When I saw this onesie almost two years ago I chuckled and rolled my eyes. Just another parenting joke that presents dads as inept helpers around the house. Clearly dads need this onesie to understand the obvious.
It’s just a onesie. No big deal. Why get so worked up about something so silly?
Because it’s stuff like this that perpetuates the idea that our fathers can’t handle parenting like a mother can.
Don’t get me wrong. I think parents have different strengths and weaknesses that set us a part. I believe there are things I will be better at as a mom than my husband and vice versa. I think those strengths are specific to who we are as individuals and the strengths God created in us.
My husband is not strong at planning meals for two weeks for our family to eat. I’m not great at fixing the broken crib in a way that would keep it from breaking again. It’s not a stereotype in our house. It’s just the truth. We have real roles in our home that developed because of who we are as individuals.
But I can live without onesies like this. If anything, this onesie would be funny if it was geared towards the first-time-sleep-deprived parent. Not just the dad.
It’s small seeds like this that produce fruit of “dads are incapable.”
My husband may fumble at times but so do I.
When I sat down to write this I thought “Why do I really care about this? Care enough to write about it?”
I have been given the privilege to raise God-loving-fearing humans. And sometimes I notice things more than I did before. Sometimes I feel a prick in my heart that says the world’s way of thinking isn’t right.
So maybe it’s not really about the onesie.
Maybe it’s about my desire to edify my husband and for my kids to see that. Maybe it’s about a small step in realizing how I speak about my husband to others. It’s the words I use in front of my children.
Maybe I realize how important it is to cheer my husband on as he navigates being a dad. I sure as heck will take all the cheering I can get as a mom.
I don’t want little seeds like this onesie to spark a negative view of my husband as a father. I want to focus on the gifts God has given him that make him a great dad.
Two years ago I received this onesie and chuckled. Two years later I look at this onesie and realize I’m not who I was then and neither is my husband. Thank God for growth.