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Top 10 Most Ridiculous Things People Still Think Dads Can’t Do

By mikeadamick |

Cell phones and GPS devices may have saved dads from having to stop to ask for directions and saved them from the age-old notion that they don’t know where the heck they’re going. But there’s still plenty of griping out there that dads don’t know what they’re doing.

I remember when I was at a playground with my infant daughter a few years ago, and while I was offering a bottle, a woman came over and wanted to take the child from my arms and give me some “tips.”

Ummmm … no thanks. I got this. As, I would wager, do most dads.

In the Top 10 Most Ridiculous Things People Assume Dads Can’t Do, I take a journey down memory lane of all the little slights dads have encountered over the years. Seriously, what kind of dad can’t do playtime?

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Top 10 Ridiculous Things People Think Dads Can't Do

Holding the baby

Let's get this out of the way: I'm going to include feeding the baby, putting the baby down for a nap, getting up with the baby in the middle of the night, rocking the baby, tossing the baby (for fun), and making the baby laugh or stop crying. These are all things I've heard over the years that dads can't do, and every time I hear this from a mom friend, I can't help but think: You need a new dad in your life. Because most of the dads I know? It's second nature.

Photo credit: Morguefile

Follow Mike at his blog, Cry It Out!, or on Facebook.


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About mikeadamick



As the “Daddy Issues” columnist for and a prime mover at “The Poop,” the parenting blog of the San Francisco Chronicle, Mike Adamick is no stranger to writing about modern fatherhood with wit and wisdom. He blogs at Cry It Out! Read bio and latest posts → Read mikeadamick's latest posts →

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14 thoughts on “Top 10 Most Ridiculous Things People Still Think Dads Can’t Do

  1. Denae says:

    My husband is a hands on dad and does everything I do. I am very lucky. I know some of my friends husbands refuse to change diapers or even be alone with their own child. Not my hubby! He is an amazing father!

  2. Teressa/NashVegasGal says:

    OMG…if I had only known back when, what they meant when they said to “breastfeed” : ) Cute stuff!

  3. crazy Shilo says:

    lol oh wow, your blog/post just cracked me up because as sad as it is, it’s actually true but I find that some mothers or some women in general shouldn’t be treating you like a child and don’t think you’re able to handle taking care of your own kid because some of the things they say are just rude. I mean, there are some single fathers out there who took well care of their kids and I think if your wife knows well enough that you’re able to handle taking care of your own child without any worries then no other women should even try and tell you how to take care of your own child.

  4. Jess says:

    My husband is a pro at naptime. His only hangups are poopy diapers and throwing up :)

  5. The Dudes's Daddy says:

    Men in our domesticated culture suffer from a great unease. Many of us, deep inside, feel that there’s some degrading notion in a life of a householder, a parent. Time and again I see how a lot of the myths about incapable, lost, clumsy, stupid males, are perpetuated by the men, about themselves. I think that this is a way to say, “Hey, I’m really a warrior, a hunter, a brave explorer of unknown lands; I don’t belong here in the minivan with the poopy diapers, the laundry, the PTA meetings. That is why I’m so lost, I’m meant for higher things.”
    There’s an undercurrent of disapproval from “True Men” when a man functions well as domesticated creature, and therefor the constant need to stumble, mess up, and prove that, “Yeah, I do those domestic things because I have to, but I suck at it because it’s not my true calling.” It’s also a good source of comedy, as is any situation where contradiction and conflict rules.
    I say those things as a man, a PT Stay at Home Dad, who has changed many diapers, and spent endless hours on playgrounds (no PTA meetings, though, that is where I drew the line). These conflicting feelings are there for many of us; it helps to be aware of them, and try to move past them.

  6. Shauna says:

    Reading this actually makes me want to cry because, sadly, these are all the thing my husband DOESN’T do!
    In fact just the other day, when discussing being tired & my 2 boys aged 6 & 3 fighting, he said (as he often does) ” I was happy at one!”

