Silly Daddy – parenting is for women

September 23, 2010

Turn on your TV. Watch an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. Family Guy (ugh). The Simpsons. Modern Family. According to Jim. Married With Children.

Open a book. Read Berenstain Bears. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Any books geared towards childhood memories.

Watch commercials for a while.

See any common theme? Because there is one. A significant one.

The dads and father figures for all of these are idiots. Bumbling, stupid morons that can’t even manage to spend quality time with their kids without their wife forcing them too, or for some kind of a “look how hot I am” pick up towards women.

If the dad exists at all.

I read Bella bedtime books and keep thinking, “Where is the father in these books? Why don’t Daddies tuck their kids into bed or take them to the zoo?”

What’s funny is – in our house, this happens. Sure, Sam works all day. But when he comes home, his first thought isn’t the football game or hanging out with his buddies. He gives Bella a bath and spends time with her before bed. On his days off, it revolves around her. He, like many fathers today, spends quality time with his child.

Nagging wife not needed.

So what’s up with this portrait of the stupid, usually fat, dad? Why does Raymond pretty much ignore his children 90% of ever episode? How is it funny that Phil from Modern Family embarrasses his children and wife all the time by being a total freak? Why does Family Guy, or American Dad, even exist?

How does this impact our marriages and children? When our kids sit around and listen to us laugh about how Raymond’s brother wants to spend more time with his kids than he does, when the dad on the Eggo commercial tries to steal his daughter’s Eggo because, gosh darnit, he’s too stupid to know how to make one himself, what do our children hear us saying?

“Wow, men are really pathetic.”

In all of these situations, the mom is the one who steps up to the plate to correct her husband, let her kids (and family and friends) know how silly he is, and take back control. But not in any kind of loving way. Oh no. In a shrill, horrid, nagging, frenzied kind of way that makes all of us hate her too.

However, can you imagine what the uproar would be if the commercial featured a stupid mother? When is the last time you saw an incompetent mom who was the butt of her family’s jokes on TV? What are women portrayed as?

How about Kate? Perfect example. Jon and Kate plus 8. We used to watch them all the time. I asked Sam repeatedly for something one time, and without thinking, finally said, “Hello?!” And yes, it sounded a lot like what Kate yelled across Toys ‘R Us to Jon.

He snapped. He was so mad that I did what Kate had done to Jon – pathetic, shallow, castrated Jon who couldn’t look at Kate and tell her, “Enough.” He didn’t want to be Jon, I certainly didn’t want to be Kate. We stopped watching the show together.

There is something very fragile about a man’s strength, something that society has almost taken away from them. By making our fathers and men in general out to be losers who only care about tits, sex, football and getting away from their kids, we have caused them to retreat into what we hate about them.

We are causing a self-fulfilling prophesy.

No one wants to marry Raymond. Phil. Jim. The Eggo Waffle guy. Most of us want someone strong, who will fight for us, punch some guy in the face when he hits on us, spend time with our children, open doors, kiss our grandmas on the cheek and yell at someone hurting an animal. Not some fat oaf that drinks beer and farts with his friends while he wife shrieks in the background and his children become invisible.

So why is there only this other character? Is this how we want all our men to be eventually? Why? So we can be in control of them? I hate the fact that my child won’t grow up with many role models of strong fathers on TV, commercials, or in books. That is wrong.

Where are the daddies who care about their kids? Why isn’t this important anymore?

How is being overweight, out of control, stupid, clumsy, pathetic, and controlled by your wife something any of us get a laugh from?


  • Inspirational Quotes

    March 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

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    April 3, 2011 at 3:02 am

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  • Melissa R.

    September 29, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I totally agree. My husband constantly comments how TV incorrectly portrays dads. Also what you don’t see is the fathers who are divorced and desperately want to see their children are forced to only occasionally get their children as though only a mother can properly raise children and that father’s can only be trusted every other weekend.

  • Katie

    September 27, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Totally agree! We need to share more stories of the great men that are integral in the lives of their children (and wives). It may not be as funny but it is certainly more important! Thanks for sharing:)

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  • Minnesota Mamaleh

    September 25, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    fab-u-lous and IMPORTANT post! this was an excellent, respectful read. why some might even call it a breath of fresh air! (and seriously lol at the waffle guy reference!) i found you through mommybloggers and am so-very-glad that i did! 🙂

  • StacyQ

    September 24, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Fabulous post!
    Could you imagine being married to one of those guys on TV? Nuh-Uh!

