You Can Have It All And Have Kids Too: A Father’s Response

You know what makes you an accomplished person? Doing it all – satisfaction in your own career, personal life, and family. You might “look down” on young mothers and fathers, Amy Glass, but we’ve got many important things to do while you decide you want to go on a backpacking trip in Asia. Like live our lives to the fullest.

Stay-at-home or working parents – who’s better? Who cares?! They both are better than being a judgmental person “looking down” on parents. My wife and I both were young when we married, and still look very young now, even though we’re in our early 30’s with a 2 ½-year-old. We were career-driven, but driven in the sense of doing the best for our own self-worth, not trying to best our peers and look down on them, as you seem to be doing. We waited before having our first, in order to have a solid footing in the “real world”. When my first company started to downsize, we decided we needed to settle in new jobs and our first house before dedicating what would become our next phase in life to our future child(ren). Perhaps we should have backpacked in the Himalayas, but we’re fans of delayed gratification.

My wife is beautiful, loving, and caring, and has done an amazing job in her career working with kids in our state, first by being a social worker, and now inspecting daycare centers to ensure that children are being given the best care during the work day. I have been privileged enough to work in the consumer healthcare industry for my career, helping to ensure the quality of products we all use on a daily basis. Does our daughter disrupt our careers? Not in the slightest. In fact, as others have pointed out in response to you, they enhance our careers because we are not only working for our own betterment, but to improve the lives and opportunities that we can give our children; i.e. we have a higher purpose.

Do you watch Netflix or are you a Hulu aficionado? We’re neither. The spare time we, as parents, do have is spent with our daughter and each other. We don’t have the leisure time to spend watching Breaking Bad, and that’s alright with us – we’d rather be parents than couch potatoes. We go to bed satisfied that both from an emotional and a financial standpoint, we’re doing everything in our power to support our daughter. You can fill us in later on what happened on the last episode of Mad Men. If that’s the one discrepancy between what you and I do on a daily basis, it’s ironic that you’re the one telling us that we’re “settling for average”.

Before you write yet another ill-fated response claiming you’re being “attacked”, just know this – not all husbands and fathers are unsupportive “career men” who only carry the financial burden for the family. Many of us drive our kids to daycare, take care of them on long weekends when the wives are away at these bridal/baby showers you love to denigrate, and spend more quality time with our kids than you ever thought possible. This isn’t the 1950’s, where Daddy comes home from work, puts his feet up, and is served by his devoted wife and mother of his children. It’s kind of funny that you used Beyoncé as an example – the very archetype of a working parent who farms out the “mommy duties” to nannies and managers. And yet those like us, who do it all, you feel sorry for? My 2 hours in the car each day with my daughter is some of the best time a parent could ask for – silly banter, singing the ABC’s, and watching her learn new things every day. My wife and I both perform the normal household tasks: I iron, she cooks, we both do laundry, and most importantly we both raise our daughter.

Stop relying on stereotypes to disparage what parents do.

Perhaps you were the one who recently asked me if it was “my weekend with the kid” – as if all fathers don’t love their children unless it’s court-mandated! TC mark

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