Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Daddy LB

I've been slow to post some awesome awards I received from my blog buddies, so I apologize to them for not having acknowledged them until now. And I also wanted to go on a bit of a rant here (unrelated) so stay with me.

Raoulysgirl of Who Has The Thyme? passed both of these on to me, and I'm honored. While I don't share all of Raoulysgirl's political views, I respect her passion and wish everyone cared as much about what goes on in the nation's capital and as she does, because our country would be a better place if our population had one-tenth of her passion.

Also, Nicole of Tattoos And Teething Rings passed on the Badass Blogger Award. I won't share the picture because I don't really resemble the female in the portrait ;) but if you want to see it, here it is. I'm touched that a badass mom considers me a badass blogger!

And the latest award I picked up was also grand.

Polly at the 5th Sister gave me this one. This is the THETA award, or The True Authentic Mom.... wait, what? I'm not a mom, though many people have called me a form of mother before. See, you start wearing pink and flaunting it, and look what happens.

No, actually I was touched by this for what it means. I do consider myself an authentic parent, and while I'm honored by the fact that people think highly of what I do in terms of taking care of my girls, I'm also upset by the low bar set by many husbands and fathers. I mean, sometimes a guy changes a diaper and wants a parade held in his honor for doing so. Give me an effing break.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that I changed the vast majority of Yvie and Kennedy's diapers. Yvie may have been 50/50 but I changed Kennedy's diapers at least 75 percent of the time. Easily. And I didn't want a parade. I just wanted some disinfectant spray because little Kennedy could brew up some nasty stuff.

I didn't exactly set out in life wanting to be a stay-at-home dad (and let's face it, while I have a career and work outside the home, I'm a SAHD for all intents and purposes). When we had Yvie, I worked. I was a teacher, a miserable failure of a teacher (I'll exorcise those demons at some point, not quite ready for that now), but I worked full time. In 2004, I was no longer a teacher but rather split my time between substitute teacher and writer, and once my freelancing picked up in 2005 I was bringing in some good money doing that and subbing.

Mrs. LB meanwhile had taken off within her company and was climbing the ranks. Eventually, we added another child to our family, and after Mrs. LB's maternity leave ran out, she went back to work and I stayed home with Kennedy most days. I still had to sub so my mom was able to watch the girls but I was around a lot for Kennedy's infancy.

Since Yvie started school in fall of '08, I haven't been able to sub at all, so since spring of '08 I haven't subbed a day. Which means I've been here at home most days, handling the bulk of the day-to-day responsibilities of running a household. I cook and clean and... well, I don't do laundry (another topic for another day, but in short I was relieved of those duties a long time ago). I take Yvie to and pick her up from school every day. Same with Kennedy when she has school. I try and volunteer in Yvie's class once a week. Mrs. LB leaves for work around 5:30 Monday through Friday so I have to do all the morning duties every day by myself. Yvie can dress herself most of the time but Kennedy can't. And neither can do their own hair, so that part is fun.

Yeah, it's tough sometimes and I really don't have much time for myself in the mornings and afternoons. And, oh yeah, I have to fit my freelancing in there somewhere. And running. And blogging.

But I chose to have children. I wanted to have children. Since I was young, I knew that I'd have children some day. So I'm trying to live up to my responsibilities. The last thing I want is for my daughters to have a negative image of their dad. I would be destroyed if that was ever the case. I'd just consider myself a failure and go live my days in a cave, in shame.

So if I chose to have children, then why would I hide from the responsibility of being a parent?

It really irks me when people don't take interest in their children's lives. One thing in particular that gets under my skin as well is when guys "babysit" their children. It bothers me when people - usually other men - ask me if I'm "babysitting" as if my girls are just some random girls that I happen to be watching.

The dictionary defines babysitting as "to take charge of a child while the parents are temporarily away." Thus, if you are a parent, then you cannot babysit your own children.

But that's the low bar I'm talking about. A guy takes care of his own children and is "babysitting" them. Like it's not his responsibility to care for his kids when the mother is around.

It all comes down to being a responsible parent for your children, plain and simple. Working long hours and commuting like Mrs. LB does is one way of doing so. Staying home and caring after them from morning to night like I do is another way. Just show them love and put them first. It's really that simple.

I don't know, maybe I'm off base. Who knows? There's no right answer, of course. I just try and do what I think is right.

And I'm honored that Polly feels I'm doing things right.


5thsister said...


thamesarino said...

You have hit on one of my biggest pet peeves also... a father can NOT babsit his own kids!!
I happen to be blessed with a husband who(IMOO) is one of the most involved and best daddy's I know... but I have many girlfriends who aren't as lucky!
I feel completely confident in his abilities when I'm not here...and although I am the stay at home in our relationship... he would do it if I could make the money he does...
when I went on a 5 day vacay earlier this year, I thought I would come home to a man dying to go back to work and escape what can also be achallenging job... but he was sad to not have as much time with the kiddos.
Sounds like you and he are the kind of Dad's we all hope for! Good job! You should be proud!

Lissaloo said...

You have 2 very lucky little girls,they have an amazing Dad. Kuddos to you on your rant, you are right on!
Congrats on the Awards :)

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I LOVE this post! I totally agree, why do we set such low expectations for fathers? And why do they fall in line with them? Your girls are so fortunate to have a loving, involved daddy.

Willoughby said...

Applause! I totally agree with you about fathers who "babysit". It's just plain ridiculous. My husband has always been very involved with our kids. He doesn't just "babysit" when I'm not home.

Lisa said...

Great post and I wish more men were like you. You wife is a lucky lady and your daughters have an awesome daddy and role model. You are setting the bar high for them and that's a great thing.

Totally agree with you on the "babysitting" thing. I get annoyed when I read blogs by women who thank their husbands for watching their kids so they can run. WTF? Watching? They are HIS kids too.

I'll get off my soap box now.

Great post!

Lissaloo said...

I have an award for you over on my blog :)

ChristineM said...

What a great post! I love hearing a dad's point of view on those other dads...sometimes I think we women seem to lump men into the same category, and that's not true and not really fair. That's one of the best things I've learned from you is not to let myself fall for the stereotypes! It goes the other way too - you can still be a mom when you come home from a long day at work. One of my dearest friends just boggles my mind, because all she can think of every weekend is excuses to get a babysitter and go out with the girls...or even away for the weekend?! I admit a LITTLE "me" time is a good thing, but sometimes I wonder if these parents - moms and dads alike - really wanted kids or had them because that's what you do..

Anyway, I think you're an awesome dad!

Raoulysgirl said...

Great post! Thank you for the kind words about me! They really mean a lot!! The great thing is that we CAN have differing political views and still be friends!

You are an amazing daddy and your girls are very lucky to have you (but also, you them...which you recognize ALL the time)! If more parents in the world had the same values that many of us "blog friends" seem to share, I believe the world might just be a little better. Unfortunately, selfishness and laziness intercede and we have...well...reality. And it sucks.

Kudos to you for calling out the slackers!!!

Angie Eats Peace said...

::standing ovation::

I can only give a big DITTO to everyone else's comments.
I cant stand when Dads say they HAVE to "baby-sit."