  7. dezi's mom says:

    The whole going away for the weekend thing is just probably more just separation anxiety on the mom’s part rather than just plain thinking the dad can’t handle it. Especially when they are still a baby, it can be hard for a mom to be away more than just a few hours without feeling a combination of guilt and worry. At least I know it is that way for me. I think my husband is capable but it is still can be tough.

  8. Jennifer says:

    I loved this. My dad… a freakin’ genius in the kitchen. I call him all the time for recipes and ideas. He loves (i’m guessing) the call that comes at 7pm: ‘My neighbor gave me some Elk…..what do I do with Elk?’ At which point he gets his joke in: ‘eat it I guess!’ LOL and then he can tell me exactly how to prepare it so that it tastes like a 5 star chef visited my kitchen. Between you and me, one did over the phone :)

  9. lisa says:

    On the breastfeeding though, dads do play a role. A supportive spouse who does not get the wiggins when talking about issues, handling milk or giving the baby an expressed bottle is so valuable. My husband waited on us hand and foot during our daughter’s first month while we struggled to get established. He also ran interferance in public. He even went to a few la leche meetings early on. I would not have been able to do it without him.

  10. Samira says:

    ok I admit most dads are awesome at parenting in general at least mine was my daughter’s dad on the other hand not so much he can cook but forgets she can’t have tomato sauce because of projectile vomiting and makes something slopped in it and she has to settle for though she much loves it its not healthy to eat all the time she needs fruits vegetables and meat once in a while PBJ he can’t change a diaper without it ending up crooked and hanging off her fanny where things leak out the side he rocks at play time that part hes great at hands down better than me full heartedly agree He can’t get her dressed if he manages to get everything on its backwards mismatched and usually too small or too big so most times he doesn’t bother and with there being snow on the ground and the heat bill being so high that I can not afford it so its a chill 60 in the house most of the time she needs to be dressed dad unfortunately I am not a stay home mom and I am also now single I have to worry about her spending weekends with dad Not because dads can’t do it but because he can do somethings but not the ones that are absolute necessities and he scares me

  11. Adriana says:

    My husband is a blessing. He can do almost every thing on this list. He just can’t do hair. I can say it’s not from the lack of trying. Due to frost bite damage in his early teens he can no feelings in his fingers from the first knucle all the way down to the finger tips. So the kids tend to run screaming when he pulls on hair he doens’t realize he is pulling. His only other short coming is outfits. But he admits to it, he doesn’t go clothes shopping with out me even for him.

    He is a wonderful father. He loves to cook, but more so he loves to have the kids in the kitchen with him. We have 4 girls that range from 14 to 3. Because of my husband all of our girls have a love for cooking and helping out in the kitchen. He even makes clean up in there fun!
    When the kids have a bad day they like to curl up on the couch and talk to him. They change the oil in the cars with him, and the tires. Hunting and fishing yup that’s him too. When they talk about wish dreams and hopes, they like to talk to daddy. I get great Joy out of sitting back and watching my husband be a daddy.
    When it comes time that I need to leave the house for a week or two or even more. I know that I am leaving my babies in very capable and loving hands. My only problem of leaving my babies is how damn much I miss them when I am gone!

  12. Sarah W says:

    This is so true. My husband is awesome! He stays at home with my daughter while I work, and does almost all of the cooking and cleaning (and he’s an amazing cook). He also is often the one who gets our daughter ready in the morning when we’re all heading out the door. I’m away on business right now, and he took her to visit Grandma and Grandpa while I’m gone. He’s amazing!

  13. Kristin says:

    This is great! My hubby is an amazing dad but there are a couple that he can’t do. He has seriously set off the smoke detector while making tea (multiple times) but he can order take out like a pro so he can easily feed the kids. Oh and the hair styling but they do leave the house with their hair brushed and basically laying down so that is perfectly fine. He does fine but if I do have to go out of town for a couple of days his mother thinks that the kids won’t survive and is constantly checking up on them. I think it’s pretty funny.

  14. Anna says:

    love this. My husband parents lots better than i do. Out the door on time – only when the husband does it. In bed on time – only when the husband does it. Breastfeeding – yup kidding that was me. Food – that me. But go away for a weekend – not a problem (only the mummy guilt is the thing that gets me).

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