Since moms generally handle the bulk of the responsibility when it comes to raising a family and managing a household, there tends to be a mentality among some dads, as well as an assumption on society's part, that they can't do a good a job or that their homes could possibly fall apart when their partners have to go off duty for whatever reason. And it doesn't just get dads nervous; it gets moms nervous too (as if they need more anxiety).
Faced with the reality of his wife being out of town for work for several days, leaving him to care for his six daughters on his own, an Oregon dad had quite the reaction, and it's not one we're used to seeing these days: This dad says he's going to step up to the plate and pretty much do everything his wife was in charge of, because he's their parent, too. Duh.
In a Facebook post shared on May 9, Jeremy Martin-Weber uploaded a photo of his wife at the airport before her departure, and listed all the tasks needed to care for his kids while his wife is away.
"Now to figure out who:
- will cook and feed my children
- will get them to school on time
- will pick out clothes for our youngest to wear
- will respect their routines and help hold those boundaries for them
- will hug them when they need a hug, and kiss their bruises, and tend to their scrapes.
- will comfort them with their nightmares and help them go back to sleep
- will help them with conflict resolution with their siblings
- will listen to every little detail they want to share about their day
- will read them a story, encourage them to play outside, or play a game with them
- will support and encourage my teenage daughters with their feminine "problems," and their relationship struggles
- will model kindness, love, patience, listening, empathy, strength, bravery, and all the good things to them"
"Who is going to do all that stuff while their mom is away?" he writes.
His answer: "Me. That's who. Because I'm not the babysitter. I'm not just their playmate. I'm their dad. And looking after them and guiding them and caring for them is my responsibility. And I love it—with all of its challenges."
He also goes on to object to the expectation that he won't do a good job or that he's special for wanting to be responsible. "No, the house will not fall apart or be trashed and the kids will not be ruined because dad is in charge. And no, I don't deserve anyone's special praise and adoration because 'Wow! This dad can look after his own kids.' I'm just doing what every parent should do, and what moms do every day without praise or adoration. It is enough that the mother of our children and I communicate our appreciation to each other for all the things we do for our family."
The powerful message has since racked up almost 1.5k shares and almost 300 comments. Many commenters really appreciated his words. One user wrote: "Kudos to you Dad! There are NOT many fathers out there that would even consider giving this type of 'fatherhood' a try because in their minds they get that instant 'I can't do this on my own.'"
We couldn't agree more. It's time for dads to abandon the mentality that they can't do as good of a job at parenting as moms can, and it's time for society to ditch that assumption as well. When dads are afraid or worried about parenting their own kids, it prevents them from contributing equally at home with household duties and childcare, making hard-working moms' already-hard lives even harder. And while it may be difficult and exhausting to start stepping up to the plate, many moms can confirm: You can handle it.
This article orginally appeared on Working Mother.
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