A recent Woman’s Day magazine article said that moms have a hard time acknowledging that dads can be as good or better at parenting.
The magazine goes on to quote Nancy Buck, a psychologist, as saying, “Women often come to motherhood with the mistaken belief that they’re naturally better at parenting.”
I recognized growing up that my dad ceded much of the work of parenting to my mom, who was not shy herself about grabbing the reins.
As a result, for a long time I believed that women were better suited for the job.
But when I became a father, I knew that I could be as good at it as a woman. This isn’t to say that I was immediately comfortable with the role.
But I gradually learned that I could nurture, teach, snuggle, reprimand, praise, shop for Gerber's, etc., as well as the moms I knew.
I think it’s because I wanted it so much. In my case, parenting was delayed by numerous failed attempts at in vitro, followed by the knotty political problems raised by international adoption.
By the time I got my turn at bat, I was aching to get the job done. And with my mom’s early advice, I was able to become not just a sweep-in-at-the-end-of-the-day dad, but a full-on parent.
I’m not saying I do it right a lot of the time. But I do it with love and vigor every day, even on the non-custodial ones.
And I like to think that means something – something important.