Dear Mums, Please Talk to Your Husbands

I am over the sexist parenting memes that only mothers seem to post. And for the most part, most of the mums I know who post or share these on social media, their husbands aren’t on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so I have to ask, what’s the point? Do you really want all your friends and family to know what a good a mother you are, or how bad a father your partner is?

mum verus dad meme
Dear Mums, This might be your household, but it’s not ours…

Mums are fantastic, don’t get me wrong. Mums generally don’t get to rest when the kids are around, but, if the dad is an active and hands-on father, as well as being an active and hands-on husband ( I mean helping with the chores, not hands on anything else) my expectation is neither does he.

My wife complains nearly every night that our almost two-year-old son has to sit on her lap and pick at her dinner. I offer to take him but at dinner he doesn’t really want to have a bar of me. But then, seeing I’m up early with the kids, what she rarely sees (although she has witnessed this twice this week alone) is that when I am having my breakfast, it’s one spoonful for me and the next for Master (Almost) Two. And I accept this as a part of parenting.

Last night I spent 90 minutes getting him to sleep. Yes, 90 minutes. He really didn’t want to go to sleep and preferred to grab my beard or the cord on my hoodie and giggle like it was the middle of the day and we were playing at the park. Seriously, I just felt like saying “just go the f…” well Noni Hazlehurst said it best, so I will leave that there….

As he’s still sleeping in his cot he can’t get himself out of bed. More often than not he calls out “Dad, Dad, Dad, DAD, DAD, DAD, DAD….” before eventually moving over to “Mum” if I haven’t got to him quick enough.

Now I’m not trying to talk up how good a father I am because it is not as though I have gone above and beyond ANY call of duty of being a parent. But what I am trying to show here is that I do my fair share because that is the expectations of my wife; and truly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I don’t enjoy changing a nappy full of poo, but I do it. I don’t like being a “short-order-cook” (Mum, I get it now) when the kids want 5 different options for breakfast, but I give them what they want (within reason; better to have them eat than to starve… as long as it’s healthy).

And because the phrase “a mother’s job is never finished” reads as “a parent’s job is never finished” in our household, I really take offence to these mum/mom memes. So mums, I ask you, please stop sharing this sexist drivel, and if you feel that they apply to you because you are not getting the help you need, talk to YOUR husband about it, not me.

That is all. I’m out of here. I’ve got some kids to go and look after…

So tell me, am I wrong to suggest these memes are sexist?

If you liked this story you might want to read about the other memes that I hate seeing on Facebook.
 Heineken Dog Fight The use of this picture by this Facebook page who are listed as Entertainment is just sick.
 It is Not a Protest, It is Slander A Battered and Bruised Child is Not For Your Enjoyment

41 thoughts on “Dear Mums, Please Talk to Your Husbands

  1. I tend to quietly roll my eyes at most of these or ones like them. I know I put in as much time and effort into the house and my children as my wife so I feel they don’t apply. But I hear you I don’t like being considered as the ‘second’ parent.

  2. I am starting to come around to this way of thinking. My thoughts were of the nature: “I am on if the few involved dads so who can blame people for calling out all the uninvolved dads and some are funny.”

    But, the more I am around you fine dad bloggers the more I start to think that, at least in some cases, society is partially to blame for the typical dad role. If its just accepted that dads are expected to be buffoons then society will never change. It actually never occurred to me that I’ve never seen a placard for dads. Pitty.

  3. I’m not sure if I would go as far as saying these are sexist, but they definitely are out-dated in the way they portray parenting. Today it is a mixed bag of roles that Mums and Dads play as workers and carers. Also families today are not only made up of these two parents (Mum and Dad) – some have 2 Mums, some have 2 Dads, some only have one or the other etc. I would definitely like to see some Dad memes but also maybe some others i.e. some depicting parents who are gay – which more adequately and inclusively reflect modern families.

    1. I for one notice how you sidestepped the question, they are clearly putting down one parent over another, this is sexist and even alittle bit of misandry tossed in and called irony.

  4. The sad fact is that there are many Dads like us…I asked a friend of mine who had a baby about the same time as me how they were dealing with the sleeping issues that come up around that time, and his response: “His mom takes care of all that, I don’t know”.

