Yes, I will go into this discussion head first! That is what I am about to do on this blog. This is a call to all men to stop whining when there is no reason to cry or to feel sad. This blog is inspired by those complaining bloggers who also happen to be fathers. Their complaining about how less work can be done on those days when they are home to take care of the children isn’t right. For those fathers who really know how or what’s it about: you know this, you can do this and you are probably doing this!
A father who complains about the work he can’t do when he is home. This isn’t new. In The Netherlands, we have this dreadful word for that: “Papadag.” This means as much as a “Daddy day.” On these days, these fathers think they can do the same things they normally do. This is their “great” way to contribute. We should definitely recognize how hard it is for these fathers.
The term “Papadag” or “Daddy day” was introduced a few years ago. This term shows the difference between women and men. Women don’t have days such as these. We don’t call these days “mothers days”, except for that day in May. A day that “mother” is greeted with the standard perfume and appliances. Not really how we should interpret emancipation.
Oh yes, these fathers, they are going through such rough or tough times! They even speak about “babysitting”, when it concerns their own children! If you choose this word, there is no way in the world that you truly know about the concept of fatherhood. The days that you are home with your child or children are here for a reason. Well, they should be. In the first place, it’s because of your children. If your employer expects you to do the same amount of things that you normally do, then there is something wrong. Maybe it’s time to find out what your legal options are. One of these options is the possibility to take parental leave. If your employer refuses, there must be a damn good reason to do this. Well, according to Dutch laws there should be. Most of all, it comes down to this: you did something wrong. Not your children or partner.
Taking care of children is something that isn’t easy to combine with your work. Every child needs care. Of course, there are those moments when you can work. They are, however, frugally. They are not something to whine about. Still, there are many fathers who do so. They are only talking about limitations. Eventually, they are so relieved to see the arrival of the next day. Back at the office.
Men like these are those who can also state that they aren’t made for household chores. Simple tasks as loading and unloading a dishwasher seems to go just fine. Much further, no way. This isn’t about stereotyping. I’ve heard things like these many, many times before. Even when I was employed.
I remember vividly about men who bragged about their culinary skills. Or rather, the lack of them. Baking an egg was something they could do. It was also possible for them to barbecue a steak or some other kind of meat. The other dishes were meant to be taken care of by his partner. No one should ever tell them that these were shortcomings. Men who believed a shared household were “softies.” As if you are a “soft” when you are able to perform the (basic) household tasks.
No, men – fortunately not all men – are lord and master when it comes to complaining. Complaining about the work that cannot be done, when they are home. It is absurd. It is senseless. If you ask me, you should have thought about this when you and your partner were talking about children. You know, before they were there.
Yes, it’s so easy… these words of De Goede Huisvader, a family father. A father who stays home and takes care of the children. Remember, that I too was once employed. We made agreements, My Scientist and me. I did the same with my employers. When I was home, I was home. I didn’t work. If I was supposed to do some work, the amount would be the same as a “normal” workday. The pace was also different. And most of all, I didn’t whine!
And now, as a family father whose company is run around the activities of my children, it should be easier? Right? The idea makes me laugh. It isn’t easier. It’s different. It shows that you, if you should believe this, only see obstacles. Yes, combining fatherhood with self-employment requires acrobatic skills sometimes. Skills you should be able to perform. It doesn’t help to whine about this like some men do. Women don’t whine. They don’t write about these frustrations. Frustrations about not getting work done, when they have to combine it with being a mother. They don’t complain when it comes to dealing with the wishes of children and partner. They don’t write about the lack of career options or missed options. That is admirable!
For all you fathers or family fathers who also don’t complain: you too are great! It will even get better once you acknowledge that you can’t always be the one who is having it the most difficult. Men aren’t per definition or automatic piteous. When you didn’t take care of some important issues, like discussing options with your employer or try to find out what the law can do for you, then you shouldn’t whine. It’s rather clumsy. No, I will not use the word dumb.
What’s the matter? Can’t handle words such as these? Do they hurt? Do they elicit some kind of reaction? Fine! Think about all of this for a moment and find out what your options are. Instead of claiming that it’s just a hopeless situation. It’s not!