If you are a part of Parent Twitter than I assume you have seen the hilarious Dad Tweets from @TwinzerDad. A dad of twins, he’s got double the relateable content in all that is parenting. He eases our insanity with humor and truth. Don’t forget the Dad Jokes though, because he has plenty of them. What’s even better, he’s a writer! You can find his work on DaddysDigest.com. Today, however, he writes for Messy Mama, in his piece about the infamous “Mom Break” and how fathers of today’s generation don’t truly get the credit, and break, that they deserve. Enjoy the read, and then go and give him a follow.
Gimmie A Break
One thing that you realize early on with raising twins is that the schedule is everything. You live and die by the schedule. It is important to build that routine early and find what works for you.
My guys didn’t take to nursing. Despite my wife’s best efforts, they just had little interest in the idea of it. After our little guy continued to lose weight, we decided that making sure that feeding our child was more important than appeasing the “Breast is Best” advocates and switched to formula pretty early on.
While this did take an emotional toll on my wife, there were some advantages to going the formula route. The biggest perk being that since my infants were not dependent on a trip to the dairy every three hours, I would be able to take a greater hand in the feeding process.
We developed a pretty solid schedule. My wife and I would do the 9 pm feeding together, after which she would go up to bed. I would keep the boys downstairs and do the one o’clock feeding solo. This meant that she could have quiet, infant-free sleep until I brought the boys up after the 1 am feeding and she wouldn’t have to get up and feed them until 4am. At 7, I would get up and feed the boys with her before getting ready to head off to work. It wasn’t a perfect system, but it did guarantee that we would both get as much sleep as could be expected given our circumstances.
Despite all of this, every time I would talk to someone toward the end of my work day, I would get the same question. “Are you going to go home and give your wife a break?”
Fast forward three years. We still do our best to evenly distribute the workload (I mean 60/40, but I’m doing my best over here.)
My wife is a teacher, and my work schedule varies, but on an ideal week, it means that we have one day together with the four of us as a family and one day where we each have to shift into zone coverage and do a solo day with the boys.
Because she leaves earlier for work, every morning I get the boys dressed, fed and out the door to school or Grandma’s house. When I am off with them, we generally do the grocery shopping for the week. Almost every night that I’m home, I make dinner for the four of us.
Yet despite all this, I still constantly get asked “When are you going to give Mom a break?” or “Are you going to let Mom sleep in this weekend?”
I’m not attempting to pat myself on the back. I’m not asking for a parade including floats and a musical appearance by The Rock belting out “You’re Welcome” while being showered with praise. What I am asking for is just a little bit of respect.
Throughout the years, the bar has been set pretty low for dadding, yet this generation of dads seek to be more involved in the upbringing of their children than any generation before them. Many dads today strive to set aside traditional gender roles and take an equal share of the parenting responsibilities.
Yet there is an assumption out there that dads are standing by watching our wives do all the work. That while Moms are elbow deep in diapers and tantrums, Dads are kicking back with a beer and watching the game. There is little as demeaning for a Dad than to be congratulated for completing the most basic of parenting tasks without their wife there to give them explicit directions. It’s the same type of assumptions that inspire people to ask dads if they’re “babysitting” their children every time Mom isn’t present.
That’s not to say that Mom doesn’t deserve a break. It’s not to say that Mom doesn’t deserve an opportunity to sleep in on a Sunday morning or take a child free trip to Target, she does. It just means that it is time to assume that Dad may be equally as tired and that the good Dads out there are working just as hard to make their children a priority in their lives and are worthy of the same level of respect and consideration.
Guest Writer Information
Dale was born in Pittsburgh, PA but currently lives outside of Reading, PA. He graduated with a BA in photojournalism from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA in 2007. He has worked as a Marketing Brand Representative in the optical industry for five years. Dale lives in a quiet suburb with his beautiful wife and twin three-year-old boys. He enjoys Pittsburgh sports, comic books and bad action movies from the 80’s and 90’s. Dale also runs a comedic twitter account under the handle @TwinzerDad.