But I Love Him Anyway

January 12, 2012

in Guests

The first guest writer of the New Year is Eric Storch from I Can’t Brain; I Have the Dumb.

Never heard of him?

If not, it is because this is his third month of blogging. He is a talented, warm, funny writer. He has the gift of storytelling. I believe there will be great things from Eric in the blogging world in the coming months.

In addition to all these accolades, he is just a really great guy. I was honored to have him write for Naked Girl in a Dress today and appreciate our new friendship.

Visit Eric’s blog. Follow him. Friend him. Circle him.

He’s awesome.

~~~~~~~~~~~

I‘m a dad.

I’ll be 41 years old next month. I have three sons. My youngest is 7. The two older boys (actually my step-kids from my wife’s previous marriage, but I couldn’t love them more if they were my own) are 13 and 16. I’ve been a parent for ten years.

I have a deep appreciation for moms and what they do everyday. Raising children and managing a family is no small task, especially in the 21st century where the lessons we learned about parenting from our parents don’t really apply in this high-tech, politically-correct world.

I understand all that you do.

I do it too.

I’m in the trenches everyday, just like you moms. I’m cleaning up bodily fluids, picking up toys, choosing matching outfits, cleaning, vacuuming, washing dishes and clothes, grocery shopping, cooking meals and goodies, helping with homework, playing chauffeur, giving baths and fighting bedtime battles.

I also fix, wash and wax the cars, mow the lawn, chop wood, make repairs to the house, rake leaves, shovel snow and watch football.

In other words, I’m pretty much doing it all.

And I’m married.

To a mom.

There is a stereotype in which dads are portrayed as bumbling (but lovable!) idiots. Movies (such as Mr. Mom, Daddy Daycare) and TV (The Simpsons) are big contributors. I can also point my finger at many Mommy Bloggers; the ones who will rant on about their husbands, likening them to knuckle-dragging neanderthals and then at the end of their rant will say something akin to, “But I love him anyway.”

Great. Thanks. Good to know. Why do you “love him anyway?”

I know the stereotype is born from comedy. I get that. I also know that what I do everyday makes me a rarity. I’m a minority as far as dads go.
I don’t think most dads are as clueless as the stereotype would have us believe. Us dads, we have a clue. Some of us even know that chocolate cake for breakfast is a bad idea (sorry, Mr. Cosby).

So, do me a favor, moms. When you get a chance, take some time to really pay attention to what Dad is doing. I’ll bet you might be surprised at some of the little things he does that go unnoticed. Maybe he remembers to put the toilet seat down or rinse out the sink after he shaves. Maybe he knows to cut the crusts off the PB&J sandwiches when he makes lunch for the kids. Maybe he takes notice of toys or stray socks the kids left on the floor and puts them away, or takes the kids out for an hour or two on a Saturday afternoon so you can relax, or even just thinks to ask if you want anything from the kitchen when he’s going for a snack.

These are the reasons you “love him anyway.” However, the chances are he doesn’t know it.

So, rather than Tweet it, blog about it or talk about it with your friends, tell him. He probably won’t know otherwise.

Cook him a favorite meal, let him have control of the remote one night or just give him an unexpected hug and kiss. He’ll probably ask you, “What was that for?”

Don’t play coy! Tell him why. Tell him what you saw and tell him you appreciate what he’s done. More than likely, he’ll shrug it off with a grunt or say something along the lines of, “It was nothing” or “Just doing my job.”

All the more reason to “love him anyway.”

Photo source (1)  (2)

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Brett Minor January 12, 2012 at 10:13 am

Thank you. One of the stereotypes about men that I think happens to be true it, “to keep a man happy, stroke his ego.” As a man, I appreciate, just being appreciated every now and then.
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Naked Girl in a Dress January 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I think we all need to remember to appreciate our partners. I am glad Eric brought this issue to light today.

Thanks for commenting Brett!

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Eric January 13, 2012 at 7:51 am

I think men are starting to feel “swept under the carpet” a bit. It’s not so much feeling ousted by empowered women, but it is, as you said, just wanting to feel some appreciation for what we do.

Thanks for reading!
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Eric January 12, 2012 at 10:14 am

Thanks for having me today, Kelly! It’s an honor!
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Naked Girl in a Dress January 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Thanks for agreeing Eric! This article has resonated for many. Check out the comments.

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Justine January 12, 2012 at 11:55 am

I completely agree with this point. I think women have spent a lot of time fighting for respect, but it has gotten to the point where they completely disregard that men need respect too! Even though I would argue that I contribute a lot more in “the trenches” than my husband (probably because we don’t have kids yet), I make a big effort to acknowledge everything my husband DOES do. It makes him feel good to know I noticed, and it keeps me from going crazy or getting stuck in the “I do EVERYTHING around here” generalization.

Nice post!
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Naked Girl in a Dress January 12, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Thanks for visiting Justine. I agree with you; men and women both need to feel respected. It is something to be mindful of in our relationships and also to be careful in making stereotypical comments.

I am so happy Eric agreed to guest write and to share his frustration.

