We should stop belittling husbands and fathers.
I love a good dad joke. They make me want to roll my eyes and force an obnoxious laugh. I love the funny memes about husbands not being able to find anything—they make me laugh. I read the posts about wives who are raising their husbands just like they’re raising their kids. I laugh and I enjoy the content. Until my husband made the comment “I wish they’d stop making husbands and dads look dumb and raise the bar a little.”
I thought about his comment for days.
I thought about every time I was sick and he let me sleep for however long I needed. I thought about how he always packs the diaper bag properly on our way out the door. I thought about the breakfast in bed every Saturday because he appreciates I stay home with our kids 24/7. I tried to think of one time he complained on a weeknight when I needed to get away and left him with the six kids all evening,
I couldn’t think of any.
I thought of the laundry he folds on his own initiative. The dinners he makes when I’m totally exhausted even though he worked all day. I thought of the soccer practices he’s run to when I was running late from work, feeding babies, and changing diapers in the car. I thought of the plumbing and the remodeling he took care of it while I didn’t have a clue what to do. Of him always changing the brakes on my car and keeping it nice for me.
I thought about how he is totally capable, smart, handsome, an excellent father, and how I am not raising him like a child. I thought about how if he needs a sock, he gets up and finds it on his own. I thought about how he likes football so much but it never comes before his family. I thought about all the times I’ve had to yell at him for being at the bar too late . . . there are none, he doesn’t go there. I thought about crying myself to sleep because of strip clubs and I never have. I thought of every night for months he was up at 3 a.m. with our sick newborn because I was so depressed and full of anxiety and couldn’t.
Then I thought about his comment again and I felt really ashamed.
Our men are good men; they’re strong and providing; they’re intelligent and problem solvers; they’re conquerors and leaders. Why are we always making them seem like they can’t make it without us wives mothering them?
My husband doesn’t fit the funny memes and I’m so proud of that. Maybe yours doesn’t either. If we stop belittling men, husbands, and fathers and raise the bar I truly think we would see them all rise to the occasion. Our funny dad and husband memes would fade but our strong, leading men would rise.
This post originally appeared on Enduring & Maturing
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