Found a post at Por Completo that discusses the low standards society has for paternal involvement with children. Give it a read. The last two graphs, quote then commentary, are what intrigue, frustrate, and inspire me most toward change.
More of the Louis C.K. interview, incidentally, at Funny or Die.
What do you think? Does society have a different standard for “Good Father” than for “Good Mother”?
Reading this in a haze of jet lag, but I just had to say…you hijacked my brain. Working on a post about this very thing. I love Louis C.K. I also love your tag!
It is the unfortunate state of affairs. His comment “What’s caught my eye here is how offensive the low-bar treatment is to a single dad raising two daughters.” makes me think he’s preaching to the choir. It also makes me think about how I contribute to the unfairness. I work full-time, make dinner, supervise the kids with chores and homework. My husband comes home eats his dinner and then gets to play. Meanwhile I’m too damn tired to play, or too busy folding the laundry.
There is a double standard in parenting, and I think it dates back ot the “traditional” roles that were quickly handed out at the onset of a child’s life. Society has changed, families don’t look the same or fit the “traditional” mindset. In all the ways that families have changed for the better and encompass such a wonderful variety of forms, we are still bound by the roles that have stuck around.
I think that caring for a child or children is the most important assignment I have ever signed on for. There are days when I am sub-par, at best. Other days, I can’t believe my good fortune. But I can see how people use those roles and still rush to make judgement on how someone is doing based on one snippet. There are plenty of crappy mothers. There are wonderful examples of nuturing fathers. It is the value you place on what you are doing, of how you want to inspire your child to be the best they can be, and let them find their own way. And it shouldn’t matter if you are mom or dad. You are a parent.
Sorry for the rambling…It just frustrates me to think that rather than focusing on the kids, we are so worried about what a “good mother” or “good father” looks like. For the most part, we are just doing the best we can…
My niece’s mother has been accused twice of child abuse. She continues to keep custody of my niece and continues to deny my brother visitation and gets away with it. Why? Because he’s just the dad and really has no rights. It’s disgusting the double standard…
I regularly get comments like, “I can’t believe your hubby does XYZ” in relation to the kids, the housework, or me. Since he works full-time, I guess people think that he should be excused from any and all duties pertaining to the house or the family. Wrong. I would never have married someone who wouldn’t participate equally. Now that I’m going to be working full-time, maybe we’ll get fewer mouth-agape stares, but I doubt it. Fathers shouldn’t just get to show up and then get some sort of god-like status. If any mom did that, she’d be crucified.
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While I have been blessed to know many Men who are amazing in their own right, as well as being excellent husbands and caring, involved fathers, I think that in general our society has a low standard for Men specifically. Although I might even take it a step farther and say that we just don’t expect adults to act like adults anymore OR parents to actually take their parenting responsibilities seriously.