Modern Fathers the Equivalent of Hired Help?
Filed under: Opinions
"At some point in the last few decades, the American male sat down at the negotiating table with the American female and -- let us be frank -- got fleeced," he writes.
He is referring to the role of the modern father -- a role that he says has been diminished and debased by the modern mother who has decided his value lies in doing as he's told with nary a thanks. No longer the powerful head of household, he's become the equivalent of unpaid hired help. The babysitter, the heavy-lifter, the go-to guy when something trivial needs to be done.
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Where his own father may have ruled his roost with an iron fist, Lewis claims today's fathers have been stripped of their authority and relegated to water boys for their wives and children. Their vast powers of leadership and moral-compassing are no longer required or even desired by their strong and empowered wives.
It would be easy to dismiss Lewis as a disgruntled stay-at-home dad, but I felt something when I read this article. It was a twinge of something I think was recognition followed by a tiny bit of guilt. While I acknowledge and appreciate my husband's ability to problem-solve, plan, and otherwise make sound decisions, I rarely let him do so.
I do, however, let him clean up the mess when the cat misses the litter box, carry the heavy potting soil to the shed and keep the lawn looking neat and tidy. He's not a stay-at-home dad. In fact, he's been edged out of a leadership role precisely because he works long hours and I am left to hold down the fort. This operation needs only one leader and I see no reason why it shouldn't be me. But in taking over have I taken him down?
How much authority does your husband have at home? Does he run the roost, or is he the errand boy? Or have you negotiated some amicable third option?
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.