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Eric January 13, 2012 at 7:53 am

I couldn’t agree more, Justine, it’s exactly my point. I hope that your husband shows appreciation for what you do as well. It a two-way street after all.
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Jessie Powell January 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm

My husband and I gripe all the time about these ‘parenting’ magazines that are really all about Mommy-ing. I want to tell them “you know what? If my husband only did the dishes ‘once in awhile, we’d never have clean plates!” Because Scott is the only one who does dishes in our house. I am the one who pitches in on the household chores when and as I can. I hate stereotypes and assumptions about gender roles! Wonderful post.
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Naked Girl in a Dress January 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Thanks Jessie. I agree! Eric wrote a thought-provoking piece about parenting. I am so happy he chose to share it here.

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Eric January 13, 2012 at 7:55 am

It is the prevalence of “mommy is the only parent” that floods every aspect of the media that prompted me to write this, Jessie. I’m glad to see that there are moms out there who can see the problem.
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Vinny C January 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I’m showing my wife this post. Not that she doesn’t respect me, just making sure she remembers that she does.
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Naked Girl in a Dress January 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Good idea Vinny. Remind her that she respects you. If she doesn’t, you can draw a terrible stick figure scenario where she gets eaten by a shark or something.

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Eric January 13, 2012 at 7:56 am

So, how did that go, Vinny? Was the couch comfortable? :-)
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Denise January 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Really great post. If mom’s will give dad’s a chance, they can do great things. My husband has parented right along side me from day one. We worked different shifts after our first born arrived and at 4 months he was responsible for baby Z for the full 8+ hours that I was at work. This was the early 90s and people were genuinely shocked that my husband cared for his son while I was away. My husband like most other men is totally capable of caring for kids, we just have to get out of their way.

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 12, 2012 at 11:02 pm

I agree with your point Denise. Sometimes the issue is the woman not allowing the man a chance to contribute in any meaningful way.

Thank you for visiting this evening.

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Eric January 13, 2012 at 7:57 am

Exactly! We dads know what’s what! Give us a chance! Our voices must be heard!

Thanks for reading, Denise.
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Brandy @ Momwich January 12, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Good Job Erich!
My hubby does more than I do, but he loves me anyway.
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Naked Girl in a Dress January 12, 2012 at 11:02 pm

I love your comment Brandy!

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Eric January 13, 2012 at 7:59 am

Thanks for stopping by, Brandy! I read your post about the “surprise” dinner he made (complete with pictures) – he seems like a great guy. Did he read your post?
Eric recently posted..Naked Girl Has Guests!My Profile

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Lance January 18, 2012 at 8:32 am

Wow, no wonder you hang out at my place and comment. We have so much in common.

My girls are 16, 8, and 7. We’re a blended family. The 8 yr old has my DNA, the other two do not. WE’re like The Brady Bunch, the only steps in our family are the ones that go upstairs.

I get frustrated with mommy and daddy blogs that write to stereotypes. I do more laundry than my wife. Yet she’s a chef, so the cooking is all her. I play with my kids. never miss cheerleading or judo classes/games.

I think what people need to realize is parenting is about love and instinct and hard work. You can have the first two things in spades but if you don’t work at being there for your children and your wife, then you will become the bumbling idiot on sitcoms.

wonderful post…please keep blogging. You’re kicking a lot of ass doing it.
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Naked Girl in a Dress January 18, 2012 at 8:47 am

I love that Lance:”The only steps in our family are the ones that go upstairs.”

Agreed: Eric is an insightful, talented writer.

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Eric January 18, 2012 at 9:03 am

Indeed. There are no “steps” in my family as well. People ask me how many children I have and my answer, without hesitation, is always, “three.” The older boys don’t call me “Dad,” they call me “Eric,” but they tell their friends that I am their dad. It’s amazing, really.

Thanks for your awesome words, Lance.
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Kristin @ What She Said January 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

Considering I just wrote my own post about this very topic, on which you commented, which in turn led me here – to a similar post written by you over a week earlier and the first I’ve ever read if your work – I’m a little freaked out right now. Serendipity? Kismet? ;)
Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..To Be a DadMy Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Hi Kristin,

It’s a great topic for us to shine a light on for men. They deserve credit for their role in parenting and as partners. I am glad you found this piece written by Eric Storch. Go check out his blog too!

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