The internet is basically either negative Nancies complaining about the other side or happy stuff mostly consisting of dancing cops, giggling babies and moms supporting each other through the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s not always easy being a mom.
But you know what? Someone needs to say this: It’s hard being a dad sometimes, too.
You probably all think being a dad is just a big ol’ party of tools, grilling and bathroom jokes. There’s some truth in that. But it’s not always so amazing. Sometimes, it’s hard being a dad. Here are some examples.
Exhibit A: Arguments
We don’t get to win any. Ever. I personally married an attorney just to completely lock down any chance I might have had of winning one argument by mistake or something.
Still, no matter how correct we dads are, at the end of the day we have to concede that we’re wrong. I’ve conceded arguments in which I had to admit that I should’ve known my wife meant something other than what she said because she wouldn’t be so wrong like that, how dare I didn’t know that.
Exhibit B: Authority
It’s not just arguments. I actually got used to “losing” arguments fairly early on. It’s the utter lack of being a voice in the household democracy that gets me.
My kids rarely even ask me for permission anymore. That’s because they know better. My permission to watch the latest brutally awful episode of “Bizaardvark” is meaningless because when their mother walks in, she knows if they should be doing something else.
It’s not that my wife objects to me giving permission. It’s that I don’t know all of their 142 tasks and homework and things that they’re supposed to have done.
So when they ask for permission to melt their brains by watching the latest soul-crushing worthlessness of “Bizaardvark,” it’s not that they can’t do that. It’s that they can’t do that before they do their math, fill up their water bottle for practice and take out the garbage.
Exhibit C: Handyman
On balance, moms generally expect very little from dads, which is great. But they do generally expect us to kill bugs, protect the home and grill the burgers. Fortunately, most of these tasks are incredibly easy, so we’re all good.
But somehow, one of the things dads are expected to do is fix things that are broken around the house. What the heck is that about?
I went to school for about 20 years and accumulated many degrees and found a steady, reliable job. None of the classes I took prepared me to figure out how to hang a heavy thing on a wall made of plaster, which crumbles like that wall in the “Shawshank Redemption” prison. That, and other similarly tricky tasks have led me to call a — gulp — handyman.
A handyman is just another dad you pay to come over and be a real dad for a while when you’re unable to do the limited job duties of a dad. Greeting and watching this new dad do the dad things you can’t do is a pride-swallowing siege.
Paying the bill to this better dad is like going to a middle school dance with no pants, having just walked out of a cold shower.
Exhibit D: ‘Hi Mom’ signs
One of, if not the only domain dads get to be prominently involved in, is sports. Whether it’s coaching, throwing the ball around in the backyard, or just showing the kids the enjoyment that can come from being a sports fan by sitting on the couch all weekend (and Monday night), sports is the one area where dads get to shine.
And then the kids say “Hi, Mom” to the camera.
I guess it’s better than saying hi to the handyman.
At the end of the day, though, it’s probably harder being a mom than a dad in most cases. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy all the time.
At least, that’s what we decided when my wife and I argued about this the other day.