Fathers, why the f*ck do we have to ask you for help?!?
You’re knee deep in washing dishes; your toddler wants your attention. Your 9 year old wants to tell you all about her day. The baby starts tugging your leg asking to be picked up. Someone knocks something over while you are trying to clean up a mess from earlier. It seems as if everything is all falling on you at that very moment. You’re wondering why your husband hasn’t stepped in yet. He is just on the couch scrolling through social media oblivious to his children and that you need help. He doesn’t even notice until you say something not so nice and then he asks the infamous “WHY DIDNT YOU JUST ASK ME??”
It seems as if fathers need an invitation to be active and present in the mundane and endless tasks of raising children. They are the only parent that has to be asked instead of just assuming and taking responsibility the way a mother is expected to. If your partner helps WITHOUT having to be asked consider yourself very lucky!
Mothers have written about this time and time again. Blog after blog, podcast after podcast and article after article. It’s the same story. “My husband doesn’t help unless asked. He doesn’t move unless I ask him to grab our toddler from climbing the bookshelf.” All of the mental load, emotional labor and most of parenting is dumped on the mom.
If your guy, I won’t call mine a partner at all, catches an attitude when asked to step up his duties and help out, he is certainly a man that believes he doesn’t have to be as active as you are in raising your children. Some men honestly see parenting and tending to children as “women’s work”, something they are exempt from as long as a woman is around.
I can’t count how many times I was folding clothes and after washing the dinner dishes, came out to see my toddler in a dirty diaper that Im expected to change, no pants and it’s 20 minutes before bedtime. What is the father doing? Laying on a bed looking at his phone oblivious to all that needs to be done for bedtime to run smoothly. Once I ask can you help, the response is usually “you don’t do anything”, as if washing dishes and folding clothes is nothing.
Another classic that many incompetent fathers like to use is “why don’t you ask me for help?!” This one always shocks me. Color me surprised because I don’t know any moms who have to be asked to change a diaper, asked to feed the kids, asked to put some clothes on the child, asked to pick up toys, asked to help with the school run, asked to help with homework, asked to help with the household chores, etc. The list goes on and on. Most of the mundane and stressful tasks of parenthood is automatically done by the mom without anyone even having to utter the words “could you please help”, moms are just on the job whether they want to or not. Tired or not.
Mom groups confirm that this seems to be the norm for many men. Most women just laugh it off by claiming men are simply just too stupid to understand that helping your wife should be mandatory and not an option. The mothers think of every reason to excuse away why their husband doesn’t know shoes sizes or what the teacher’s name is. It’s actually pitiful to see women explaining away grown men willfully being incompetent and inconsistent as well as inconsiderate when it comes to fathering and being a partner in raising children.
There is more to raising kids than playing with them. There is the hard stuff, the dirty, gritty and tiring tasks that all to often only fall on moms shoulders.
Again, why the hell do we have to ask for help?