From time to time, my husband and I chuckle about his father’s “well-meaning” advice.
It was shortly after we had returned from the hospital, just days into becoming a family of three. My husband’s parents had arrived for a visit with their brand new grandson. Ryder, a sweet but fussy infant, demanded constant crooning and attention. Needing a moment to collect myself, I passed our baby to my husband, declaring he was officially nominated for diaper change duty.
Later that evening, as I rocked Ryder to sleep, curled up in my arms, my husband relayed a conversation he’d had with his father.
“I was changing Ryder’s diaper,” he explained, “and my dad followed me into the room. He said, You shouldn’t be doing this. It’s the woman’s job to take care of the baby. You need to concentrate on work and let her handle everything else.”
For about two seconds, I seethed with rage. But as I looked up at my husband, ready to launch into my “oh-no-he-didn’t” diatribe, I realized he was laughing, shaking his head in astonishment. Because he no more believed in gender stereotypes than I did; beyond that, he wanted to take an active role in our son’s care and upbringing.
“Let’s not worry about dear old dad’s advice,” he concluded.
Today, my husband is the father of two boys. He has changed diapers; he has drawn baths. He has cooked and cleaned and kissed boo boos and chased away monsters. He is an active role model for the boys and their hero – not just because he brings home the bacon, but because he fries it, too. …