Most mothers of young children have some things in common: exhaustion, guilt, sacrifice, and periodical, all-consuming rage at their husbands. If not rage–then some serious resentments and complaints. What the hell is going on here? Why the universal failure of one half of the parenting partnership? We thought it was only fair to bring a real, living father on to our show to defend his kind and to weigh in on a series of complaints from mothers. Would you believe pretty much ended up siding with him? He’s that good, you guys. Listen in.
Listen to This: Why Men Are Such “Lazy” Dads
First, a little context from the Matron Saint of all righteous, having-it-all woman and motherhood, Sheryl Sandberg. In her interview from Makers.com, she discusses the issue that seems to pop up time and time again when a man and a woman decide to bear and raise offspring:
“I don’t know many men who feel guilty. I don’t know a lot of men who feel guilty for working full time, it’s expected that they’ll work full time. I wonder if there were more shared responsibility if more men would feel guilty too and women would feel less of it.”
The 42-year-old exec asserts that even though she may also work full-time, the task of making sure the family is clothed, fed, happy and healthy still falls largely on Mom’s shoulders.
“In America, if a couple works full-time, the woman does three times the amount of childcare and two times the amount of house care the man does, and that’s if they both work full time,” she argues. “Essentially, he’s got one job, and she’s got two to three.”
Damn strait, S-Sand! You tell it like it is! This is music to our feminist, long-suffering-mother ears. As you may know we’ve definitely chatted about motherhood troubles and stresses in this show, and we’ve repeatedly bumped into the niggling question–‘what is the DAD doing?’ And the answer seems to be….basically, not enough. Not as much. Not what the mom needs. Maayan has observed the lopsidedness in her friends and family with kids, and Lauren has experienced it first-hand. But it was time to stop the bashing and conjecture. It was time to let a dad come on and give speak for the Dudes….like the Lorax, except with fewer environmental concerns.
So we brought on Zach:
Zach and Lauren go way, way back. To age 7, when they hung out together all the time with Zach’s twin Darius pretending to be cheetahs and playing with troll dolls. Now, they still hang out, with families of their own.
Zach, while being a father of two young girls (ages 3 and 1.5), has also been a teacher for most of his life, which lends him a lot of wise and seasoned opinions on things (you’ll hear it in the podcast). He’s also one of the more emotionally in-touch guy friends Lauren has, so it all made perfect sense to have him as our–MAN ON DEMAND. Or…On-Call Father. Resident Male. You get the gist.
We put Zach in the hot seat, making him weigh in on a list of rants from an online mother-support forum (all anonymous, of course). And oh boy, there are some winners:
- There’s the mother who is ravenously hungry and desperate to finally go to the grocery store who is told by her husband that she can’t go because ‘he needs a haircut’.
- The mother who gets up all night whenever their baby wakes, asks her husband at 8 am if HE could take over…and gets nothing but a silent ‘blanket over the head and roll over’ avoidance move from the dude.
- There’s the father who snores soundly while the sleep-deprived mother struggles to find a snatch of rest for herself….
- There’s a mom, a giving, selfless, radiant and practically-perfect-in every-way-mom, who just wanted to watch a little Outlander for once in her life instead of put her child down to bed or do like…FOUR stupid dirty dishes…and the husband who TOTALLY was a jerkface poop-head about it.
There’s more. It’s juicy you guys. But…you’ll be surprised where Zach’s views lead us, and how less black-and-white the whole thing seems by the end of it. (Except in that one case with the jerkface poop-head guy. That situation was totally black and white).
Mooooving on to….
Maayan: A Rave. She’s been laughing out loud her entire plane flight thanks to the ridiculousness that is SKYMALL. More on that here.
Lauren: A Rant…or maybe just a Ponder? Basically she’s now fully come to grips with the fact that the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies are insta-snooze material. Just….so….soothing and not….interesting….More on that here.
Zach: A Rant: Project relationships. As a middle and high school teacher, he’s witnessed the cliche too many times–the smart, driven, pretty girl dating a complete lackluster loser with the aim of ‘fixing’ him. Don’t date projects, it doesn’t work, ladies.