Today I jokingly posted an article titled “Dads, Wake the Hell Up!” on my husband’s facebook page. He was not amused. In fact, he argued that he already does most of the things mentioned in the article. Written by a stay-at-home-dad to the millions of hardworking, sports-watching, golf bag-toting American dads out there, the article is a wake-up call telling such dads to forego some of the sit-in-front-of-TV-with-beer-in hand nights and at-the-golf-course-for-six-hours Saturdays to spend more time with their families.
Turns out my husband was right. He already does a lot of the family-oriented things Mr. Pearlman suggests:
1. Takes care of the kids – yes, both of them – for longer than 2 hours at a time. My husband’s great at keeping the kids when I need to go to the grocery store or want to go meet a friend for coffee. Even more mind-blowing: While I was working on my low-residency MFA, he watched both kids for 10 days at a time four different times! (During my first residency, my daughter was 2.5, and my son was 8 months. Major Dad points were accrued.)
2. Plays with the kids – He wrestles. He tickles. He throws. He catches. He dunks. He gets matchbox cars going on the racetrack and pops Polly Pocket dresses on.
3. Does chores – He does all the outside work, including installing fences and building decks when needed. He makes sure all the bills get paid, gives the kids baths on most days, and does his own laundry. He helps put the kids to bed and yes, when they were babies he changed diapers. (And yes, he does dishes when I ask him to.)
4. Gives me a break – My husband is really good about letting me get out of the house if I need to. I do work, so of course I have time away from the kids every day, but when he coaches and I have the kids by myself every evening, he understands that I might need a break on the weekend.
5. Says “I Love You” – Steven has always been generous in letting the kids know that he loves them.
So I guess I’m married to a pretty great guy. Definitely a great dad.