Happy Father’s Day everyone! It’s Jake, here to share my pearls of fatherly parenting wisdom! Every family is different, but I’d like to share what I believe this fatherhood thing is all about.
Dads are not less of a parent than Moms. It is important to equal things out. We don’t believe in natural gender roles around here; I can do every parenting job that Megan can (except for breastfeed… but pump me some milk and I am all over that bottle thing). That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t do some things better than me. She has a super human ability to hear cries in the middle of the night. I have the awesome power of getting a burp with just one pat (it takes Megan forever to burp Jonas).
Megan doesn’t have some mystical female intuition. We both love our kids and can snuggle them when they need to be snuggled, play with them when they need some fun, and have a serious talk when someone’s naughty. I don’t believe one parent should be the disciplinarian and one parent should be the nurturing one. That good cop bad cop thing will not only turn parents against each other, but it also makes it pretty hard to parent when one person isn’t there (Megan should never have to tell the kids, “Don’t make me call your Dad.”)
I’ll admit, part of the equal parenting thing is curiosity. I like to know how things work. That includes diaper changes (we take turns, every other one), identifying cry types (because there’s a hungry cry, wet cry, hurt cry, sleepy cry.. they’re all different), how to get toddlers to eat veggies, and (even though it freaks most Dads out) periods. There’s so much to learn as a parent, both about how to raise your kids and who they are individually.
Even though I could honestly be happy in life never having to change another diaper or deal with another Eliza meltdown, I’d miss out on a lot if I just left the non-fun stuff to Megan. If I never changed diapers, I’d never have heard Jonas’ first laugh. The good comes with the crap (LOL).
It’s not how much you make, it’s how much you’re there. There are different type of fathers. There are Dads out there that think their job is to be the breadwinner of the house. Dads that think the most important thing they can do for their kids is to provide financial security. Even though we look like a ’50s stereotype of a traditional family on the outside because Megan stays home (though she works at home) and I go off to a 9 to 5 (8 to 5, actually) everyday, that’s not the kind of Dad I am. I think that it is important to be fiscally responsible so that my family is provided for, but the kids aren’t going to remember 10 years down the road if they had the hottest new toy. But they will remember if I’m never home for dinner, I don’t help them with their homework, and I never stop to play games with them. So even though I could have a crazy awesome job making six figures programming furiously 12 hours a day, I’d rather be a frugal family man.
Hope you enjoyed my take on Dadding!