Dads are good parents, too.

United States
February 13, 2008 12:37pm CST
Why do so many people assume that mothers are the better parents? I have heard women say they don't want to leave the baby with their husband because he won't take care of the baby the same way she would. Well, so what? Is your way the only right way? Don't you think a man is capable of caring for his own child? When there is a dispute between husband and wife, people seem to have the attitude that the woman is always right. When giving advice they say 'It's Your child, do what you think is right and forget what He says.' Last time I checked, it takes two to make a baby. Doesn't that mean it's His child too? Shouldn't he be involved in decision making? I know plenty of men who are wonderful fathers, but they don't get the recognition they deserve. Some women complain that they want their husbands to be more involved. Then when they do get involved, they make them feel like they're not good enough or not doing it right. Do you trust your husband's ability to care for your children? I do. If I didn't, I never would have married him in the first place. I did have the opportunity to see him with children before we got married, and I liked what I saw. He is a good father and I never worry about my son when he is in his father's care.
17 people like this
47 responses
@shannon76 (1233)
• United States
13 Feb 08
You're right. Some fathers are WAY better then the mothers (K-Fed). But I also think that fathers are not and will never be equipped with the motherly instinct. Not saying that they can not care for the child but maternal instinct is just natural. I could never father my child, nor would I want to. That is what his dad is for. Just like my husband could never mother our son. We play very different roles for a reason.
2 people like this
• United States
13 Feb 08
Yes, fathers and mothers play different roles, but I know some men who have more of a 'motherly instinct' than some women. I don't think it is gender specific, I think it is unique to the individual, but people assume that men don't have it.
2 people like this
@shannon76 (1233)
• United States
13 Feb 08
I don't assume men don't have motherly instinct - I know they do not.. How could they possibly have motherly instinct seeing as they are not mothers? And you are absolutly correct, some fathers may have more of an instinct then the mother, just like there are some mothers out there that are more of a father figure then the biological father. As women, we are the nurtures, the more loving ones - naturally. The men the workers, the fixers - naturally. And again, I know that this is not in all cases (like the mother that drown her children, ect.) but I am saying in most cases, that is how we were designed.
2 people like this
• United States
14 Feb 08
But I don't think it IS a 'motherly' instinct. It's more of a 'parental' instinct. I know several women who have nothing resembling a parental instinct. And I know even more men who do have it. I think the reason we call it 'motherly' is because traditionally, it is the mother's role to care for the children. Yes, there are some things that are specific to mothers. But in focusing on that, we take something away from the importance of the father's role in his child's life, from the start, not just as a provider, but as a caretaker. When men don't or are not allowed to get involved in the day to day care that is traditionally left to women, it perpetuates the gender stereotypes.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Feb 08
My feelings vary on this. If the mother is around the child most of the time and does everything for the child than yea I would think her way is the right way. I do know a lot of great fathers though. Some who even have full custody of their kids because things didn't work out with the mom. Me and my son father aren;t together anymore and he decided a long time ago that he wasn;t gone to be involved in our son's life so I cannot have a say about what is in my own life as i have never had to deal with that.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Feb 08
Well, the parent who is around most of the time will be the one with whom the child is most familiar. But when the father is there and not given the opportunity to care for the child and form a bond, that is wrong.
