(This article originally appeared on thenoobdad.com)
I take great pride in the evolution of fathers around the world and the increased role they play in the daily lives of their children. A generation ago, men weren’t even allowed in the delivery room and now we have stay-at-home-dads. Men weren’t expected to know or do much back then, at least not when it came to child rearing. Now we’ve got our own manly diaper bags and daddy blogs. My, how far we’ve come.
All of this brings me to an article on The Good Men Project that caught my eye the other day. It was quite clever and really spoke to the stigma associated with dads who chose to stay at home with their kids. After reading, I got to thinking about some of the absurd things people say to dads, even though they shouldn’t. Ever. Here are a few examples.
10.) “You really should look into (fill in the blank).”
He knows you mean well, but when you phrase it that way there’s almost no chance he’ll actually look into whatever in the hell it is you’re blithering on about. Feel free to let him know about that cool thing you did to get your kids to go #2 in the potty, but do not suggest he do it based on your experience. He wants to be the one who decides if something is worth “looking into.”
9.) “Change another diaper and I’ll have to revoke your man card.”
You must have hopped a ride with Doc Brown from the 1950′s, pal – these things don’t change themselves. Besides, he stopped caring about his man card back when he stopped caring about mid-terms and helping out around the house is great choreplay.
8.) “I bet you can’t wait ’till they grow up and leave you alone for more than ten minutes.”
Wrong. Have you ever considered that loving fathers actually wish their kids would STOP growing? There will come a time, all too soon I might add, when he will be left alone. A time when his kids don’t want piggyback rides or bedtime stories. He’ll hate it – except for when he’s in the can.
7.) “Your daughter is gonna be a heart breaker when she gets older.”
I’m not sure it gets much creepier than that. You best get steppin’.
6.) “C’mon, man. The kids are at their mom’s house for the week, you should be thankful for the break.”
Show me a father who honestly enjoys being separated from their kids for an extended period of time and I’ll show you a pathetic excuse for a man undeserving of the title “Dad.” He doesn’t enjoy being away from his kids any more than he enjoys punching a clock five days a week. Somehow, he manages to muster up enough strength to get through, though – longing for the weekend with every passing minute.
5.) “Wait, what? You’re having another? Isn’t it a little soon?”
Yep, he and his spouse are having another. What’s it to ya? Thanks for the support, jerkface.
4.) “Can’t you just find a sitter?”
One does not simply ‘get a sitter’. He doesn’t trust his kids with just any random stranger who’ll show up in twenty minutes just so he can run off with you and the boys. Finding a baby sitter is a process. If you’re not careful, this could happen. This too.
3.) Anything preceded or proceeded by ‘Mr. Mom.’
Unless you’re talking about that 80′s movie, saying ‘Mr. Mom’ sets the fatherhood movement back by light years. Scratch that; don’t ever say that period. The movie was crappy and the connotations associated with the term are harmful to involved dads from coast to coast. Instead of looking like a buffoon, try to remember that guys who know how to cook, clean, change diapers, and help with homework are called dads. If you’re a father yourself, do your family a favor and try it sometime.
2.) Never say that a dad is “babysitting” his children.
Based on the very definition of the word, dads are incapable of babysitting his offspring. Go ahead, look it up. It’s impossible. You see, because he’s the father of the children he’s looking after, it’s called parenting. Shocking, I know.
1.) “Which one is your favorite?”
If you don’t know why this is the number one thing you should never say to a dad, may God have mercy on your soul. (Here’s a hint: The premise of this question is false.)