**Note: This is a fixed up repost from my personal blog. As certain events have unfolded in my life, and with words that have been floated my way recently, it is very fitting to my mood today, so I wanted to share it here too**
There is probably a lot in life that I should apologize for. Fighting with the wife, punishing a child then later finding out they weren’t the one at fault, being late to work because I had no motivation to show up. Perhaps I should take into consideration the lies I told my parents when I was a kid, the times I stole from others during my later teens and early 20’s, and the guy I flipped off and almost wrecked the day before the wife gave birth to Little Man.
These are just a few things I could think of that I should apologize for. There are many more, but it would take years of posts to list them all. The better side of this is that I have done things that don’t warrant an apology, whether others see it as right or wrong. The biggest , and perhaps most steadfast action I will never apologize for, is for not being mommy.
Here we go:
People like to compare dads and moms, and hardly ever is it in a good way. Though that is a view that has been shifted greatly in recent years, but there is still a long ways to go. In more specific detail, people like to compare SAHDs to SAHMs like they are inferior, weaker, and more likely to fold under pressure. Recently, personally, it has been said that maybe if I did things more like mommy then my new role as the at-home parent during the week wouldn’t be so bad.
Here’s the thing:
I am not mommy. I am not my wife. I am not a female. I don’t do things the same way she does, but I will never, EVER apologize for that. Since when did doing things different mean that you were doing things wrong? Nap time came 30 minutes later than normal. Big deal, we still napped, and were up in time to get Little Man off the bus. No harm, no foul, no apologies.
I think that popcorn and apples are perfectly acceptable snack time foods. Oh dear Lord though, I gave them something not so healthy along with something healthy. But guess what? Nobody is in bad health, nobody had explosive diarrhea or a case of the farts that would run out any weiner dog nearby. Nobody puked, nobody even cared. It was snack time with a movie, and popcorn and apples sounded delicious. No harm, no foul, no apologies.
When it comes to discipline, I take the role of “Daddy Law Enforcement Agent” pretty quickly. There are some things that can slide with a quick “no, don’t do that” or will cease with the simple use of a child’s middle name. However, there are sometimes when more direct actions need to be taken. A time out, a slap on the hand for a hitting infraction, or being sent to a room until crying has stopped. Again though, I parent on my terms, not anyone else’s. Despite some of the harder days (like a recent hand in the diaper, poop in the face incident), despite the fact that there are evenings when it seems there is more disciplining going on than singing and dancing, my children love me, and I love them. No harm, no foul, no apologies.
Where am I going with this? Nowhere really. Just been kind of bothered by comments and remarks I have heard from people about my parenting style. And being told that I should be more like mommy? Well, that just sends me over the edge. I am not mommy. I am not a female and I am not my wife. Parents use different styles. It’s different between moms and dads, different between dads and dads, and different between moms and moms.
What matters is that I choose to parent effectively, lovingly, and without harsh judgement. Do I always succeed? No I don’t. But do you always succeed? No you don’t. We are human and we are fallible. That is how we work. We succeed or we fail. But we learn what we can for the next time. Even if next time is not the same as the previous, we have something to go by that helps us make better decisions.
In these ways, moms and dads are not that different. We all share a common ground which should be remembered by both parties. We share our fallibility, we share the parts of us that make us fail at times. We share human nature. And when it comes to being human? No harm, no foul, no apologies.