Thursday, November 3, 2011

Does this make you mad too? Why does it make me so mad?

I got in the car after work and I caught the last five minutes of Talk Of The Nation on the radio and was instantly enraged.  Usually I only half listen to the radio but something about this caught my attention.  A man was talking about how nobody understands his plight and how much he's sacrificed in his career and personal life, and how his male friends can never understand what he's gone through and how his kids are better because of it blah blah blah blah, and I thought, surely this man must have done some amazing, heroic act so I kept listening to hear if it was something like donating his bone marrow to 1000 strangers, or saved a family from a burning building, but no.  What, you ask, could the heroic thing he did that he and Neal Conan both were patting him on the back on a national public radio show?  What amazing sacrifice has he made?

He stayed home and raised his kids.  Yeah, that's right.  There was a show all about how wonderful and  unique and noble this guy is because he took on the unbelievably difficult job of care of his own offspring.  I was driving, and frothing at the mouth and was digging out my phone to call in to the show and then the show ended and now my only outlet is to write about it on this blog.  When a woman stays home and takes care of her own kids BIG DEAL.  If anything there are hints that she's selfish because she isn't contributing to the financial well-being of her family because really, shouldn't the woman of the new millennium really be expected to bring home at least half the money AND take care of her kids and family and house?  Not only did this man on the radio not express any guilty feelings for not possibly doing enough for the family, but he got on the radio and bragged that he provided the primary care for his own children!

In this same vein, a friend on Facebook posted an article that some idiot woman wrote in to an advice column to ask about how come her friends with kids always say they are so busy.  What are they doing all day?  How hard is it to take care of a couple of kids?  AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!  Here it is:

I love the reply, btw. But why is it that when a woman does a job, any job except maybe race-car driver, the general consensus (from both males and females) is "Eh, so what.  Couldn't she possibly do a little more?" But when a man does it he brags about it and pats himself on the back and gets paid more money than his female counterparts.  Yeah, women still only make about 80 percent of what men make for doing the same job.  Maybe it's because men know how to toot their own horns better than women. I don't know, but it really bothers me. The thing is, I stayed at home with my kids when they were small and I totally agree with the braggart on the radio that it IS a hard job, but I would NEVER go on a radio show and brag that I decided to do a job that millions and millions of other people do every day, and act like I invented the idea of providing primary care of my own children. And the fact that he got a national platform to brag about doing something that women have traditionally done for thousands of years, what the hell? 

You know, I don't know why this makes me soooo mad.  I only heard about five minutes of the show so maybe the guy really did do something phenomenal.  Just a minute, I'm going to look it up....

Okay, I looked up yesterday's show and the guy is named Pat Byrnes and he stays at home with his daughters and he writes a cartoon about being "Captain Dad."  The cartoon is kind of cute but again, how many moms stay home with kids and then write hilarious blogs about it?  Tons.  None of them get on Talk of the Nation.  Here is something Byrnes said that exemplifies why he pissed me off so much:

There are more than 150,000 stay-at-home dads these days, according to the 2010 Census, but Byrnes says there's more to it than that. "There are a lot of dads that kind of share the responsibility," he says. "I mean, I know at least two firemen [who] work their, you know, 24-hour shifts. They got a couple of days. You know, they trade off with the mom. So that's becoming more and more common where dads are, you know, manning up and taking care of the kids."

Manning up and taking care of the kids?  Seriously?  Men who work but also look after their own kids on their days off should somehow be praised for it?  Oh my god.  


  1. Oh my gawd. This makes me sick!!

    I loved that article that my friend Traci posted, too. Traci is a mother of 6, stays home during the week, works at the hospital on the weekends, home schools and loves her adorable children to pieces. Never complains. Doesn't get a whole lot of praise (other than from her friends that think she is incredible!)

    Now if that were a man.... whoa there would be a street named after him, a special "Dad of the year" day to celebrate his awesomeness, parades - probably weekly...

    On the flip side, I do know men that are home with their children and do a wonderful job and don't expect pats on the back. They just go about their day like every body else and that's wonderful to see.

    Oh man, I could rant on and on, but you did a great job of describing what I feel (once again!)

    Great post!

  2. Yeah.. I'd have been pissed as well. ANYONE who is actively involved in the raising of their children is awesome.. it's not some how MORE AWESOME because you're a dude.

  3. I so agree! What makes a man taking care of his progeny so much of a hero? Big deal.

  4. Dana McKibbage WaldbilligNovember 3, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    OMG, just last night, Andy came downstairs with a towel around his waist and wet hair...

    ANDY: Oh my god! How long was I up there?
    ME: Um, a little over an hour?
    ANDY: You should come and see what I just did!
    ME: OK.
    We get to the bathroom and he pionts to the shower.
    ME: Yes?
    ANDY: Look at the back wall!! Look how clean it is!!
    ME: Yes? Is this the first shower you've ever cleaned?
    ANDY: No.
    ME: You seem really excited about it, and you want me to be really excited about it, but all I'm doing is adding up how many times I've cleaned this (and other) shower walls, and somehow I'm just not understanding your excitement.

    Needless to say, he stomped off, had a tantrum, and we haven't spoken since. Was I too mean?


  5. This is really irritating to me. I work part time out of the house. At home I have to clean, cook, do laundry, change diapers, help with homework (among other things) and I feel like I seldom get a break. If I want my husband to help, he always says he has stuff in the garage that needs to get done. I feel like he thinks what he does is more important than what I do. His idea of helping with the kids is bringing them over to his parents so they can watch them for him. Then after all that he expects me to be "ready" for bed.

  6. I know two full-time single dads that do all of the things that Byrnes does while also working full-time. I know plenty of women who do what he does as a stay at home parent. I know quite a few full-time single moms that work and do all of the household stuff. None of them ever ask for applause. Nor do they feel they expect anyone to understand their plight.

    The only part I do relate to is the part where he said his male friends don't understand. There are many men out there that still believe that if anyone stays home it should be the mother. Unfortunately this still doesn't qualify for a freakin national pat on the back.

    My ex used to tell me I should check with him before I planned to do anything. He couldn't guarantee he could "babysit the kids". We were still married then. Ridiculous.

  7. Hey Guys! Thanks for your comments, I thought maybe I was over-reacting a bit because I generally agree with the guy's position, but I'm stunned he was given a national forum to talk about it and act like he invented the whole idea or something.

    I looked up Byrnes blog and he has also been featured in the NY Times. What? Why? Which led me to another post on Technorati about working dads and what life-savers they are for the women in their lives and for their kids and it was titled, "Superdad or Psychopath" because you must be either a super hero or a nutball to stay home with kids (If you're a man). mmmMMMMMMMM!!!!!

  8. Alright, now I'm even more bitchy about it! LOL

  9. SO aggravating! feminists UNITE!
    for whatever reason this post reminded me of this parody i read earlier in the week.


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