Dads Don’t Suck

I have been reading Redbook since I was fifteen, and every month when my new issue comes, I turn immediately to the Whys Guy feature by Aaron Traister. I could say that I read his articles to decode male behavior and gain a better understanding of my husband, but the truth is that I just enjoy his writing style and find his pieces to be amusing.

Now before I get too far into this Dads Don’t Suck rant, I feel like I need to share a caveat: my husband is not perfect. Yes, some of our friends believe that he is, but I’m here to tell you that they’re wrong. He can’t find a single thing even if he is the last person to touch it. His memory is shoddy at best. He likes to rephrase everything that everyone says so that he can agree and take credit at the same time. His vision and hearing are selective especially when they involve empty trashcans or questions that need an immediate answer. And his jaw sometimes pops when he eats ice cream. Who has difficulty chewing ice cream?

With that said, he is an amazing husband and father. Amazing.

When I was pregnant and sick, he took care of me with more patience and love than I could have imagined possible. He intentionally married a human roller-coaster, and he hangs in there without complaint through all the ups and downs. He says with a smile, “I know who I married.”

But forget the huge things. Let’s talk about the little things. 

He puts the laundry away. He cleans the litter box. He cooks dinner at least fifty percent of the time and empties a dishwasher filled with clean dishes without being asked.

He believes without philosophical positioning or lengthy discussion that parenting our children is just as much his responsibility as it is mine. He is just as likely to volunteer to teach a Sunday School class, coach a soccer team, or chaperone a field trip as I am. And while he doesn’t make the doctor’s appointments, he is happy to take the kids to them.

When I told him I wanted to begin blogging, he bought me a laptop. When I told him that blogging involved travel, he re-arranged his work schedule. When I told him that sometimes other bloggers would come to the house to play Rock Band and eat indulgent food, he helped me clean the kitchen then made himself scarce.

He brings me breakfast in bed every morning. Case closed.

So what does all of this have to do with Aaron Traister? In the October issue of Redbook, Aaron writes about the new fall sitcoms and the continuation of the suddenly prevalent “Dads Suck” entertainment theme. While I’m not claiming that every dad works forty hours a week at a stressful job, commutes two and a half hours a day, and still comes home to cook dinner and help with homework, mine does. And I’d bet many others do as well. No, he doesn’t then use Monopoly money to teach our kids about real life or choreograph the whole family singing “Baby….baby…BAAAABY!” on the steps (Marry me, Cliff Huxtable), but he’s a damn good husband and father. There. I said it.

So I’m wondering if maybe we could all cut dads a break? I believe our generation has been the one to move towards a completely blurred line when it comes to gender roles within marriage and parenting. Wouldn’t it be nice if media reflected that shift?

Leave a Reply


  • Oh Amy, you sure know the way to a Dad’s heart! The media stereotypes have been going on for far too long. I even wrote a review about one of those new shows, “Guys With Kids”, the other day and was completely shocked at the lack of common sense used in it.

    Much like you described, I am far from perfect, but I sure as heck try my best to be all the Dad and husband I can be. Thanks for writing this, it’s nice to not hear “suck it up and stop whining” for once 😀

    • I’m with CanadianDad on this. I’m single, no children and tired as hell of these shows. The shows with lusty, bumbling bachelors are also to be avoided.
      The dufus daddy has been around far too long. Strangely, every dufus is married to a super hot,super smart wife, which I guess is supposed to clue us in that it’s not ‘real’.
      I think the problem may be that the children who watched Homer Simpson are now grown and writing T.V shows.

  • I agree. I have a great partner and my kids have a great Dad too. After almost twenty years of marriage and twenty-five years together, I feel very blessed that I can say that too. Great post!

  • Mr. Resourceful Mommy

    You forgot my best attribute: I was smart enough to marry a beautiful, talented, inspiring woman. Thanks so much for not only the kind words, but being willing to broadcast them to the world. I love you very much.
    PS-You might have just earned yourself an extra special breakfast tomorrow morning.

  • I have to agree with your post here. While I am no longer married to my daughters father, he is a wonderful dad. Very active in her life. Signs her up for sports, tells me when and where. We probably communicate better since we divorced, but, we both agreed that she comes first in all communication. He doesn’t slack on responsibilities. He is just as likely to take a day off for an appointment for her as I was, (when I worked, before getting laid off). Like you, I made all the appointments and told him when and where when it was his turn.

    So, thank you for posting this. Dad’s don’t suck. These days especially. I think it’s time to give the 50’s stereotype a rest.

  • Loving Jason’s comment! You definitely BOTH married the right person! 🙂
    And you are so right about bringing this to light. My hubby is a super involved dad, who is 100% involved in the daily aspects of our children’s lives…so while I may tease him for his inability to put his dishes IN the sink, as opposed to next to it, I don’t take his fathering skills for granted! 😉

  • TV and the media has been bringing the dad down for a very long time. It makes me really angry, because it breeds disrespect for men, husbands and fathers in not only our children, but our own minds as well.

    I have a wonderful husband. Just last night he spent over an hour playing board games with our oldest, while holding the baby. Then he helped me put them to bed and sat and watched a romantic movie with me. When I’m sick, he goes in to work late in the morning so he can be around to help me for a bit in the morning. Like the rest of us, he isn’t perfect, but he’s the best husband I could ever ask for and the best dad for our kiddos. They respect him and want to be just like him, and that makes me proud.

  • Amen. My husband is a great father and does a fabulous job filling in for me when I have to travel for work. I’m really, really lucky he’s a great dad… but I guess I wouldn’t have picked him if I thought he’d be any other way! You’re right on.

  • I’m so glad you wrote this article. It’s a blessing to see young wives and moms take a stand for the men in their lives. Men bashing in the media has been going on far too long.

    My husband and I have been married for 40 years and I’m grateful for every one of those years. We’ve had our ups and downs, our own family tragedies and our own wonderful joys, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  • Yes! Thank you for this. There are more good dads than sucky dads out there so lets start showing THAT instead of every dad character being portrayed as a bumbling yahoo who can’t figure out which end or the baby is up… 😉

  • Yes! I agree wholeheartedly. My husband is a great husband and a great father. Is he perfect? No, and neither am I. Thank you for putting out to the world that Dads don’t suck.

  • Thanks for putting a spotlight on all the GREAT Dads out there. My husband does it all and is my equal partner in parenting our 3 boys. I’m so tired of the man/dad bashing!

  • I love this line: I believe our generation has been the one to move towards a completely blurred line when it comes to gender roles within marriage and parenting. SO true!! Thankful to be married to a great guy, like you. 🙂

  • Wow, that last line is just perfect.

  • You said it girl. My husband and I were watching Guys With Kids and absolutely cringing. We are always talking about the ridiculous bad rap dads get in the media. My husband is awesome too.

  • Thank you for this post. There are so many dads who take on their fair share of parenting, yet too much media still celebrates the tired old cliches. ‘Bumbling Dad’ an easy storyline and it always gets the laugh. But it does a disservice to those families who struggle against old systems and outdated rules, while trying to find the balance of a modern family. Being a dad is an awesome responsibility, and it’s so much better when our community give us respect.

  • Thanks for the great post. Very inspiring for us dads. I know that there is always more that I can do but I try everyday to do something better to be a better dad and husband. I do fail sometimes but I continue to try. It’s so hard though when you see media taking cheap shots to try and get laughs and viewers at the expense of fathers/husbands who are not like that at all and don’t want to be like that.