1 person likes this
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
16 Feb 08
QFT (Quoted for Truth) Thank you Silly. Thank you for voicing this when so few people do (uh, no offense to the many responders in this thread). I can easily answer why so many people assume mothers are the better parents and fathers are the terrible parents. However, it'll be a long answer... it'll also have ranting I guess. Anyways, one reason why so many people assume fathers are the worst parents and mothers are the best... its societal bombardment. I know that answer is paradoxical but bare with me. TV has examples of the mother being above average or perfect, while the father is a buffoon (even when compared to the children). You can also find examples of the mother being the better parent, being beyond any wrong doing, being excused in the cases of wrongdoing, etc. Those are found on TV, news, the paper, magazines, blogs... everywhere. With this, more of the societal mindset is discovered and highlighted for ascertation. Think of society's views on mothers and fathers... but think of both the good and the bad. - Father abuses his wife or children = he's a scumbag (rightly so) - Father murders his family = he's a real scumbag (I agree) - Fathers are the ones who skip parenting responsibilities (some do, not all) - Fathers are the deadbeats - Fathers need to "keep it in their pants" - Fathers divorce all the time to ditch the family and be with someone younger (happens WAY less than people think) Now here's how mothers are typically observed in several scenarios - Mother abuses her husband or children = no one cares (for some people this NEVER happens... how unrealistic -_-) - Mother murders her husband or children = she must have had a problem, general sympathy is given - Mothers must always be pitted if they are in an out of wedlock situation (and other situations) - Mothers are never wrong and if somehow they are, there's a reason for it (therefore we need a lesser or no punishment) Its quite sad, but apparent. Typically its not seen or known unless one is really observant. There are even scientific pieces spanning years that point to a child's need for a mother (another basis for societal thinking in this matter). Incidentally, there are less reports, postings, discussion on children growing up without fathers, and children's need for fathers (unless there's money or a crime involved -_-). Plenty of groups and individuals do not want to hear, see or even think of it otherwise. ********** On an individual basis, its just like you say. Its rather contradictory. Yes there are wives married to husbands that aren't doing what they must, but in reality the number is quite lower than what general society presents in all of its outlets. Many times, fathers are there parenting their kids, spending time with kids, helping out in the house and doing the THANKLESS parts of fatherhood (working the longer hours, doing the heavier and dirter housework, supporting the whole family). From what I've seen however, its not enough for several women. In turn, these mothers and wives build higher expectations for their men to work even harder or already have such expectations for fathers and husbands that are far beyond the norm (Prince Charming Syndrome). On a lesser note, there are also plenty of wives and mothers with their own prejudices on this matter (most times it subconscious, ingrained in growing and observing). When mothers ask for fathers to spend extra time with the children so they can do something (or when fathers VOLUNTEER) there is a line of thinking that he'll not measure up, or he'll do something wrong. There are even mothers who spout off orders even after the kids are fully and suitibly in the father's care. Here's an example comic of the latter (which I coin "backseat parenting" for now): http://glennsacks.com/blog/?p=1705
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Feb 08
Yes, the media plays a big role in perpetuating the gender stereotypes. And I completely agree about people's perceptions of behaviors of mothers and fathers- mothers get more understanding and are given more leeway when they screw up. What drives me nuts is that, while some fathers are not reliable (just as some mothers are not reliable), the ones who are perfectly reliable and capable are not recognized for it- they are lumped in with the stereotypical bumbling idiots we see portrayed in the media- Homer Simpson, for example. The other problem is that mothers assume that their way is best, that the baby is Their baby and are afraid to let a father give him a bath because he may wash the baby's hair first instead of last, which is wrong if she thinks the hair should be washed last. A ridiculous little detail, but something I have Actually Heard a mother complain about. Those women need to wake up and realize how lucky they and their children are to have a man who wants to be involved and stop making him feel incompetent because he chooses to do things slightly differently.
@crazylady (470)
• United States
16 Feb 08
My husband is a good provider and sometimes plays with the kids, but when I just go to the store and leave him with the kids, I have come home to him laying in bed watching tv hiding from the kids...and the 2 yr old outside by himself. So the only time I can safely leave him with the kids is after 9pm when he and they are in bed and hopefully all asleep. I don't mind someone doing something differently! I mind that my babies are safe!
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Feb 08
Well, that's a serious issue. I don't blame you for worrying in a case like that. Have you spoken to him about it?
@SViswan (12071)
• India
15 Feb 08
I think the assumption came about because mothers were the original nurturers. But having said that, most couples today are on par. I'm not saying my husband is perfect and can do things the way I do. I don't trust him to do things well when I am around...but I also know that he will do nothing that will harm the kids. Okay, so he isn't as clean as I am when he gives them a bath or feeds them. So what? And another thing I have to say is that the next person after myself that I can trust my child with is my husband...even when I know that he might not follow my routine for the baby. But I know that's the safest place my baby can be in. My husband is good with kids as far as playing goes and he enjoys his time with them. But he's also over concerned about kids..lol...now I don't know if that is good or bad. My dad is a great dad and would help in raising us...all aspects. My husband tends to leave the dirty stuff to me...he only does it when I'm not around and he has no other choice...which actually is fine by me.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Feb 08
Ok, well, nobody's perfect. He's capable, but he thinks you do a better job!! But you're right, so what if he does things a little differently? There's more than one right way to do most things.
