Hey there. Papa E here. So, I have to admit that I've been a bit uncomfortable, since the Hillary Rosen / Ann Romney war of words and resulting media debacle, about my own family's situation. In all the parenting/mommy wars, I see a total lack of the voices of the fathers. And frankly, it's a little disturbing.
a husband, I have found extreme gratification in supporting my wife
through her career, her dreams, her desires, and doing what I can to
help during struggles. In fact, I find it to be something I've been
called to do.
As a father, I have found great pleasure
in being part of the big moments (birth, first foods, walking, riding
bikes, going to preschool), and the mundane (changing diapers - I'm
actually pretty good at the cloth ones - and giving baths - something
else I'm pretty good at). And I have been on both sides of the parenting
spectrum, first as a working father, and now as a stay at home dad.
think we as men have missed a couple of important opportunities here.
We haven't defended our wives (or ourselves for that matter) and we
haven't stood up to try and end a battle as old as parenting itself.
off, let's agree that if you are a married man and have children, your
wife is a valuable asset whether she works or stays at home. Her
opinions matter, her strengths compliment your weaknesses, and her heart
is a treasure trove. Cherish it. Seriously; defend her in her womanhood
and her motherhood, regardless of what others think.
Second, lets realize how important our role is as well. Fathers,
you play a part that no other man can. Your influence on your children
is huge, and will quite possibly shape how this argument looks for the
next generation. Whether you are a working father or a stay at home
father, you are an indispensable part of a team. And as a team member,
you defend your teammates; you fight with them, you encourage them, you
Third, let's back out of proselytizing those parents we don't
agree with. Some of you mean well. You may feel that you are defending
your faith, or even defending what you see as a biblical truth. However,
keep in mind that proselytizing in general very rarely results in true
life change. You may have every right to stand your ground for your own
family's sake, and to raise your children in a manner you see fit, but
please avoid the direct anonymous criticism. Your concern or love of
your neighbor and consequent civil discussions with him speaks volumes
above your threatening rhetoric or your bashing diatribes.
Lastly, let's remember that family dynamics are up to each
individual family, and please respect that. No matter how wrong you
think they are, your respect of their God-given worth will be the only
way to affect change, if change is even necessary.
my family, it made sense for my wife to stay in a job that she truly
enjoyed and had the capability of earning much more than I could, and
for me to stay at home with our kids. We both work hard. We both have an
understanding of the world from within and outside the walls of our
house. Our faith is intimate but informed. Our political leanings are
both religious and flexible. Our family puts a big emphasis on love and
respect, especially for those we don't agree with. And we focus on who
we are, not on what we might "do for a living." If you love your kids
and are productive citizens, I respect you. Please do the same for me.
(Sorry, I know you've probably seen this image dozens of times, but it bears repeating.)
- Papa E