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My Husband is a Great Man/Husband/Father, But He Doesn’t Deserve a Cookie

IMG_1644I will be the first to admit. My husband is really good man. He is a great husband and an amazing father. He is super involved with our kids. He plays with them, takes them to fun places, feeds them, changes diapers, bathes them and does basically everything a parent should do. I am constantly being told by other women how lucky I am that he does things like help with the kids, and doesn’t he think he’ll lose his manhood if he helps with dishes (gasp!). Here is the thing. I know I married a great man, I wouldn’t have married him otherwise, and I certainly wouldn’t have married a man who thought my place was in the kitchen and that I should be the sole caregiver of our kids. I don’t prescribe to these ideas of gender roles and I won’t raise my children to do so either.

First of all, up until recently we both worked full time while we had a family. During this time household chores were spilt 50/50. If someone felt they were pulling more weight, we had an adult conversation about it, fixed it and moved on.  We completely shared chores, cooking, laundry, etc. A few months ago, we both decided it would be a good time for me to stay home with the kids and fortunately, we were in a place where we could make it work. Now I take care of most of the chores throughout the day and do most of the cooking, because I have “time” to do them (in between entertaining, teaching and cleaning up after my two toddlers). Sometimes I fall short and don’t get to folding all of the laundry, or we run in to a situation where we could use a quick clean up of the house. Guess what? My husband helps. It’s not like I didn’t finish the laundry because I spend the day watching television. I haven’t watched a single television show in my 5 months as a SAHM. I didn’t get to it because I was busy with the kids, or with other household chores/ projects.

When it comes to the kids, he is very involved. He gets home from work and plays with the kids while I finish up dinner. He always helps or at least offers to help do the dishes after dinner. Typically, one of us does the dishes while the other wipes down the stove and counters. He has no problem giving the kids a bath (he is bathing them and getting them ready for bed as I write). We always read stories and put the kids sleep together. Spending time, playing with and helping your kids with the things they need help with is called being a parent. We both signed up for this job.

Yes, my husband is a good man, but he doesn’t deserve a cookie. I don’t have outsiders giving me praise and cookies for taking care of my kids, feeding my family, doing the laundry, etc.  Sorry folks, but he shouldn’t either (and he fully agrees). I’m sick of the standard that men can take a back seat to raising kids and all of the other crazy things the come along with having a family. It needs to stop. This whole idea of gender roles can go straight to hell. They are not going to exist in our house. My husband has no problem folding laundry and I have no problem picking up dog poop and mowing the lawn. It is one thing to say he is a good parent/spouse. He is and so I am. But please, stop telling me how lucky I am that he helps with the kids and other household chores. Not because I don’t think he deserves praise, we thank and praise each other all the time for all kinds of things, but because I do not want my girls to grow up thinking that a good man is a rarity. And because I don’t want my girls growing up thinking their place in in this world is defined by old fashioned gender roles. Their place is wherever they want it to be.

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About Meagan Sabich

Meagan Sabich
Meagan Sabich grew up in Las Vegas, NV and moved to Reno in 2004 to attend the University of Nevada, Reno. Since then, she has called Reno her home. She's a former corporate girl who worked for Microsoft and Facebook, before turning in her work badge to be a stay at home mom and wife for her two girls, Sophie and Sadie, and husband Mike. Meagan is an avid cook and very passionate about food. When she gets free time she likes to blog about her cooking adventures on her blog at Waist Not, Want Not, or share recipes for Reno Moms Blog Feed the Fam Series. Meagan is very passionate about fitness and enjoys yoga, zumba and weight training.

5 comments

  1. I could not possibly disagree more with this. Praising people isn’t bad. Withholding praise because of fears of what it could lead to is a VERY BAD choice. Praise is good. Free flowing and abundant, honest and helpful praise will not harm your childten or your husband. Just as love-filled feedback and redirection (read: criticism) will not harm them. Because all of it works together to form healthier interactions and healthier day to day lives. Any personal rule about who does and does not deserve “a cookie” to me, rings of a personal hangup, not a healthy outlook.

    • Meagan Sabich

      Thanks for your input. My problem is not with praise at all. I mention that in the blog. We give praise and constant thanks in our household. If I tell my husband “thanks for doing the dishes” it’s very different than someone who says “your wife is lucky to have you because you help with dishes.” This is what I am talking about. My problem is with people who congratulate or praise on the basis that my husband is doing something they would classify as a “woman’s” work (laundry, raising children, dishes, etc.)

      “But please, stop telling me how lucky I am that he helps with the kids and other household chores. Not because I don’t think he deserves praise, we thank and praise each other all the time for all kinds of things, but because I do not want my girls to grow up thinking that a good man is a rarity. And because I don’t want my girls growing up thinking their place in in this world is defined by old fashioned gender roles. Their place is wherever they want it to be.”

  2. Eh. I still think you can say thank you when someone says you’re lucky. Lots of people are lucky for lots of different reasons. You’re lucky because he helps you, and he’s lucky because you help him.

    Your daughters will learn better because you’ll teach them better, not because gratitude is withheld from any particular helper.

    • Meagan Sabich

      But the part that is almost always missing from commentators is “and he’s lucky because you help him.” Again, this post isn’t about withholding praise or gratitude. It’s about changing the notion that fathers don’t have to help with the kids or household duties. Being a good parent is expected of mother’s, but sometimes people don’t expect these things of father’s.

      The concept that children learn through example is not foreign to me. My children learn everyday what a good father and husband is by example. What I don’t want is people contradicting that great example by insinuating it is not the standard.

  3. Your post was very clear, Meagan. And, I agree with you wholeheartedly! Great job on the post.

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