Friday, February 27, 2015

Moms vs Dads - does one get better treatment outside the home?

I'm baaaaaaack ("you were missing?" - you, "um, didn't the sun disappear?" - me). I'm now recovering from my 4th (5th?) illness of 2015, which means I've been sick more this year than the last two years combined and it's not even March yet. Awesome. This time it was a particularly ugly bit of the stomach flu or the result of eating some bad yogurt (jury is still out on this one).

Luckily for me, Nate was able to step in and help out with some appointments this week. E had a follow-up doctor's appointment yesterday so Nate took off work, picked him up at our house and took him in. This really deserves a gold medal because taking E to the doctor is no picnic. True to form, he started screaming once he hit the parking lot. The kid has a sixth sense about the doctor - truly. And apparently was crying so much that the receptionist didn't even make him pull a ticket. She told him to sit down and that she would come to him. E was also screaming mama so maybe she thought there was a potential abduction situation happening? But really, who would kidnap a kid and take them to the doctor?

Anyway, this was a nice gesture. And to be fair, they've helped me out before as well. If E won't let me put him down they'll offer to fill out the paperwork so I just have to sign my name at the bottom of the page. Really great service.

But then they started asking questions like, where is his mother? Why isn't she with him? And it was in that judgmental, condescending, mommy guilt-inducing kind of way (from what I've been told). So Nate volunteered that I was "going at both ends" (thanks, babe) to which they responded "ewww" with lots of gasping and probably hid behind their desks with some Lysol (I would have). Naturally, this was followed up with lots of praise about what an awesome husband/dad he is to take off work so his son could go to the doctor (not trying to take away credit, but um, he's technically 50 percent parent here so you know, kind of part of the job) and then showered them both with stickers and lollipops because that's the kind of world dads live in. And while I'm really glad that they tried to take care of Nate and E, it also kind of rubs me the wrong way. I don't get sticker showers and unicorns when I go to the clinic. And once I get back to the exam room, I get lots of eyerolls and complaints about how I can't control my child (he is a beast) not a slow clap for showing up.



Which brings me to another recent event at Chick-fil-A. My grandparents were in town and we went there to eat (we're classy like that) and E wanted to play in the play area. So Nate and I took turns watching him while they sat at the table.

Here's how my 1st shift looked:
* four or five little girls and E -- I was the ONLY parent in there (both moms were outside the glass on their cell phones and laptops)
* broke up fight between two little girls
* repeatedly asked them not to step on E, which they continued to threaten to do

Here's how Nate's shift looked:
* four or five little girls and E - TWO moms showed up to help monitor things
* both moms kept reminding girls "not to step on the baby"
* everything was peachy

My second shift:
* two little girls, two bigger girls and E - ZERO parents (except me, of course)
* two older girls take E under their wing and help him down the slide
* little girls decide to go UP the slide, try to step on E who is going the right way up the steps
* get into spat with little girls (not my proudest moment). Ends with them saying they're mean birds (pretty sure they meant angry, but mean sums it up nicely).
* I leave thankful I have a boy because damn, girls are mean

Anyone else see anything strange here? My husband shows up in the play area and all of a sudden all the moms are in there and attentive. I show up and everyone disappears leaving me to play referee to their kids.

What is this crazy?! And I'm sure people are like, well you know, you're a stay-at-home-mom. Obviously, he's going above and beyond. And again, not to take away credit, but he's still his dad. It's kind of like asking dads to baby-sit. Um, no. He's the parent. It's no different than me watching E. Does this happen to moms who work? That would drive me nuts. Because then I would be taking time off, etc and still wouldn't be getting extra credit because I wasn't the sperm part of the equation. It's simply not fair. I mean, throw an Ergo on a dad and watch the internet break.

This was almost a year ago. Still adorable! 


But in all seriousness, I'm glad that people are willing to help out Nate when he's with E. I mean that in the most sincere way possible. Because sometimes being a parent is hard and it only makes it worse when people are rude. I want him to have positive experiences when he goes out with E solo. And the truth of the matter is that he really IS a great dad and an awesome husband. So if others are noticing and throwing some compliments his way that's OK. He deserves all the praise and then some.

And in the future if anyone wants to shower me with lollipops and stickers I won't say no. Just putting it out there, universe.

What do you think? Do dads get better treatment when they're out solo with the kids? I vote yes.

Cheers,
Jen

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