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It’s not ‘daddy duty’—it’s fatherhood

I often gush about how amazing fatherhood has been for me. Because being a dad is the best. Yes, getting married to the woman you love feels incredible—and it was, without a doubt the best day of my life—that is, until I watched her give birth to our daughter.


Awestruck is a pretty good word to describe it, but it still doesn’t do the big event justice.

But let’s be real, being a parent is challenging too. (Not that this is a surprise for anyone to hear.) Sometimes it seems that a lot of the things that make being a dad challenging you can’t do anything about.

I mean, nobody can make baby poop smell better, or make waking up at all hours of the night any less tiring. But there are some aspects of being a dad that are challenging mainly because of the society we live in.

And these are the challenges that, as a society, we need to think about and correct.

Historically, men have been less involved in child rearing. However, I think at this point, our generation has decided that these stereotypical gender roles have no place in our lives, in our world. People should be free to do what they want with their life, regardless of gender. (Amirite?!)

It seems to me that attitudes around parenting are shifting now as work roles have shifted, and I am so happy about that. Look at Mark Zuckerberg taking two months paternity leave off for both of his children, or the parental leave policies of Netflix, where parents of both genders are encouraged to take as much time as they need and not just for biological children, but for adopted children as well.

Men should shoulder more of the burden of child care than society expects them to. More and more studies are coming out showing that children and parents benefit from more heavily involved fathers—i.e. when dads read to their children, they may see an improvement in their kiddos behavior and in their parenting skills. (Businesses often see positives of having generous paternity leave policies in place as well.)

The point is—most fathers, like me, really want to be more involved and spend more time with their children.

That said, I don’t need a high-five or a pat on the back when I’m doing my job—being a father.

When I am at the park with my daughter, I don’t want to hear, You got stuck babysitting today, huh?”

I am NOT babysitting. I am my daughter’s primary caregiver and it is called parenting, thank you very much.

When I make dinner for my daughter, I don’t need to be told that I am an amazing husband and father.

I do it all the time because it is one of the responsibilities I shoulder for our family. Nobody would say that my wife is amazing if she cooks dinner, because the expectation is that cooking for the family is a “woman’s work.” Which is sexist and unfair.

When I am running errands with my daughter, I don’t need you to congratulate me on being able to handle my kid and shop at the same time.

It isn’t something unusual. I do it every week.

While I love compliments as much as the next guy, compliments grounded in inappropriate expectations are annoying and I don’t want them.

They end up feeling like backhanded compliments because they make it seem like I am doing better than this very low expectation they have set for me as a dad.

Many comments I hear end up being the equivalent to, “Youre not bad at this parenting thing...for a dad, anyway.”

So I ask you, please help shift the cultural expectations around fatherhood.

Before you say something to a dad out and about with his kids, ask yourself if you would say the same thing to a mom. And then if you wouldn’t, just don’t. It’s simple.

Shift your own expectations to one where dads are supposed to take equal care of the kids, and it isn’t unusual for a dad to do more than half of the child care. That’s just fatherhood, and it is awesome.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.

$70

Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.

$65

Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.

$45

Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!

$23

Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.

$30

Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.

$39

'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."

$35

Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.

$24

Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.

$22

Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!

$25

Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.

$32

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

$105

Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.

$17

Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.

$68

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