How was your Father’s Day weekend? Ours was great fun.
We love baking so any holiday offers us a time to get creative and tap into our inner “Ace of Cakes” artistic selves. For mom-related holidays, my husband takes the reins and plots with the girls the cake du jour. For dad related-holidays, I’m on deck.
In both situations, the end result is always fantastic and great fun but the girls make an observation this weekend that was interesting, that they hadn’t made in the past: mom and dad plan, execute and participate in these events very differently.
They asked us each about it and we each gave them similar responses: not only do people have different styles as individuals but men and women are very different and parent very differently because of basic difference in gender.
My husband isn’t the only involved dad these days. It’s cool that many dads are incredibly involved and doing so while juggling careers, just like us moms. As you might imagine, any juggling act involving marriage, job and kids brings with it some element of stress. In fact, the stress my husband often talks about isn’t that different from what I feel on most days…he just describes it in “guy speak” and tends to understate it as “no big deal”, as most guys do.
And, he’s not alone. Many of the guys we know his age seem to be feeling the same guy stress expressed in the same guy speak.
Of course, they show it differently. While us moms would be having a few testy moments from time to time and perhaps seeking refuse in a spa or wine chat with a friend, our husbands may just tune out a bit more in front of a ball game. Sterotypical sounding, I know, but men and women deal with stress very differently.
So, I was reassured when I read in a recent NYT article by Tara Pope-Parker that a new study out by Boston College about today’s new dads has confirmed this trend. It’s important that dads get this attention and that people start to realize that today’s family has a different dynamic that many realize with the stresses being shared among the parents a bit differently than people realize.
So, moms, let’s all cut dads some slack and let them parent the way that’s comfortable for them. You have to stop worrying that his way is “different”… of course it will be…he’s not only a different person, he’s a man!
This quote from one of the BC colleagues from the BC study sums up the situation the best:
“We would not accept disparaging comments about women’s abilities in the workplace. Why do we think it is acceptable to make similarly disparaging comments regarding the incompetence of men as care takers and parents, when for so many men this is becoming one of the central roles of their lives?”
The study authors agree with this sentiment – and so do I. Dads rock…and it’s time we let them know that and respect them for that much more than we do in all of our homes!