‘Active Dad’ vs. ‘Active’ Mom

This post is going to turn some heads and/or push some buttons. My intention is to share my feelings and to make you think, not to sway your opinion, change your mind or start an argument. This is simply a conversation that has lived inside my head for a while. One that I’ve had at times with a couple of different women, but most often with my husband.

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Active Dad’? I’ve heard it thrown around in sentences like ‘Oh he’s such an Active Dad.’ Instant nails on a chalkboard to me, like instant…Hold up. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Active Mom’? Or was the phrase you actually heard more like ‘Active’ Mom? Any idea where I am going with this?

When I first decided to make this my weekly blog topic, I had a certain narrative in my head that I was going to follow. But before I started writing, I did what every good writer does…I started with Google. I googled (love how that is a verb now) both ‘active dad’ and ‘active mom’. The results in Google were eye opening, but not surprising to me…or maybe they were but they shouldn’t have been.

When I googled ‘active dad’ this is what came up:
My Google search results for ‘active dad’.
When I googled ‘active mom’ this is what came up:
My Google search results for ‘active mom’.

Do you see anything alarming with the difference in results? Anything that surprises you or makes you take a second look?

I see something that takes me back a step. When you search ‘active dad’, the results are related to being a present parent. Articles that relate to how to be involved in your child’s life. When you search ‘active mom’, the results come back more like ‘active’ mom. Meaning everything relates to physically moving, personal training, bootcamp. Sit with that for a minute. I know this is only a google search, but that alone proves my point and is nails on a chalkboard to me.

The bottom line is that ‘Active Mom’ doesn’t actually exist. All Moms are ‘Active Moms’ (except the very rare circumstance).

It is 2022 here people, not 1950. Why then, in 2022, does the term ‘Active Dad’ exist? Why does society praise Dads when they take an active parenting role? Why is this the exception and not the rule?

I’ve heard comments from people in my own life who praise my husband for actually taking a role in our kids lives. While I’m so very thankful for all he does do for the kids, I’m not about to give him praise simply for being around (sorry babe). Because in my mind, that’s a given…that’s not special. Nobody tells him how lucky he is for having a wife who actually does things with his kids, like feed them, take them some place or stay home. That’s what you do as a parent, you take an active role in your kids lives. It’s called Dad or Mom.

It’s possible that I lost some of you or some of you are thinking that I’m some feminist on her soapbox. Probably going to lose some more of you when I say the rest, but here goes.

At the beginning of July I had coffee with a friend and we agreed that sometimes it’s actually women who are the problem. Sometimes it’s women who let men off the hook way too easy. Women try to control way too much or have these unrealistic expectations.

3 things I believe to be true:

  1. My husband deserves to develop his own relationship with his kids. Whatever that looks like for them.
  2. My children deserve to have their own relationship with their dad, one that I’m not intruding on.
  3. His relationship with our kids allows me time to do things for myself. I deserve to be me too.

Dads don’t always do everything a mom does the way she would do it. The house is sometimes a disaster when you get back, the kids might not have the best looking hair or be dressed in something that matches. But at the end of the day, that’s all white noise.

Everyone has their own situation and for some, this does not apply. Some dads are just straight up absent a$$holes for that I apologize.

But I’m talking to those moms who are just holding on a bit too tight to the reigns, who wont let go of control or are always nagging.

Let go. Let him be his own kind of dad. Let’s empower more men to jump right in. No more ‘Active Dad’ talk or praising them uselessly. That’s all a part of the job.

And please please please whatever you do, stop saying you have to ‘babysit’ your kids. YOU DON’T BABYSIT YOUR OWN CHILDREN.

My Son Will Wear Pink & It Begins With This…

You see that?! It’s a very pastel pink Bundle Me.

I was given this as a gift when my daughter was born. It was one of my favorite things to use with a small infant. Soooooo convenient when she was tiny and it was freezing outside. When I had my son, I tried to sell it so I could use the money to buy a different color one, but I had zero luck with that. Since putting this in his car seat, I have received more comments and looks. It has now become a principle thing (anyone who knows me knows I love to do things based on principle).

Believe it or not, pink was not always considered a ‘girl color’, a simple Google search will show plenty of examples. A June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” Pink being engrained in all of us as more feminine and a ‘girl color’ is a result of various celebrities in the 50’s & 60’s and most recently by marketing in the 80’s. Marketing manipulation at it’s finest.

In today’s society, I would love to say that we have broken down stereotypes and preconceived notions of gender. However, I have become aware that we, as a society, have a long a$$ way to go. And I almost succumbed to the pressure.

Top 6 Reasons Why My Son WILL Wear Pink:

6. I’m cheap & in my house the color pink is readily available.
5. He has absolutely no idea.
4. It’s a character builder and a taste of what is to come with society. He’s gonna have a lot of character.
3. He wont always get what he wants, but he’ll always have exactly what he needs…pink or not.
2. My daughter wears blue, green and black…what’s the difference?

And the biggest reason why my son will wear pink is:

1. In our house, we don’t follow ‘traditional gender roles’, defined by society, and we ain’t startin’ now.

My husband and I take equal roles in caring for our household. You’ll see him cooking, cleaning and doing all aspects of taking care of the kids. And you’ll see me cutting the grass, taking care of the landscaping and working outside of the home. We both do whatever it takes to care for everyone in the house. We are a team, where both parents are equal. My daughter and son will see a strong, independent woman as an equal, both at home and professionally. Likewise, they will see a caring, active father, who provides for them in more than just a professional sense.

Come on society, it’s 2018, we are more than a color that we choose to wear. My son will wear pink and play dress up or pretend in the kitchen. He will do whatever he choses, just like my daughter…so get over the color pink already.