Father’s Day is less than two weeks away and, speaking on behalf of my fellow sperm donors, it’s time you stopped shortchanging us on the Father’s Day gifts.
We deserve better because studies on modern parenting, such as the recent Pew Research Center report on “breadwinning moms,” show a growing conspiracy against dads’ well-being. Moms “leaning in” to advance their careers and decades of badgering dads to be more involved parents have heaped unprecedented amounts of housework and child-rearing duties on fathers everywhere.
No longer can we come home from a hard day’s corporate dronery and Ward-Cleaver-it in our cardigan and easy chair, answering Junior’s inquiries about life with clichés or a deft “go ask your mother.” Now we cook meals, participate in PTAs and iron sharp creases into our wives’ business suits (makes it easier for them to cut through those glass ceilings). Fatherhood has evolved into a high-stress, guilt-ridden occupation with longer hours and less pay.
Holy Betty Friedan! We dads have become our mothers!
Such societal and cultural shifts also make it more difficult to show dads proper appreciation on their annual day. Many traditional gifts are now politically incorrect. Golf equipment, for example, endorses abandoning one’s family. Liquor conveys a poor message to our children, which is fine because the rugrats would probably just buy us the cheap hooch, anyway.
A tie? Forget that many workplaces have gone casual and consider this: For Mother’s Day, would you buy your mom a Playtex 18-hour bra? Thought not.
Here’s a few suggestions from this at-home dad’s wish list. You’ll notice many benefits for the whole family as well as dad, magnanimous fellow that he is:
An IT department
All this technology to make our lives easier has only increased my workload and agita. “Dad, the screen is blue!” “Dad, the Internet is down!” “Honey, what’s the parental control password again?” All those hours wasted removing malware and syncing iPlods could have gone toward my writing The Great American Novel. Well, maybe reading Philip Roth’s The Great American Novel.
Not for me, but our family’s two long-haired lasses who regularly bring me to my knees … to snake their locks out of clogged shower drains.
Not the kind you tee up with, the kind who shuttles the kids back and forth to the 111 activities they’ve got scheduled in any given week. This chauffeur must know the quickest routes to school to deliver the things our rascals usually forgot such as a homework, musical instruments and clean underwear.
Improved supply management system
While I’m normally a thorough household shopper, at the worst times we unexpectedly run out of essentials like toilet paper and cocktail onions. Why? Failure to communicate. Though I’ve tried, I sadly can’t make up for it after-the-fact with multiple shouted expletives
Charming expert with flawless skills, credentials and references wanted for important task: Politely — yet convincingly — talking my wife out of whatever new headache, real and/or financial, she comes up with for unnecessarily improving our home. In essence, I need the Bizarro Vern Yip. And to cancel our TV subscription to HGTV.
If these Father’s Day gifts don’t work for the dad in your life, please remember this fatherly wisdom I’ve dispensed to my own children: Cash is always accepted.