I was going to submit an essay to this online magazine, but after perusing the articles, I nixed the idea. Of note was this doozy, in which the author notes that Father’s Day is less important than Mother’s Day. He says his article is controversial. I’m not sure why. He’s basically saying, hey, kids, give Dad the same due you would give Mom. Sounds good to me; not sure why anyone would feel that’s controversial.
Instead of being controversial, I found the article stupid. He starts off by noting that Mother’s Day is a bigger deal than Father’s Day. Apart from citing Wikipedia, though, he doesn’t have any solid way to back up his claim. And his Wikipedia citation is merely to note that Father’s Day evolved many years after Mother’s Day. Which proves…well, nothing. The Super Bowl came into existence after the World Series, so, to use Eber’s logic, that makes the World Series a bigger deal, right? And since Valentine’s Day came into being before Thanksgiving, I suppose that makes Valentine’s Day a bigger deal, too, right?
Then he notes how difficult it can be as a father (which I agree with) by offering this lame anecdote that has nothing to do with fatherhood:
As a partner in a law firm for many years, I observed my male colleagues put in their 80-hour workweeks while trying to meet their wives’ expectations that they be home in time for dinner every night and turn down most, if not all, business trips.
Oh, man, that’s so true. I can’t tell you how tough it is to work all day, only to have my spouse expect me to spend some time with her. Man, at the end of the day, if there’s one thing I hate doing, it’s leaving work and going home for dinner. Sometimes life can be so impossible for fathers.
But wait, it gets worse:
It’s now understood that if son Jake is on the soccer team, dad is the team coach. When little Susie takes to the stage as the lead elf in the school play, dad must be in the audience. Is this work life balance? [sic]
Yeah, you really nailed it that time, Eber. It’s so unbalanced to work 80 hours a week and be expected to participate in your kids’ lives. I know when I went to my son’s school last week to have lunch with him and play games with his class, I kept thinking, “Damn, this is so unfair. I’m only gonna be at work 45 hours this week as it is, and now my lousy son goes and interferes with that time.” And what is “work life balance,” anyway?
The article ends on a low note, straight out of Leave it to Beaver, in which he asserts that “dads are easy to please” and all they really want for Father’s Day is to not have to be home with their kids. That’s right, Eber claims that, on Father’s Day, men want to be excused from their nagging wives – who are constantly insisting they get projects done around the house – and go play golf with their friends.
In our house, I am probably more driven to get stuff done around the house than my wife, and I look forward to the weekends to be with my kids and work on our house and yard. The idea that there’s a “honey-do” list implies that it’s only my wife who wants to, for example, finish our daughter’s room, and that I only begrudgingly participate. Unlike Eber, I won’t speak for all dads, but I know I’m not alone.
Also – far from feeling cheated when I have to go to work early or late (or not at all) because my kids have activities going on – I would feel like a complete asshole if I wasn’t with them during special occassions. Having to work late is understandable, but golf? Come on.