@maddysmommy (16233)
• United States
15 Feb 08
I think Dads are good parents too, I have seen first hand with my own brothers and inlaws of how well they take care of their children too. It may not have happened much in our household when my son was younger, but now that he is a little older, it's all "daddy this" and "daddy that" and I love it as my son is not as dependent on me as he was when he was younger. My husband helped out as much as he could especially when it was time for bathing, burping and putting him to sleep. Even just giving me a break now and then. I did most of the looking after because he was more comfortable with it and helped out when I needed him.
• United States
22 Feb 08
It's great to see that kind of bond between a father and his children.
• United States
15 Feb 08
Yes are good parents too. Too long has the stigmatism that Dads can't take care of their kids has been around. Just because the Mom does something a certain way doesn't mean it is the only way to do the thing. My son is a stay at home Dad and very competent. He not only stays at home with them he home schools them. He is always on the look out to extend their knowledge. They are 10,12 and 13 and you should see them around their Dad. They pay very close attention to him. They go to him with their questions and are allowed to say if they disagree with him. He in my book is a wonderful parent and I know that there are a whole lot more guys that make wonderful parents if only the mother would let lose and let the Dad do things in his way. Just because she does things a certain way does not make it the only way. Relax Moms and let Dads take care of the kids to in every since of the word. I am very proud of my son and he makes a outstanding Dad.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Feb 08
Well said-- I agree 100%!
@uath13 (8204)
• United States
14 Feb 08
It's nice to see a woman who's actually not bashing us for a change. Thanks! We each have our role. Just because ours is slightly different doesn't mean it isn't any less important.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Feb 08
You are welcome. I believe all fathers deserve the benefit of the doubt and play an important part in the lives of their children.
@soulist (2986)
• United States
27 Feb 08
I agree that it's terrible that people tend to side with the mothers in almost all disputes. Many times the father is better than the mother when it comes to parenting. I think more needs to go into disputes that involve children.
1 person likes this
@silkkat (231)
• Canada
27 Feb 08
Sometimes husbands are the better parents. My dad is a prime example of that. I know that if I was raised by my mother I would be a tottally different person and not in a good way. Sure he had some problems but everyone does. A single father of two, he did a damn good job. He became an awesome role model and I picked a husband who is one of the best fathers around, I wouldn't expect anything less.
1 person likes this
@elisa812 (3032)
• United States
23 Feb 08
Yeah, dads definitely don't get the recognition they deserve. It's really sad, cause I know a lot of really great dads. I have lots of memories of my dad taking care of me when I was little along with my mom. I remember once when he even stayed home with me on Thanksgiving day cause I was sick. Both of my parents were really great, so I don't think it'd be fair to give credit only to one of them. I think my husband will make a wonderful father one day, and I definitely am not worried about leaving our kids with him whenever we do become parents. I totally agree with you, I wouldn't have married my husband if I didn't trust him to be a good father. Starting a family has always been really important to me, so I wouldn't marry a man who I didn't think would be a good dad to my children. Seeing how good my husband is with children is part of what made me fall in love with him. :) I am actually really looking forward to seeing him as a father some day!
1 person likes this
@Ciniful (1589)
• Canada
14 Feb 08
While my husband is an excellent father, and the best possible choice I could ever have made regarding a role model for my kids, alone, no he couldn't do it, and he'd be the first one to admit to that, and has many times. The reason we make such a wonderful parenting team is because we compliment each other with our faults and advantages. I have trouble just letting go and being silly with the kids, and he doesn't know when to be serious. On the other hand, when it comes to discipline, he's often too hard on the kids, punishing out of frustration instead of the incentive to teach a lesson, which is where I come in. When we married, we agreed that major decisions would be handled by the two of us, that we would be one team united regarding the kids and wouldn't allow them to differentiate between us or side us against each other ... BUT ... we also agreed that I'd be the primary caregiver BECAUSE of those faults, and that I'd make the day to day decisions and handle day to day caregiving. Considering he works and I don't, it was logical in every regard. If I see one particular person saying "I don't want to leave him with his father because ..." then I assume that in her SPECIFIC case she has reason to feel that way. Whatever that reason is, only she's aware of it and none of the readers are. Perhaps he doesn't have the patience required. Perhaps he's not experienced with certain situations (ie colic). Maybe he simply isn't interested in one on one time with the baby and feels 'bothered' ... there's no way for us to know. So I don't judge and automatically assume that every one of these women believes that fathers aren't worthwhile.