  • Brooke

    September 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    yes yes yes yes! Thank you!!!! Fantastic post! My husband gets so mad when anyone (including me) assumes he can’t/won’t/doesn’t parent based solely on the fact that he’s the father. When people ask him if he’s “babysitting” when I’m at work, he replies, “No, I’m parentlng.” 🙂

  • sooze

    September 24, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    My husband is not a lawyer but my children think their father is Atticus Finch. And I agree :–)

  • Erika

    September 24, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Man, I hate Raymond. And completely agree with you 100%.

    This week’s Newsweek had a interesting cover story about the changing role of men:

    Check out pages 2-3. Basically says that lots of men are like Sam and getting very little recognition for it.

    1. Diana

      September 24, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      That is a fantastic article. It really got me thinking too. It also shows that unless men are willing to change – to want this change – it might not happen. More and more Sweden sounds so appealing…

  • Nick

    September 24, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Holy crap! My wife, Sara,(see comment above thisone) sent me this link this morning, and, being a blog skeptic, said to myself,”pfft. Another blog.”. But I must say that I am glad that i am not the only person that notices this trend. Every time I see a commercial for vacuum cleaners, or dish soap, or hell,anything housework orcooking related, it’s always a woman selling the product. It aggravates me to no end. I like beer and tits and football and video games, but those thing are for after baby time. My son and my wife are the most important thing in my life, and I hope that somehow somewhere tv and movies get the picture that it isn’t the 1950s anymore. Great post!

    1. Diana

      September 24, 2010 at 11:06 am

      I’m so glad you feel the same way. I was a leetle bit afraid to read this comment from a guy as I wasn’t sure what you were going to say. But I’m glad I did.

      My husband feels this way too – he does laundry, cleans, does bath time, vacummns – and yet everything in these categories are marketed to women.

  • Sara

    September 24, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I’m going to forward this post to my husband. We were JUST having this discussion the other day, and it’s something he brings up all the time. There are good fathers and husbands out there, and it’s time we brought them into the limelight!

  • Angela

    September 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    I think sitcoms, in general, portray all people in silly stereotypes. I don’t really watch them (although I have recently gotten into How I Met Your Mother reruns, but that’s not kid-friendly) but I don’t think they offer ANY good role models, male or female.

    Maybe we should bring back the caring 80’s sitcom dads – like Jason Seaver from Growing Pains!

    We have lots of books with good dads, though! There’s a book called “Daddy Hugs” that is a cute bedtime book for dads and kids and one called (I think) “Daddy’s Little Girl” that has three little stories in there about dads and daughters.

    1. Diana

      September 24, 2010 at 11:04 am

      I will check out those books! Thank you!

      And yeah, I understand that sitcoms are for laughs, but it’s the whole concept of it that bothers me. Because it’s commercials, and books. It’s shows for kids. I can see how a dad isn’t really like what I’m watching, but reading it to a kid or having them watch it on a show doesn’t have the same effect. That’s what bothers me.

      We need the 80’s back. 😛

  • Daisy

    September 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    First of all – THANK YOU. For writing this blog, for calling out the stupid stereotypes and, hell, even noticing it!
    Secondly – applause to Sam for not being like this. Unfourtunately, most stereotypes do root from something. The part where fathers act stupidly in these types of media is mainly for humor, but I do believe that some are making light of a serious situation. Many kids don’t have father figures in thier lives, and if they do, they are not very good ones. THings are finally starting to change, which is great! These portrayals are out dated from a time where fathers weren’t particularily big influences on kids’ lives. My dad, although he was always part of our lives and wanted to see us, definately left most of the parenting up to mom, and that sucks.
    It’s amazing to see more active fathers in childrens lives nowadays. Stay at home fathers and shared responsibilities are becoming much more prevalent, as apposed to the old way of thinking, where mothers do most of the work.
    These ads and shows are not helping!

    1. Diana

      September 24, 2010 at 11:03 am

      Yeah, it’s amazing the fathers that do step up to the plate but never get any credit for it. It bothers me that homemaking and children’t activites are still soley centered around mom.

      1. Daisy

        September 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm

        Also! I follow a couple mommy blogs, including yours, because, I mean, who has a life more interesting than a new moms. But it would be interesting to find a “daddy blog” for lack of better term. JUst to see the other side of the story!

        1. Diana

          September 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm

          I would LOVE to find a Daddy blog. I had a couple but they were really crude (I’m no saint but it was tough to read every day). I’d like to find one on a day in the life of a dad.

          1. Brooke

            September 24, 2010 at 11:51 pm

   is a great one!

  • Yoga Girl

    September 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    A-flippin-men. Thank you.

  • Kim

    September 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    How did you get to be so smart? You must have a great role model for a dad as well. Just think what you and Sam are providing. And your parents. I think this all the time. I just never actually put it into words this eloquent!

    1. Diana

      September 24, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      <3 My dad is super smart - how did you know? ;)

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