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fatherhood / Humor

DAD 2.014: A funny dad’s honest reflections on fatherhood

DAD 2.014: A funny dad’s honest reflections on fatherhood

As Father’s Day approaches, I’€™m forced to reflect on my own father and how different his experience as a father was than mine is now.

When my father fed a bottle to my first daughter, his first grandchild, he looked up and said, “€œYou know, this is the first time I’ve ever fed a baby?”

None of us were caught off guard by the revelation. This was not news to us. Nor was the fact that he, though a father of three, had never changed a diaper and most likely never will.

This leads me to the revelation that despite today’s abundance of technological, health, sociological and educational advancements, compared to previous generations we are light-years behind. Instead of rushing to pick up kids at daycare, I should be stopping off for a cocktail on the way home from work and then entering my domain to an awaiting hot dinner, hot wife and quiet kids–all teeming with glee upon my grand entrance.

The problem is that somewhere in the last three or four decades we as a society have wrecked a perfectly functional lifestyle business model. We used to live predominantly in single-income households way back in the “€œgood old days.” Now, oh so many of us are forced to ditch that set-up in favor of the more common duel income gig. And pardon my language, but that blows.

I used to think cramming for finals in college was stressful. I used to think dealing with a moody girlfriend was stressful. Hell, I can’€™t think of anything else in my non-parental life that was even remotely stressful, and the two items I listed didn’€™t really stress me out–I just couldn’€™t think of anything else.

Now I have the daily battle of getting my 2 and 4 year-olds dressed and fed and out the door. My wife and I battle about who gets the morning run versus the afternoon run. We both have erratic schedules and we both travel and we have no family in Denver, so that adds a hint of stress on top of trying to figure out the whole parenting thing.

As a third party reading this I would say, “€œshut up.” And then I would suggest, “€œwhy don’€™t one of you just quit your job and stay home?”

My answer to myself would be, “€œgood idea?”

But we can’t. We’re stuck. Just like many of you. We can’€™t maintain our lifestyle on one income and we’€™re too selfish to downsize. Also, I don’t think either one of us could do the stay-at-home thing. I know I couldn’€™t right now. I definitely couldn’€™t have during the infant stage. Maybe in a few years when the girls are more self-sufficient I could do it. “€œHey Lilly. Make daddy a martini and take out the garbage.” Yeah. That could work.

For you stay-at-homers, I thrust my envy at you. Not that your life is easy; it’s just that your grass is greener than mine. I’m sure mine must seem greener to you at times.

The bottom line is this: the ultimate stress maker was the initial decision to have kids. If my wife and I were D.I.N.K.s , life would be a 24-hour party. But there’s one small problem with that equation. I wouldn’€™t have my girls. And that’€™s just not acceptable.

Forced to make the decision again, I’€™d choose having my girls every day of the week and twice on Sunday. I guess if I had a “€œdo-over” I’d marry a really wealthy girl so we could have a nanny and I could not work, too. But what fun would that be because I love my wife????

So in a few days when we all celebrate our fathers, or we help kids celebrate their daddies, or we remember our fathers that are no longer with us, I have a few words of advice.

Men are men. Dads are dads. We’€™re very, very far from perfect. We’d rather burp the alphabet than read poetry. But until science develops a third gender, we’re all you’ve got so you might as well embrace us. In turn, we’€™ll try to be more understanding of all your femininities and we’€™ll continue to diligently put the toilet seat down.

And for those of you still searching for the perfect Father’s Day gift, or more likely, for those of you that haven’t even thought about it yet; this is what we want–

A nice cold beer.

A couple hours of quiet time.

And a little some-some before bed.

We thank you in advance.

Author: Mitch

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  1. I think life is tougher for the dad these days because with the women’s lib, they are expected to step up more. But just think of how much your father missed out on, and how many great things you would be missing out on if you weren’t a hands-on dad!

  2. Very nice article.
    Most of the men I know in my life are still stuck in the older days of fatherhood, so it’s nice to read an article about someone who’s stepping up to the plate.

    It’s easier for me to do it alone than have someone sitting around taking up space.

    I hope for Father’s day, you get all three of what you suggest… and two of the last one 🙂

  3. I tried staying at home. It was too hard!

    May your Father’s Day bring you all you want — in abundance.

    Thanks for the gift ideas for my own hubby ;-).

  4. Yes, because men are nothing more tham burping, beer swilling, “give me some-some before bed” machines.

    I know this article was in jest, but one gets tired of the constant bashing of the male half of the species. And the worst part is, most of it comes from the men.

    Very, very far from perfect, indeed.

  5. I commpletely agree with your comment about how we have regressed socially…..the two income mode does suck. However, I do think if we take a step back, we can make true progress and get back to much saner lives.

  6. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say, “The problem is that somewhere in the last three or four decades we as a society have wrecked a perfectly functional lifestyle business model.” I’m all for women’s lib etc. but somewhere along the line, expectations got all out of whack. Now it seems both women AND men are expected to do EVERYTHING and do it well. Plus life is getting so darn expensive that both parents usually have to work to pay for the house not to mention vacations and extras. Tough times. Tough choices.

    Enjoyed your article and hope to give my husband just what you suggested this Father’s Day.

  7. @Sven:
    I suggest you take it down a notch or two. Yes, the common-held stereotype that men are alcoholic nymphomaniac brooders is ancient and no longer applicable. However, at its simplest form, I think (at least for me) two of those are really all we need: the beer (or something consumable that is satisfying) and the some-some (because as much as we all like to joke, many married bedrooms are shadows of the DINK-day bedrooms after kids arrive). (For me, the time alone isn’t something I’m keen on; I get so little time with my kid that I want to spend Father’s Day with her.) If you’re so full of righteous indignation, please tell us: what would you want for Father’s Day?

    OK. I just needed to do that.

    I wrote a similar thing a while back. The lines are a lot more blurred than they were when our dads were parenting us, that’s for sure. The expectations on both parents are heavier now than they ever were, partly just because of economics (you call yourself “selfish” for being unwilling to change lifestyles in order to have one of you stay at home… the reality is that previous generations had your lifestyle on one income), partly due to the evolution of society.

  8. I just edited a book on US demographics. Here’s one big reason we can’t go back to the good old days of mom at home: “Since 1980, housing prices alone have nearly doubled relative to the median earnings of a man with a full-time job.”

    It’s not even about downsizing and being frugal. It’s about being able to afford a home in the first place.

  9. I’m with Sci-Fi, Swen needs to unclentch a little.

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