• United States
14 Feb 08
There are men, and women who are not good at the caregiver role of parenting, especially with a baby. It's good that you and your husband recognize your strengths and weaknesses. I don't assume that all women feel this way, but when I mention that my husband and I have different feelings about how to handle the situation, a response I often get is 'Men don't know anything, he's your baby, you do what you want and don't listen to him.' So my attitude in this discussion is why would people tell me that when they know Absolutely Nothing about my husband or his parenting abilities. And why is he My son and not my husband's son? I agree to having that attitude about strangers giving advice, but my husband? My own son's father? Why should I not listen to his input on little day to day things, especially if they are ones that I am struggling with? Maybe your attitude is to not make sweeping judgements, but there are plenty of women who do. I know because I've encountered them, online and off.
@Ciniful (1589)
• Canada
14 Feb 08
The end of my post was more in response to this part of your original post: "I have heard women say they don't want to leave the baby with their husband because he won't take care of the baby the same way she would. Well, so what?" My point was that hearing another woman say this doesn't tell you anything about the situation. Perhaps she's right and he wouldn't ... we have no way of knowing what she knows. In regards to what you're saying now, about you and your own family, you're absolutely right .. no one has the right to say because no one knows the situation at your home or with your family. Societal gender roles are frustrating, but they're there .... although thankfully they lessen over time. Go back 100 years and 99.9% of people felt only mothers could care for their children. Move forward to the present and you'll find only about 35% that feel that way. It takes a long time to undo a history of ingrained norms. The norm was that women were caregivers, men were providers, and that was where the line was drawn. In general, people are letting up and accepting the new way ... the fact that there ARE no predefined gender roles.
• United States
14 Feb 08
Ok, I didn't elaborate about the women who complain that their husbands aren't doing it the same way they would. Doing things differently doesn't mean wrong. As we all know, there is no one 'right' way when it comes to children. Some women have a hard time letting their husbands do things in their own way, even when their way is good. Women who specify a reason their husband's way is wrong, such as not cleaning the baby properly when changing a diaper, I get that. I'm not sure where you got the statistic of 35%, but I think that may be the amount of people who will Admit to having stereotypes. The actual number, in my opinion, is probably much higher. It is evidenced by people saying that their husband is 'willing to help out' or that he 'even changes diapers.' Those statements imply that helping out or changing diapers is not a normal part of a dad's responisibility and therefore needs to be pointed out. If both parents were truly seen as equal there would be no reason to make those kinds of statements. It would be equivalent to pointing out that a mother is willing to help out or change diapers. I realize it takes time to change attitudes of society as a whole, and I don't think gender stereotypes will ever be really gone. I just think credit should be given where credit is due.
@chrysz (1603)
• Philippines
14 Feb 08
I agree that daddies could be great parents too. First, I have my grandfather (my mom's dad) who was really lovable, caring, patient, hanrdworking, understanding, etc and my partner whom I called the "house husband" because he works at home, takes care of our two daughters and even takes care of me. I do most of the housechores but that is not the basis for saying that we are great parents. Actually, it was my hubby who saw the first smile, first crawl, first steps, heard the first cooing, giggle, sensible words my eldest uttered. He was the one who was there to give her vitamins daily and her medicines when she's sick. My daughter learned that daddy will fix her broken toys and it shouldn't be thrown at once, that things should be returned to their proper places after you use them. The list is long and I would be glad to share it but I don;t wanna bore you all. As to they are to be blamed most of the time and they are not recognized, maybe it depends on the society we are included. Here in the Philippines, paternal family are still ideal to most where fathers are the once who must decide on big issues, they are given credit for a good family they raise and keep and they uploaded if their children and wife are well-provided.
• United States
21 Feb 08
I understand what you are saying about paternal families and how dads are involved in the big decisions, but I am also talking about being involved in the little stuff- changing diapers, feeding, whether to let them cry it out or to go to them when they wake during the night. The things that more often the mothers are dealing with.
@chrysz (1603)
• Philippines
23 Feb 08
Didn't I mentioned what my hubby had been doing for my kids? he's a hand-on dad and I envy my eldest because he has a daddy who prepared her food, baths her, prepares her uniform, etc - things my own father did not do to me. I know daddies range from worst to best and perhaps I have seen enough to say that my partner is one great dad!
