Dads, Do the Thing!

Dads, this post is for you. Not because I’m picking on dads, but because the common theme among my mom friends and the mom groups I belong to is that dads are relying heavily on moms to do the brunt of the parenting and housekeeping, whether they work outside of the home or not. This is causing resentment and crushing frustration.

Moms are hyper aware that dads want to relax after a long day of work, and would like their weekends to be as stress free as possible. The problem lies in mom being aware, and dad seemingly not having a clue until mom is in a full on rage over something that seems insignificant. Then dad steps in. Dad tells mom to chill out. Mom gives dad the death stare, or breathes fire in his direction until he retreats.

If dads need a break, imagine, if you will, that moms also need that same daily break. They need that same level of help that they consistently give dads. Moms have been in this weird purgatory since the evolution of women’s rights and the need for a two income household. Moms have been expected to hold down a full time job and continue to do all the things June Cleaver did.

Dads, we are not June Cleaver. We are not our grandmothers. We aren’t even our mothers. Times have changed. Many moms work outside the home with a full time job, and those that don’t still need help. If you’re stressed after spending an hour alone with the kids, imagine spending the entire day without being able to go to the bathroom without an audience. Imagine if you will being touched all day long while feeling like people are literally trying to climb back inside of you.

There’s a secret I want to tell you. Moms clean up the same mess a minimum of 15 times before you get home and ask “what did you do all day.” Oh, and do us a favor and never ask that question again. Try “how was your day?” or even better “why don’t you take a long shower while I clean up the living room.”

The thing is, moms don’t want much. We just want you to hear the baby crying and tend to them as much as we do. About that, we know you hear them. It’s not a secret. We talk about it…a lot. We also plot shoving you out of the bed when you pretend to have gone deaf to avoid getting up early.

We want you to be an active parent and partner, always. We want you to see what we see and just do the things that need to be done. Appointments, practices, parent teacher conferences, dirty diapers, dishes, dinner, bath time. All the things. We need help.

Telling us to “just tell me what to do” is not helpful for moms who are already about to fall apart. We just want you to see the things and do the things. If you see us in a situation that makes you think to yourself “so glad she’s handling that,” then you needed to step in five minutes ago.

The thing we moms want the most, is for everyone to be happy. We will burn ourselves completely out to make sure everyone feels loved and has what they need. We often forget about the things we need until we are so tired that we want to cry. We want everyone happy, but we need to be included, too.

5 thoughts on “Dads, Do the Thing!

  1. Ya, this page called Stop yelling please…ya, I got yelled at because I reposted this to my fiance about the one about washing dishes & being a mom of 4 boys. I’m a mom of 2 boys 2 & 12 year old.

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    1. Oh no! I hate that you were yelled at. Being a mom is hard. Especially when we aren’t feeling supported. That post was born out of hearing so many mom in my moms groups, and my personal mom friends complaining about the same thing. It’s obviously still an issue for many families and this post puts into words what many moms struggle to say out loud to their partners and feel like their voice is being heard.

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  2. I have to disagree that mom’s need “help.” Parenthood and marriage should be partnerships. Both partners should take responsibility for making the relationship work, for keeping the house clean (you both live there!), for comforting a crying child or changing a dirty diaper (you are a parent, not a helper), for cooking and washing the dishes, doing laundry, and a myriad of other “chores” of life. You may find that in taking that responsibility without being asked, nagged, or guilted into it will make for a happier home because you aren’t “helping” your partner complete “their” jobs. You are in this relationship too, and if she can figure out what needs to be done so can you. When partners take ownership of doing errands, shopping, or cleaning the bathroom, more gets done which should leave more time to enjoy the result. He/she may not complete a task the way you would have, but it’s the attempt that counts. Just get rid of the mindset that Mom has the job and you are only a “helper.”

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