Today is International Women’s Day. The theme for this year is ‘Choose to Challenge.’ Challenge is a word that we can all relate to as we are still trying stay afloat in this pandemic. For International Women’s Day the word challenge is calling for all of us to live in a challenged world to produce an alert world and from that challenge change can take place. So how can we do this in our own homes? My wife and I are always talking about this as we are raising our daughters. How do we show them that women and men are equal? A large part of that falls on me being the only man in the house. I am happy to accept that challenge.
Part of the discussion that my wife and I were having about this topic stemmed from recent articles my wife has been reading. A few of these articles talk about how moms are bearing the brunt of home life during this pandemic. She tells me that she is happy that I am her partner since we divide up the responsibilities on the home front. This has been happening in our home before the pandemic. We have been operating this way since I became the stay at home dad some years back.
Now that I run my own business my life has been more hectic. I still make sure that I put my family first. One of the reasons that I created Art of Fatherhood is to share what I have learned and pass it on to other dads out there. I am proud of my marriage with my wife. We look to support each other. One of the biggest ways we do that is through great communication. Each day we talk about what is going on at work so we know who will help the kids that day when they might need us. From making lunches to helping out with their virtual classes we make sure one of us is able to support them.
To help promote the ‘Choose To Challenge’ movement parents need to change the “norms” that have been in place. When I became a stay at home dad and was out with the kids people would say things like, “Where is your wife?” or “Are you giving your wife the day off?” Kind of crazy right? People assume that a dad was doing something out of the ordinary by being a caretaker. You can flip the script on women when they are moving up in their career. People might say to those women, “Who is watching your kids?” or “Don’t you miss your kids while at work?”
I have felt that what works for one family doesn’t need to work for the next. We need to support women. I want to show my daughters that a woman can do whatever they want in life. They just need to put in the time and hard work. I don’t want them to live in a world where they read the following headlines “Working moms are not okay.” “Pandemic Triples Anxiety And Depression Symptoms In New Mothers.” “Working Moms Are Reaching The Breaking Point.”
Those were actual headlines from news outlets. If we show our kid’s generation that it takes both moms and dads to raise a family we can move past these stereotypes that have been around for ages. It will benefit both women and men. I encourage you to chat with your spouse on how you can work together when it comes to raising a family. Each couple can find their own way, together.