Doyin Richards doesn't think he's anything special and he wants us to know that we shouldn't consider him a hero, either. He says he's just doing what billions of women and other men do daily: he's being a good parent. Try telling that to scores of people, myself included, who swooned when we saw this photo of him styling his toddler daughter's hair while carrying his 6-month-old girl in an Ergo.
Now, it's difficult enough to run a brush through your daughter's tangly hair without her crying bloody murder, but to do it while getting her to brush her teeth or whatever productive thing she is doing at the sink, all the while cradling a baby to your chest? Are you sure you don't want to accept that dad award now, Doyin?
Seriously though, this dad and daddy blogger, who created daddydoinwork.com, would rather we not fall all over him for simply being a good daddy. He argues that fathers should be held to the same exact standards as all of the moms who don't think twice before tying their daughter's hair up in a ponytail or changing 1,000 diapers a day. He also says he has a "dream" that "people will view a man’s love for fatherhood for what it is instead of thinking there’s something 'fishy' going on."
Amen to that. As a devoted dad to his toddler daughter, my husband often feels like men are not treated with the same respect as women when it comes to fatherhood duties. Doyin is an advocate for placing changing tables in men's public bathrooms -- something my husband totally understands the need for, as well.
And, despite being wickedly handsome and deserving female attention, I have to admit my husband gets hit on even more when he is at the park or in a restaurant alone with our daughter. Do we just naturally look at a man who is acting like a good daddy and think, Ahh, that poor guy must be a widow?
After reflecting on this a bit, I realize I am part of the problem here. I consider it adorable when my husband dries and brushes my daughter's hair -- but I don't think of it as his "job." I marvel at the fact that he remembers to wipe her from front to back, though I would consider myself a flawed mom if I didn't know how to properly clean my son's private parts. And when he offers to take her to the park alone, giving me time to relax or get chores done, I automatically think of it as something he is doing for me -- not as a bonding experience that he should be able to have with his own child.
Fathers are not babysitters and women should not treat them that way. We should expect them to do exactly what we do as moms -- and feel confident that they can do these things just as well (and in the case of Doyin styling his child's hair -- even better).
Do you feel like you have high enough expectations for your husband or partner when it comes to childcare responsibilities?