    That said, I’m in for starting some “Dad Memes”. Shoot me an email dad at littlebirdsdad dot com.

    Nice post, as always…missed reading MFO while on my blog-cation.


  5. I couldn’t agree more, but I know that not all parents are into co-parenting. I know a several families who fit the 1950s gender roles more than modern parenting. Still, I can’t help myself from losing it any time a mom or dad tells me one of the parents is “babysitting” the child. It’s called parenting, NOT babysitting….

    1. Exactly. Besides, when I used to baby-sit my neighbours I was allowed a glass of Coke and 2 ice creams from the freezer. But now when I am looking after the kids all day there’s no Coke and if I do get a chance to have an ice cream, guess who actually gets to eat them? Well it’s NOT me…

  6. I am not a proponent of these inflated gender stereotypes. It’s not helping the moms who need more help nor the fathers who are involved parents. Unfortunately, it’s not the norm yet. Childrearing and it’s related tasks are still typically placed on the mother. I’m thrilled to see a father taking a child to the pediatrician solo or shoe shopping or to dance class. When it becomes commonplace, I will dance in the streets.
    Sexist, it is not. Sexism is systemic oppression. It’s institutionally-promoted dichotomy. Men are the institution.
    Furthermore, the men who can exercise paternal leave and such are men of privilege. I fully support men who are attacking the system. However, it’s not anything akin to the struggles women fight everyday. Women joining voices in frustration about the disparity in parenting is not sexism. It’s irritating.
    You have a privilege that you can use amongst other men. You can also use it among women. It doesn’t work in reverse without tremendous effort against the men who are maintaining the status quo.

    1. As I mentioned on How To Be a Dad’s Facebook page today when they kindly shared my story, sometimes we have to use extremes (with the sexist or sexism call) to get points across. If I can be perfectly honest (and I try to be), this was intended for many mums who I am friends with and who complain about how slack their husbands are. But it wasn’t to stop them from telling the world how great they are because THOSE MUMS ARE GREAT, but I really wanted them to see that instead of just telling me how bad their husbands are, talk to their husbands. Communication, it is key to a successful relationship and a successful family life. I appreciate your comment.

    2. Well, sexism is not necessarily institutional. By the logic you display, it’s sexist to say “all women are sluts,” but NOT sexist to say “all men are pigs,” because men tend to benefit more from systemic inequality. By taking that logic elsewhere, it is racist to say “black people are lazy,” but NOT racist to say “white people are immoral opporunists.” Am I missing something? Does that actually sound right to people?
      Things can be sexist without being systemic in the overall approach, just like things can be racist. I find it silly and honestly rather destructive to define thing only in the sense of the system. It implies that people who, by pure accident of birth, happen to be in positions of privilege relative to their peers cannot possibly be victims of bad social programming or ever possibly be mistreated by society.
      There’s a lot wrong with how men are pictured in a lot of the media (homer simpson, peter griffin, men on most sitcoms). Pointing it out doesn’t detract from women, attack feminism, or trying to say absolutely anything about women. I just don’t understand why some people only want to attack societal injustice from only one or a few perspectives. Injustice and societal wrongdoing should be pointed out and called for what it really is across the board.
      If men are done wrong by society (and given how messed up and schizophrenic the media’s portrayal of “masculinity” is, I’d say they totally are), it should be safe to point it out without being accused of basically whining. What I’m hearing is “men have it marginally better, so shut up and stop complaining. Women are the ones who REALLY have it bad.” Again, I’m not making any points about women or feminism. I agree: women are systemically treated with less equality than men. They just are. It’s true. But that doesn’t mean it’s all roses just because some people have a penis, and that doesn’t mean that society/media doesn’t do negative things to men. Social justice is supposed to be for everyone, not just some classes.

      1. well if you look into it there is a institution/ideology that is pushing sexism as well as racism and their using peoples ignorance by misleading stats and rewriting history, i run into it all the time. commonly through facebook you’ll see people displaying casual misandry by sharing meme’s like this. Don’t worry there are more then afew of the reverse concerning mums but there should be more seeing as how people seem to not have a problem calling their so significant others lazy etc in a casual way, that if anything is disturbing when you look into it.