@mcrowl (1050)
• New Zealand
14 Feb 08
Dads are just 'good' parents, they're essential parents. The lack of fathers in the lives of many young men particularly is the reason why they go wrong so easily. And young women need their fathers as well. The problem is that America, in particular, has become very matriarchal in its approach to parenting, something that is drastically wrong.
• United States
21 Feb 08
Yes, when the fathers aren't a part of their children's lives at all, that can be a problem. But I'm referring to when the father is there, but the mother doesn't want them to do anything because they might do it 'wrong.'
1 person likes this
@mcrowl (1050)
• New Zealand
21 Feb 08
All I can say then is, Foolish mother!
@siZidni (1860)
• Indonesia
14 Feb 08
hi sillychick. i love this topic, since i am a new father of 4 months old babyboy. I completely do not agree if people say that father cannot be better parents for his baby. some can even be the better than mother. i knew it from the first time. of course father has to be involved in every decision making for his child. father could be good in baby sitting baby. but still he could be the balancing of his baby life though. so it's never enough if the baby only has his mother taking care of him.
• United States
14 Feb 08
Congratulations on your new baby boy! Glad you are there for him.
@siZidni (1860)
• Indonesia
15 Feb 08
thank you. hope your husband does the same
• United States
20 Feb 08
My husband is a great father- both of us are head over heels in love with our son. He makes sure he's happy and provides for him... and there's no cuter time than when Daddy and baby are on the floor playing :)But no- he can't take care of him like I can. When our son was born I was pretty much bedridden afterwards (spare you details) and he was a pro- changing diapers, burping, dressing, I mean it was amazing. But once I was better and was able to do that stuff too, all of a sudden: I don't remember how to change a diaper, I can't give him a bath, and then outright telling me he didn't want to hold the spoon and feed him because that was weird. So, now- I do it all. Granted now that our son is 10 months old, I am fast at doing it all.. so now I would rather do it. But I still try to get him to be a part of it all because 1- I get exhausted and 2- he needs to be a part of it, if not he regret it later when our son is older!
• United States
22 Feb 08
Sounds like he really can do it all, but is choosing not to. Hopefully he will change his mind and get more involved.
• Canada
17 Feb 08
In the case of my husband's divorce, it would have been better for his son to have been placed with him, as opposed to being placed with his mother, but because of the laws of the state, and sexist biases against men, the boy was placed with his mother. It's just not fair!
• United States
22 Feb 08
That's too bad. Maybe one day they will go by the merits of the parents and what is best for the child, instead of automatically choosing the mother.
• United States
14 Feb 08
My husband is a great father to our son. We had kids around us a lot before we had our son and my husband was so good with the other kids that I knew he would make a wonderful dad. I never have to worry about my son if I leave him with my husband cause he takes care of him.
• United States
22 Feb 08
That's great. I also had the opportunity to see my husband in action with children of all ages before we were married, so I knew he would be a great dad.
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
14 Feb 08
Both parents are equal, but moms are better at maternal care while fathers are better at making sure the children behave. So you do need both parents, the only exception is when the children are babies, that they need their mothers. However, when the children are older, and God forbid, the parents divorce or were never married, then the one that does the better job should have custody. I know children who were raised by their father, in this case a widower, who took care of their children, and since I lost my mother at fourteen, I was in that category, so fathers can take care of their children just as good as mothers, but in different ways.
• United States
14 Feb 08
'So you do need both parents, the only exception is when the children are babies, that they need their mothers.' Babies need fathers, too. And I think you are really buying into the gender stereotypes about mothers being better at 'maternal care,' which I assume to mean changing diapers and kissing booboos, and fathers are better at making children behave. That is absolutely not true. Those are the roles that people are taught by society that mothers and fathers Should play. I know plenty of fathers who are wonderful nurturers and mothers who are very effective disciplinarians. Your post is an example of what I mean when I say people assume fathers aren't as good at parenting as mothers. When the baby wakes up in the middle of the night is it always the mother's job to get up with him? No. When he is hurt or sad is it always the mother's job to comfort him? No. When he misbehaves is it always the father's job to set him straight? No.
@Thoroughrob (11748)
• United States
14 Feb 08
I do think that fathers are good parents too. I trust my husband to take care of my kids. He might have his own way of doing things, but it isn't wrong. Sometimes we just have to trust them a little more.
• United States
22 Feb 08
Good that you trust him to do things his way.