How NOT to Treat an Equally Sharing Dad
If you want an equal partner, you've got to treat him (or her) that way. You can guilt, ridicule or baby him into 'helping' with housework or childraising responsibilities, but the result won't be a happy one and it won't last. One sure-fire way to annoy him is to treat him like he's stupid. I usually read essays in this tone that are written by women, but here's one that purports to relay an expert father's advice. The expert is Armin Brott, author and speaker on fatherhood; and in all fairness, he's probably full of lots of great advice for fathers.
But listen to the tone of this infomercial gratingly entitled 'Uh-oh! Let's go find Mommy' on how to get fathers to change more diapers:
"Brott suggested that moms help dads by setting them up for success and giving them the right tools to help them make the most of everyday moments like diaper changes [this is followed by a pitch for 'quality' diapers like Pampers brand]. Another way to increase dad's comfort zone with diapering is to prepare a diaper bag just for dad, or even a backpack that fits his style. Stock dad's bag with all the essentials - diapers, wipes, toys, change of clothes and other items - so that it's packed and ready to go whenever dad is."
We wonder why guys don't want to step up? Brott means well, but fathers are smart, grown men - not preschoolers. Men will not be our childraising equals if we instruct them, prepare them, and hover; this is demeaning. Changing a diaper or stocking a diaper bag is not rocket science.
And maybe, just maybe, our way is not the best way. A happily-diapering man may simply throw a discount store diaper and some wipes in his back pocket and head off to the playground.