Top 10 Things I Learned from My "Mothers do Better than Fathers" Post

A few months ago I wrote a post titled Top 10 Things Mothers do Better than Fathers.  The post garnered a little more attention than I had anticipated, and not the type of attention that I was expecting.

The post was published as a humor piece and nothing out of the ordinary happened during the first week it was live. Then one morning several days later a steady stream of angry comments started trickling in. That stream of angry comments turned into a flood of angry comments.

Next thing I knew, there were blog posts popping up throughout the interwebs angrily critiquing that post. Facebook commenters battled about what mothers do better than fathers and whether it was even fair to have such a baited conversation. I could tell that this post was going in the wrong direction and things were only going to get worse.

It’s now around two months later, conversations have been had, dad blogs have been read, and things have calmed down.  Regardless of the tone of the comments and articles about my post, I learned a few things that I didn’t know before.

The battles the dad blog community was fighting were completely unknown to me.  To be honest, I’m not even sure I knew a stay-at-home dad at that time. Prior to writing for the Dadding Blog, I went about my daily work routine in the real world (as opposed to the Internet world) surrounded by dads who were just like me, and it was within that frame of mind that I wrote that post. I wrote the 10 things mothers do better than fathers, which were all intended as self-deprecating mentions of what my wife does better than me, as generalizations because they were all a source of laughter for all the dads I knew in my world. I didn’t expect anyone to take them seriously, and I certainly didn’t expect anyone to be offended by the generalizations. Unfortunately, I was ignorant to the fact that there was this section of the population that would be offended and hurt by my generalizations.  However, I’m starting to understand why these generalizations cause such a ruckus.

In a recent study conducted by TODAY and, it was revealed that nearly 75% of moms believe that they do the majority of the parenting, while 50% of fathers believe they share the parenting responsibilities equally with mothers. The study also revealed that two-thirds of fathers want the jobs they do as parents to be received with some kind of acknowledgement of a job well done from their partner.  That includes dads who aren’t stay-at-home dads. The study showed that even fathers who go out and take on a traditional career are more involved in their kids’ lives than fathers from previous generations. Given the mothers’ belief that fathers aren’t doing their fair share of the parenting, the much needed and deserved acknowledgement from society of the jobs fathers are doing is probably lacking.  If nothing else, this survey shows that dads need a little more recognition for their increased work in the home.

Here are the top 10 things I learned from readers and commenters from my post Top Ten Thing Mothers do Better than Fathers and a little acknowledgement from this father to you other fathers who are doing one hell of a job:

  • Dad’s Convention 1 of 10
    Dad's Convention
    The Real Matt Daddy commented, "I'd like to invite you to the annual At-Home Dad's Convention where you will meet dozens of fathers that do all of those things on a daily basis." I knew there were lots of conferences for women, but I had no idea there were dad conferences; more specifically, conferences for stay-at-home dads. The dad blog community is stronger and more united than I had imagined.
  • Dad’s Groups 2 of 10
    Dad's Groups
    In an email exchange with The Real Matt Daddy, he wrote, "seek out a local dads group in your hometown. . . . [B]eing able to have a safe place for your kids to play and for you to interact with other dads will do wonders for your confidence when it comes to sharing with your wife." These types of groups actually exist, and it's probably not a bad idea to be a part of one, either. Talking over concerns with others who are similarly situated can't be a bad thing.
  • Parenting Controversy 3 of 10
    Parenting Controversy
    Jim Higley wrote that he was tired of reading about parents fighting online and on the TV. He just wants parents to support each other, acknowledge what they are doing right and cheer each other on. That was a bit of an eye opener that this discussion has been had before. My post wasn't the first boneheaded post, and, unfortunately, it probably won't be the last.
  • Tired Stereotypes 4 of 10
    Tired Stereotypes
    Doug French explained, " . . . extrapolating that to sweeping generalizations like 'Mothers are just better at some things than fathers' can get you into trouble, especially at a time when so many of us dads are wearying of sexist stereotypes and discovering our power not to put up with them anymore." I had no idea that fathers were tiring of stereotypes. I've heard of people who didn't like Home Improvement, but it never had anything to do with the perception that dads were blundering idiots. Since that post, I've become much more aware of the little subtleties here and there that Doug was referencing in his comment.
  • Cultural Support 5 of 10
    Cultural Support
    Amanda commented, "Men need more cultural support for being devoted dads." I can't say I wasn't aware of what Amanda was referring to, but I had no idea the need was so extensive. After reading the Facebook comments and recognizing the problems with shows like Home Improvement, I better understand why fathers need more cultural support
  • Women Attack 6 of 10
    Women Attack
    Chris Routly's comment ties right into Amanda's comment. He said, "the real offense I see in all this isn't even this post, it's the comments on Babble's Facebook page, where the majority opinion among women appears to be that the thing Mothers are better at than Dads is ‘EVERYTHING.'" I had no idea women could be so harsh about that type of topic. Just as I didn't expect any dads to take the post seriously, I didn't expect so many women to come back with such harsh criticism of the jobs dads do.
  • Doing it Right 7 of 10
    Doing it Right
    Dadcamp wrote his own list of things he thinks fathers do better than mothers, and his list was far better received than mine. It included such things as making ice cream cones, winning prizes, baiting a hook, and piggybacking. His post gave me some insight into writing a better humor post that doesn't cross the line like mine did.
  • The Written Word 8 of 10
    The Written Word
    Busydad commented, "I really think that if you sat around and said those things to a bunch of guys while drinking beers, we all would have laughed and contributed more examples. And at the end of the night, we'd all go back home and be EXCELLENT parents." This may have been the most spot on, yet obvious comment. Having such little experience writing on the internet, I learned quickly that things can easily be taken out of context through the written word. The post was a "welcome to the internet" coming out party.
  • Traditional Working Dads are Dads Too 9 of 10
    Traditional Working Dads are Dads Too
    Bloggerfather wrote, "You know, if you don't do the patenting thing, and your wife does everything but the dishes, maybe you shouldn't write here, but on Dishwasher Monthly." This is probably unintentional or maybe even self-perceived, but I've started to notice that dads who have traditional jobs are viewed by some as inferior parents. I know if I had the time to practice I would be able to do many things better than my wife, but I only get 10 hours during the weekdays with my kids while my wife gets 65 hours. Does it make me less of a parent because I leave my kids each day so I can financially support them? I don't think so.
  • Importance of an Apology 10 of 10
    Importance of an Apology
    In an email exchange, Beta Dad wrote, "Your post was ham-handed and legitimately offensive. . . . You're writing in a public forum, about a topic that people feel very strongly about." I didn't realize people would take such generalizations with such offense. Betadad continued, "It seems like in this whole kerfuffle, you have not acknowledged that the reason people got upset is because of the way you painted all dads with such broad strokes--strokes that are very similar to the cliches about dads that so many of us try to transcend. " Betadad was right. I apologized for unintentionally offending so many people, but I didn't do a good job of admitting that the generalizations were legitimately offensive to so many people. For that I apologize and promise it won't happen again.

Read more about my family on Moosh in Indy or follow me on Twitter!

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More on Dadding:

The Joys of Being the Second Favorite Parent

Redemption: A Second Chance at Being the Favorite Parent

The Family Wars: Kids and Gun Play

Article Posted 4 years Ago
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