The Bumbling Mr. Mom? I’ve Never Seen Him

Credit: andrewmaloneI recently read an article about the death of Mr. Mom—the doofus dad who fumbles his way through parenthood. An enigma who is talked about but rarely seen, Mr. Mom seems to be as elusive as Bigfoot. All the dads I see appear to be perfectly competent. Capable. And in control. Especially at my house.

When my daughter was born, in her super-speedy delivery that left my head spinning, my husband was the one who pointed me where I needed to go, helped me manage those first feedings, and understood what the heck the NICU nurses were saying. From those first moments of my daughter’s life on, I never doubted my husband’s ability to take care of our kids.

Certainly, we don’t do things exactly the same way. He’ll let the kids wear pajamas until they’re going down for their mid-day naps. He’ll roughhouse slightly more roughly or toss the baby slightly higher than I would. He’d happily skip baths until the kids were visibly grubby. And he was the one who allowed my daughter to have syrup with her waffles for the first time, while I’m the one who ensures that meals always include veggies. But even though we have different styles, the kids’ needs always get taken care of and they’re always loved.

Occasionally it can be tempting to micromanage when my hubby’s in charge. Change out a barrette that doesn’t match or step in to help when the baby is fussy. But oftentimes my husband does as good of a job as I do if not better, when it comes to quieting a grumpy baby. My daughter certainly is more cooperative with her daddy when it comes to potty time, much to my chagrin, because I have put hours upon hours upon hours of time into the endeavor. I think as parents, it’s good to have complementary styles and abilities (and patience when the other has lost theirs!).

Do you think the idea of Mr. Mom is a thing of the past? Have you ever been hesitant about leaving your baby with your husband or another family member? —Erin


Categories: From Erin, Mommy TalkTags: ,

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  1. I agree. My husband is at least as good at taking care of our son as I am. I went on a work trip a few weeks ago and was gone for four nights, leaving my husband in charge of our 11 month old, and it never even crossed my mind to leave him any sort of instruction. I did try to arrange to have his brother or my sister bring him dinner while I was gone so he didn’t have to cook every night on top of all the baby duties (or worse, eat frozen pizza every night!). But when I look around, I see lots and lots of dads serving as equal partners in child-rearing. And it looks to me like they are quite fulfilled by it.

  2. Yes, I agree! In fact, my husband is a stay-at-home dad and better suited for the full-time parenting than I am. He does a wonderful job taking care of our daughter. We also have a couple of friends who are in the same situation, with the dad staying home with the kids. It’s great to see the old stereotype wearing away!