When the movie “Mom’s Night Out” appeared in theaters I began hearing wonderful reviews, so I looked up the trailer. I must admit I was appalled. This is portrayed as a good, fun, Christian film and I just could not believe the main story line. Idiot husbands can’t handle a few kids. Really? REALLY? This is what we want to portray as good Christian media? What ever happened to the idea that parenting is a team sport?
I am, quite frankly, dead sick of the media teaching both men, and women, that fathers are incapable idiots that can’t handle a baby for a few minutes, let alone a few hours. We, as women, watch these movies or shows and laugh our heads off then come home and want to complain that our husbands don’t do more. Well why should they? We’re out there spending our money SUPPORTING the idea that they are complete fools who can’t be real dads. Why do we expect them to act any different?
Not only to we watch and laugh at this crap, we then treat our husbands as if they really are incapable. We nitpick and over analyze every move they make. We insist that they have to do everything exactly the way we would do it. If they don’t then they are wrong and we MUST correct them. Oh yes, we may try to do it nicely “Honey why don’t you unfold the clean diaper first, before you take the dirty one off?” or we may do it quite rudely “I can not believe you are so stupid as to think it’s ok to roughhouse before bed. I’m trying to get these kids to calm down and all you can do is cause problems!” It’s no wonder they want to back off and just let the mama bear handle the den. Then, of course, we get mad at them because they don’t just read our minds and jump in to do what we need when we need it. Well I wouldn’t jump in either if I was constantly being told how substandard my assistance was and being treated like a buffoon who can’t even hold a baby properly.
Ladies wake up. Your husband is a strong and capable human being with a brain every bit as large as yours. He CAN take care of a baby. He can run the household for a few hours or even a few days. He CAN do it HIS way and no one will die. Guess what? Sometimes his way may be better than yours even. SO lets get off our high horses and start treating them like the capable fathers and loving husbands that we want them to be. Let’s show them that we trust them, respect them, and want their unique input. Let’s admit that we’re not always 100% right and he may have some great ideas. Let’s treat parenting like the team sport it is. Both mother and father have unique perspectives, approaches, and methods for raising and bonding with children. Kids need both. Don’t rob your kids of the opportunity to have a great dad by robbing him of the opportunity to prove that he can be one.
If you’d like to read more about the nuts and bolts of HOW to change this attitude in your own home read my previous post “He’s Not the Intern- Stop Parenting Your Husband“. If you would like to see more of what Elder Christofferson (quoted above) said about this topic you can see the full talk here.
How do you feel about the way dads are often portrayed in the media? What do you do to make sure parenting is a team sport in your home?