“When I found out I was going to be a dad, I made a commitment to forging my identity into dad-first, everything else second.
The result of this is that on balance, I’ve lived the last 7 years of my life focused on being present and engaged with my sons, and 110% supportive of my wife Franziska so she can be her best self at home in her work.
One of the most valuable parts of this experience—being in the parenting ‘cockpit’ with my wife—has been learning about how different the expectations are for men than for women.
I got on a plane once alone with our firstborn and every other person on the plane praised me for my amazing parenting (all I did was hold him and feed him bottles – newborns aren’t that hard).
Franzi spent countless days and weeks out and about with our newborn while I was traveling for work and nobody noticed.
I experience professional accomplishments and our family/friends express lavish praise and subtly imply Franzi should do more around the house so I can focus more on work and get more sleep.
Franzi creates businesses in between making babies, saves clients millions of dollars, pivots into a new career, and gets hired by top executives immediately and those same family members and friends barely blink.
People act so impressed when they learn that I do all our dishes and laundry and take care of all 3 kids every night so that Franzi can live her best life.
But nobody knows that even after 10 years of patiently teaching my stubborn a$$ about emotional labor (over and over), Franzi is still carrying the majority of it:
Planning the kids birthdays, important events, the vision for our house’ aesthetic, the way things run, our kids’ developmental pathways, whether their homework is done, relationships with other moms in the neighborhood so that our kids are always welcome at friends’ homes and are treated well by the parents.
Which brings me to my point here.
That despite how far we have come as a Western society in terms of gender equality as an *aspiration* there are still very real differences in the lived experience for women and men.
And our wives deserve far more credit for the wonderful women that they are.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ted Gonder. You can follow him on Facebook and LinkedIn. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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