Can We All Just Agree to Stop Calling Dads “Mr. Mom?”
I guess first and foremost, I should give you nice folks a little background into who I am so that my outlook on this subject makes a little more sense. I’m in my mid 30’s (shh…don’t tell anyone). I live in rural Southeast New Mexico, am partnered on a farm and ranch with my father, just started my own welding business, and also work full time at a local peanut mill. I have worked a huge variety of different jobs; I served in the Coast Guard, was an electrician in the oil fields, all the way to being a Sheriff’s Deputy, to a Sergeant at the local Detention Center. Needless to say, I have been accused more than a few times of being a “man’s man.” I love to hunt, fish, ride motorcycles, play guitar, drink a beer, and grill a steak. Do I sound like Tim Allen on Last Man Standing yet? Oh and yes, my political views tend to lean more on the conservative side.
I tell you all this not to brag on myself or make myself seem macho, but so that you have a better understanding of the man behind this article. I tend to have old fashioned values and outlooks, much like the men that raised me. Growing up on a working farm and ranch meant early mornings, getting up long before the sun was up. The animals were always fed before any of us, and this task was always handled by my father and I, while my mom and sister made breakfast and got themselves ready for school and work. If my sister or I had a doctor appointment, mom was the one who took us. Meals were always prepared by my mom or sister, laundry and dishes were their chores, as well as keeping the house clean. Dad and I worked outside, taking care of livestock, building fences, driving tractors, and generally keeping things going.
Needless to say, the way I was raised was the mentality that the man’s responsibility was to handle the rough and tough, and the women are to take care of the house and kids. That doesn’t mean my dad didn’t tell us that he loved us as children, in fact, he still tells me that everyday. He came to every one of me and my sister’s ballgames, livestock shows, plays, and anything else, as long as he could make it. He hugged us, played with us, laughed, and cried with us. But, the day-to-day task of raising us was largely put onto my mother.
That seems to be the mentality of the society we live in largely. The mothers are to take care of the kids, and if a father does, then he is playing “Mr. Mom” or he is “babysitting.” Those terms really don’t show fathers in a very good light now, do they? I can’t speak for any other father, but I’m sure there are many out there that have been involved in raising their children the same as me.
When my daughter was born, I shared the load of getting up for the middle of the night feedings and diaper changes. I went to every checkup for her that I possibly could and picked her up from daycare. I take her to birthday parties, play tea party and wear tiaras and tutus…. and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I can come home covered in oil and grease, exhausted from work, and be dragged to her room to play dress-up, and my whole day takes a turn to happiness.
Mr. Mom tends to lead me to think that others believe fathers only step in when we absolutely have to. But, if you really stop and think about fathers, I mean good involved fathers, we are right there cooking, cleaning, playing, teaching, and sharing knowledge with our children. We might be in the background at times, but we are there just waiting for the chance to step in and have some fun or handle the mess, sometimes we just aren’t given the chance. I work a lot of hours and am not always home for everything I would like to be, but when I am home, there is nothing more I would rather do than spend every moment possible with my daughter. My daughter, Charlotte, is 5 years old and I plan to cherish every possible moment I can with her before she grows up and moves out.
Fathers are parents too, please don’t downgrade us to “babysitters” or “Mr. Moms.”
We are in this for the long haul as well, right alongside you, and are doing our best to parent and raise ours kids the best we know how.
Photo Credits: Courtney May Photography | Kolby T.
Tags: being a helpful dad, dad, daily dad, Daily Dad article, father, father child bonding, father child relationship, fatherhood, fathering, helpful dad tips, helpful daddy, helpful daddy tips, mr. mom, parenting
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Kolby lives in rural New Mexico with his 5 year old daughter. He is a fourth generation cattle farmer, as well as owning a welding business and working in a peanut mill. He was in the military, and is also a volunteer fireman in all his “spare time.”