  7. I get your point and it is important to speak out for this.
    Unfortunately there are still dads who do not feel responsible for the kids in the situations you mentioned.
    To be fair, there are also still moms who don’t want do give a small piece of responsibility to the dads.

  8. Really. REALLY. They are memes. Shared in jest. You know what. I spend all days at home cooking, cleaning, washing and looking after my son and running my at home business. I get covered in wee and poo, food thrown at me, tantrums, hair pulling, nap fighting, Bath fighting, wearing clothes fighting. I deal with bumps and bruises, teething, growth spurts. I work my ass off.
    My husband comes in and its “yay, dada” followed by giggles and smiles. I get very jealous. I do the hard yards and he gets the love. He’s an amazing helpful father but I do work harder.
    So yes I’m going to share these innocent memes if I want, because if I don’t show myself gratitude, noone else will!

      1. He would, cause he thinks that the family work is not valued enough from the society. But he would also say “Why is there ‘mom’ and not ‘parents’?”.
        I don’t take them too seriously, but I think we should be able to question memes like this and discuss about it.

        As I am no English native, I hope you understand what I mean.

    1. This sentence is important I think:
      “if I don’t show myself gratitude, noone else will!”.

      We all should be more grateful with ourselves.

      But I think there is no use in being grateful with myself, if I make someone close smaller. And that is what some of them do.

  9. I often tag my husband in the comments on these type of memes – not because I’m “talking” to him about what a slacker he is, but because I’m acknowledging his MASSIVE contributions to our household. He picks the kids up from daycare. He cooks dinner nearly every night (he gets home about an hour and half before me). He is the laundry guy (with spotty help from me and the 11 yo). He takes both kids to doc/dentist/eye appointments (we do share this one). He wakes the 11 yo up most mornings so she can get to school on time, and let’s me sleep in a little longer. He also handles most of the business stuff like bills or making calls if something isn’t right (I’m too much of a pushover – he is Iron Man). So… What do I do? I take care of the 2 yo. Get up with her at night, put her down for naps and at night (which, as you know, can take hours), manage both kids bedtime routine, read stories to both kids (about an hour total), some other stuff, and *get up early most weekends with the kids and let him sleep in*. I love my husband very much :), but according to my coworkers, he is very much not the norm – at least in our area (very conservative, mostly Catholic).

  10. The “smarter than dads” one is awful, the others are simply sentiments about the traditional role women have played in the family dynamic. A role which is evolving to allow much more participation by fathers, slowly but surely. However, there do seem to be a LOT of dads that don’t do crap for their kids or wives, so these memes are completely true for a lot of moms. The ones that piss me off are the ones that straight up make dads look like effing morons who can’t tie their shoes, much less raise a child.

  11. In response to megan Clifton…sorry my comment got so messed up page is scrolling and being weird lol. I nevrr share a “mom meme” in any way intending to insult a dad..just so true and indicative of my life…yay for all the awesome dads out there!

  12. reading some of the comments here, you’ve got to wonder why some women read a blog like this. would they not value change, and more actual parenting dads?

    if you’re going to bang on about ‘traditional dads’ and question the contributions of actual modern fathers, then you’re only giving life to the cliché – not owning or promoting change.

  13. I agree that there is no place for the mom is better/harder worker/better parent then dad memes. And I dont post them. But the others I think are more like mom venting the frustrating place we’ve gotten ourselves into. As a full time employee, mother of 2, primary care giver, cook, house keeper and feels like zoo keeper I hate the constant pressure. I feel guilty constantly. My house isn’t perfectly spotless like it should be, every meal isn’t home made, sometimes quality time is a movie, popcorn and a snuggle. Moms have always been the center of the house and the family but modern times call for us to shoulder much more. I’m glad you’er the kind of dad who will spend 90min putting your son to bed. That when hes yelling for you, you go. And you take on the morning routine. Instead of ‘i work all day, I deserve to sleep in’ and ‘go find your mother’. Moms are great, but dads like you are pretty awesome too

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