Wednesday, September 4, 2013

5 Reasons My Wife is the Better Parent

I need to give credit where credit is due. Here's the thing. I write the blog, and people get to know me through what I write. I can paint the picture as pretty or as poopy as I like, and I like that. I'm a pretty honest guy, and I keep things pretty accurate. There have been some times where I have worked the edges of a piece to make it more funny, or combined events that happened over a series of weeks into a single day, but for the most part, what you see is what you get here at Ask Your Dad. Except for one big blind spot that I feel compelled to address.

Completely without intent, and only by the sin of omission, I get far too much of the credit in the parenting equation. Stevie never complains about it, and I don't even know if it bugs her, but she is the better parent and I just want her to know that I know it... and I want you to know it too. I know, it's not a competition. But if it were, here are just a few of the MANY reasons why she'd win this trophy:

1. Lack of sleep

I complain about my lack of sleep a lot on the blog. If I was my wife, and I had to read my husband's whiny posts about sleeping, I would be a little chaffed. Oh, poor John. Never gets any sleep. Constantly complains about it on the blog. Here "Mr. I-Somehow-Magically-Snore-While-I'm-Awake", let me help you sleep by pressing this pillow firmly against your face. Then you can sleep… forever!

The truth is that I do have trouble sleeping. My wife on the other hand, just doesn't sleep at all. For the entire time Captain was nursing, she woke up with him every single time. Sure, I woke up when he was crying, but as soon as he was latched I got to roll over and continue go-cart racing in the clouds with Jon Stewart. Stevie got to stay up and breast feed to the glow of her iPhone, reading about how tired I always am on my blog. I'm lucky to be alive.

2. Playing with the kids

Do you love all of those pictures and videos and cute anecdotes I post about me playing with Duchess and Captain? Me too! And I do play with my kids, a lot. If you were to check my logged hours in the tea time simulator, I'd be a fully licensed dad pilot. Stevie? She'd be commanding a kiddy aircraft carrier. 

I've got about 30-40 minutes of full-fledged pretend time in me before I have to take a break from the super-hero bake party. Sure, I'll wear a tiara and a cape, but Daddy can only eat so many pretend cupcakes before Daddy needs to go pretend to poop for twenty minutes. Stevie will play for hours. 

It's beautiful to watch. Sometimes I'll hear her playing with Duchess and sneak up to the frame of the door. I'll lean my head against the wood and just listen to my wife talk to my daughter. She doesn't condescend or mock. She is genuinely interested in everything Duchess says. I consistently strive to be that present with my kids, and she makes it look effortless, graceful even. 

3. Daily kid maintanence

Stevie gets the kids ready for school every day. This is a scheduling thing, not a me neglecting my parental duties thing – but it doesn't matter. She does it every day. Back when Duchess was younger I would get her ready everyday and take her to Grandma's, and really, it wasn't too bad. Granted, we didn't have Captain yet and Duchess didn't have hair. 

Due to Stevie having an early meeting the other day, I had the opportunity to experience getting two kids under three ready for daycare. Aside from having to change my shirt twice, once for poop, and once again for more poop I hadn't noticed the first time, I made it through the morning preparations pretty well. Sure, the daycare lady looked at my off-center triple pigtail attempt and gave me a smile that said "I'll fix that later," but I was proud of it. I know I could get better at it if I had to, but Stevie is currently the queen of the morning. 

She also bathes the kids, dresses the kids, and feeds the kids more than I do. And she works full time. She wins. 

4. She puts up with me

I can't think of anything more infuriating than the sentence, "Honey, will you put the kids to bed tonight; I need to work on my parenting blog." I haven't said it often, but the amount of times that I have should have been enough to warrant at least an angry eye roll. And yet I haven't received one. 

