There’s something I’ve noticed while having a child and being alone with said child. As a man, or “father” I usually have two different interactions with people I’ve never met while alone with my son. The first is the stink eye, like I don’t belong with this little person in my shopping cart. I wonder if some people actually think I abducted him and went grocery shopping. Or maybe some people disapprove of me letting him hold the bananas while we shop.
The second look tends to be as best I can describe :empathetic encouragement. People feel bad that I’m with my son and are rooting for me to do a good job. I have been told by many people that I look like I’m doing a great job. One woman even stopped me mid browsing and said “My, aren’t we the modern father.”
Let it be known right now that I do not need encouragement from women or men who think I should in all honesty be doing a worse job than they assume I am. Does that make sense? Has any other father noticed that people are surprised that you’re doing a good job? If this is the case for other people, how bad have our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers fucked up to make the majority of society not have any faith in us raising our kids? The modern father may be covered in tattoos or largely bearded, or insert stereotype , but we seem to be stepping it up and taking care of our kids.
Yes, there are still a large amount of fathers not doing a good job, I am aware of that. But the ones who are stepping up and saying “we want our kids raised differently then we were,” seem to be almost heckled by the society that says we should be deadbeats. Buzzfeed itself released a sort of “Father hood, your doing right” list. We don’t need to be told we’re doing it right, we’ve had enough bad examples to know what we want our children to feel and experience while growing up. We don’t need a pat on the back, we don’t need to be emasculated by having the world tell us that were doing stuff the mother used to do. You know why we deal with nasty ass diapers and weird rashes? Because that’s the job we chose to do when we faced the repercussions from unprotected sex, planned or not. Tabloid magazines and anytime talk shows will have you believe that people in my generation are lazy and not worth working. That’s just not true. Some of the hardest working people I know have concentrated their efforts on their children. I’ll even give a shout-out to the people that I hate; by Facebook stalking them I see that they even, are good fathers. We don’t need sympathy, we don’t need a pat on the back and we certainly don’t need a buzz feed list, we’re doing what comes naturally to us as fathers.
So when you see us, spouseless for whatever reason in public with our kids: Leave us alone. Don’t tell us were doing such a great job. We’re men, we know were doing a great job.
Happy fathers day to the new ones, the old ones, the past ones the present ones and all the ones who have done and are doing, a great job.