In the Parenting Olympics, Does Mom or Dad Get the Gold?
~By Alan Kercinik
I’m a dad. I’m in marketing. And I’m a blogger. No matter which of those hats I’m wearing, I still don’t understand the zero-sum game that parenting has turned into.
During the Olympics, P+G (not a client of mine) started airing those “Proud Sponsor of Moms” commercials. You’ve probably seen them.
Some dad bloggers took offense. “P+G IGNORES dads,” they said.
I’m all for correcting misperceptions. If some brand ran commercials that said, “Dads are complete idiots and we should propagate the species only through sperm donation to mitigate men’s impact on children,” I’d be all for torches and pitchforks. (I’m also trying to think of what brand would run that commercial.)
But when did recognition of one parent start meaning a slight on another?
I get that parenting can be a completely thankless job — not as much as my wife, though, who is home with the boys every day. Usually the only time I get a “thank you” out of my son Jack is when I remind him. We’re at that stage. We’re trying to teach manners.
But my understanding of the job is that we don’t do this for ourselves. Parenting is not a competition. It’s not a blood sport. It’s not for us. It’s for our kids.
Because for it to be otherwise means that we are subverting our kids’ successes in life. I never want credit for what Jack and Reid do. All I would ever want either of them to say is that I encouraged them to go after it.
Both moms and dads do a lot for their kids. But let’s be honest. Moms in this country have shouldered WAY more of the child-rearing burden than men have. Men have shouldered way more of the financial burden. These are truths, not judgments.
Things are changing, of course. More dads are more involved with their kids than ever. More moms are the primary bread winners.
One role is not better than another. Both are important. Both are different. Having to focus on one or the other does not mean you love your kids more, or less, than the other parent.
No matter what anyone says.
Alan is the mastermind behind the hilarious blog Always Jacked.