There have been a lot of articles written (here and here for example, or here from the lovely Harpies) about how fathers are celebrated for parenting in a way mothers never are. You mean your husband can actually care for a child? He can feed it and change it and make sure it stays alive for hours at a time? Stop the presses! Now I’m experiencing this first hand. I’ve already been asked by several people “Oh is Daddy babysitting?”- cashiers who knew I was expecting, acquaintances I run into while picking up milk, pregnant women asking my opinion on strollers at Babies R Us. So far I’ve just said “Yes” since “No, he’s just parenting the child he was 50% responsible for creating and therefor understands he’s 50% responsible for caring for, stupid” seems unnecessarily wordy and combative for polite conversation.

Strangely, this phenomenon doesn’t stop if I happen to be present. When E wears the baby in the sling people stare. When we were making daily trips to the hospital for lab work the nurses cooed and fawned over E simply for holding the baby when he had his heel pricked. At the event we went to on Friday people were shocked that I was in charge of fetching the drinks and cake while E was in charge of baby duty. They joked that I had definitely gotten the better end of that deal – because clearly holding a sleeping child should have been my job.

For the record, I would still give E a Great Dad Medal if such a thing existed. I’m pretty sure that to date he’s changed double the number of diapers I have. He’s definitely been thrown up on just as much. I think there’s a line between wishing society as a whole would stop treating dads like heroes for participating in their own child’s care and personally showing and telling my husband how much I appreciate him.

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