'People constantly imply that I as a father do this as some sort of novelty.'
In an ideal world, parental responsibilities should be equally divided. However, in reality, the burden of most of it falls on the shoulders of moms. Moreover, moms are rarely appreciated for all the physical and emotional labor they put in. On the other hand, dads are appreciated and celebrated if they merely handle their share of work with children. A father is asking people to stop doing that and to stop appreciating him for doing the bare minimum for his children.
The Reddit user /Middle_Pear986 wrote that he is "absolutely sick of being celebrated for parenting." He explains that he has one child who is 3 years old adding that he is happily married and he "wouldn't change anything about our family at all." But every time he is hanging out with his son alone he feels baffled because "people always comment that it's cute that I'm spending time with my son." He expresses that he and his little one love each other's company and going out together but feels angry when "people constantly imply that I as a father do this as some sort of novelty." Speaking about parenting, he writes, "I know how to parent, I do it every day. I'm not just "winging it" or just doing the fun stuff." He concluded the post by writing, "I hear these comments and all I want to do is scream in the person's face that 'I PARENT TOO!' "
His post emphasizes how even in 2022 society is holding onto the ideas of traditional gender roles. As a result, women have been contributing a major chunk of their time and effort towards household chores and child care. Researchers in the Netherlands discovered in a 2022 study that, despite an unequal share of chores and childcare between men and women in the family, the majority of males considered the divide fair. According to the study, "When looking at the most common scenario of women doing more than men, a small majority of women and two-thirds of men perceived the division of housework to be fair. For childcare, these figures even amounted to 80% for men and 70% for women."
This dad on Reddit is a classic example of a male parent who refuses to be celebrated for doing the bare minimum in childcare. According to Joanna Seidel, a Toronto-based family therapist, "women have traditionally been in the roles of taking care of the children and the home, so it’s considered novel when men do it." But she believes that our traditional values are shifting, per Global News. "Men are becoming much more involved in raising the children and helping with household tasks," she added. Many dads agreed with the shared their own experiences on the post. One wrote, "My boss told me something similar when I said I was late dropping my daughter off at school and she hit me with "isn't that your wife's job?" No a**hole, I am her father."
Another said, "Modern society has reduced the idea of fathers to Homer Simpson and it is really disturbing to witness because it couldn’t be more wrong." A mother also shared her experience saying, "I work full-time Monday - Friday and my husband works over the weekend/evenings to be able to watch our three daughters since daycare is so expensive. My MIL constantly applauds him for being a good day-to-day "babysitter". It never fails but he and I have to correct her every time that he's being their DAD, not a babysitter."