I try to be the best dad I can be. I am active and engaged. But I fear I may have painted too rosy a picture of what my wife deals with. I am no angel. There are times when I play my video game too long. There are times when I let the dishes pile up too high. Even though my job is the cooking, there have been weeks where I cooked chicken strips three out of five nights. I haven't done a load of laundry in five years. FIVE YEARS!  And yet… and yet…

5. Stevie is my biggest cheerleader

On the days when the hours between getting home from work and the kids' bed time seem like more of a chore than a blessing, she brings me back. When I overcook a steak, or under-salt the potatoes, she smiles and tells me they're wonderful. When she's frustrated, tired, and needs help, she asks. She loves me and our kids in a way that inspires me to be better, and for that - she wins.  

She's going to read this and roll her eyes, and will probably come up with her own list of why I win, but she'll be wrong. Best parent trophy goes to Stevie. 

Like a boss

Love, Dad

PS Stevie wants you to like the Ask Your Dad Facebook page too. If you don't, she won't be mad - just disappointed.


  1. This is so beautiful and funny as hell. You sound like a lucky family to all have each other :-)

  2. John kills all the spiders. Just throwin' that out there.

    1. Well, I put them in a cup and take them outside so you don't get upset. Then I step on them.

  3. I have to say, after all the negative talk I see online about people and their spouses, it's really delightful to read your blog. It warms my soul. I can tell through all the posts that you guys are a team. That's not always easy, but it's always awesome and worth every bit of work. Keep it up you two! :)

  4. Sounds like Stevie deserves a cash bonus to go with that trophy.

  5. You're not pretending to poop for twenty minutes. After an admission that Stevie is the better parent, surely you can admit that you're the marathon pooper in the family.

  6. I love a post like this. We who blog get all sorts of pats on the back, simply because we're public, and we admit we love our urchins. And even though I DO the majority caregiving, I am FAR from the best parent. I mean, ask my wife how many times she's let our kid zone out for three hours in front of the TV. Or . . . don't, since that'll just remind her that I'm the only one who really does that (But not ALL the time, I swear!).

    Truth is, I'm a good dad. But I'm also kinda lazy. If there's someone in our family who has a VISION of how to raise our daughter right, it's my wife. I mostly just try to get from the playground to bath-time with a minimum of fuss so that I can feel justified in taking a long break all night while my wife continues to do productive things ON TOP of having worked all day.

    Bottom line, I dig your honesty. Here's to someday becoming the men our wives deserve!

  7. What a lovely post. I like to imagine that my husband has written it for me, substituting your names for ours hahaha. You sound like you're BOTH fantastic parents :)

  8. As a mom who works full-time, but didn't always, I want to thank you for your post. When three of my kids (I have four) were under the age of five, I gave up my legal career to stay home with them. My husband worked about 50 hours a week at a high end law firm in Philly so we could make ends meet. I gave up my lower paying lawyer job because it was stressing me out and the cost of three day care providers was ridiculous. Also, I just wanted to be with the kids. I subscribed to a thrifty spending newsletter, joined La Leche, and learned how to buy classy second hand stuff. I turned the dining room into a Montessori school. It was wonderful while it lasted, but lonely (no other stay at home moms) and we were poor. My husband was making $80,000 but we had a mortgage and tons of student loans.
    I never returned to the law. I became a teacher, and am now on my second marriage, while my first husband is a partner in a law firm make triple figures. It's ok, though, 'cause my new husband is a stay at home parentand my ex paid for the kids' colleges. Bob makes the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. He does the laundry. And when I come home exhausted but need to help my 12 year old with her homework, he picks up the slack afterward by teaching her how to bet in poker and going bike riding with her,and watching those dumb animal movies that drive me crazy..I would love to have a blog, but if I did , I would say this: there is no right or wrong way to do parenting, just do it (sorry Nike). Neither my husband nor I win first prize. We are a team, and whoever has the most energy picks up the slack. What is the slack? Making sure our young daughter gets the same deal as the three grown children: unconditional love and attention.. Thanks for everything you and Stevie do for your kids.

  9. Dude, now *I* have to write one of these... :)
    Very nice.

  10. Hey man, I love your blog. I will definitely keep reading. We only have a 9 month old son so you give me a good idea of what I have to look forward to as he gets older. When you have a minute, check out my blog at!