity here) friend!” A mother’s hands are red and raw from frequent hand-washing after countless diaper changes. Their nose hair has been permanently singed off from mega-poops of long ago. What you call a blowout, Dad? We call a regular Tuesday afternoon.
Guilt: Here’s where I get jealous of Dads in a major way. Dads just do stuff. They don’t question it, they don’t dwell on it, they don’t ask for opinions on a judge-y message board or text all of their friends to ask whether that tone they used going to cause irreparable damage and turn junior into the next American Psycho. They enjoy their kids and don’t overthink it. I mean, when was the last time you saw “Dad Guilt Bingo”? (Side note: this is a topic for another blog post but I have a conspiracy theory that “mom guilt” is actually fabricated and perpetuated by the wine and spirits industry in order to boost profits. Not that I’m complaining. At all)
Middle of the Night: Dad never gets called for in the middle of the night. At least not in our house. Even if he did, what are the odds that he would actually hear it? In addition to kids never ever wanting dad once the sun goes down, dads have also evolved to highly-sophisticated creatures with “selective deafness” that apparently filters out the cries of small children and turns it into soothing white noise that lulls them into an even deeper slumber.
Discipline: 100% of the time mom is the bad cop, every time. You know the phrase: “she has Daddy wrapped around her little finger”? Ever hear that about mom? No. Because mommy doesn’t F around, that’s why. Mom is the wielder of the “oh crap she’s pissed” voice, the wooden spoon, the threats that she actually follows through on. Dad is king of “okay, one more time” and “don’t tell your mom”. It’s exhausting being the one whose “no” can launch a million tantrums, especially while dad gets to kick back and be the “fun” parent.
Trips: Dads can just leave. Pack a suitcase, kiss everyone goodbye, chuck up the deuce and walk out the door. Like that’s it. When mom leaves she has to write our detailed instructions, go grocery shopping to fully stock the house, prepare food/snacks, do all the laundry so favorite outfits are available to be worn, label all medicines with appropriate dosages, and prepare the household to handle the next zombie apocalypse should it occur while she’s gone.
Illness: Dads can actually BE sick. Go to bed, take some cold medicine, sleep it off, watch whatever they want on TV. Sick day for moms? You better pray that 22 minute episode of Mickey is long enough for you to recover from the 48-hour stomach virus that’s been going around because shit needs to get done.
All of it: As a dad for the day I also wouldn’t have to keep a mental inventory of how many diapers/wipes we have, schedule doctor appointments, take them to said doctor appointments, stock the diaper bag, carry the diaper bag, arrange playdates, decide what the kids are eating for 3 meals and 2 snacks per day, talk to school teachers, worry about whether they’re hitting developmental milestones, hear “mommy” 2,324 times per day, etc. etc.
So in essence, every day is Father’s Day? I’M JOKING! Moms and dads are in this parenting thing together and it’s not a competition, it’s survival. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.