Do lazy dads deserve Father’s Day?

By Amber Guo Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/14 17:18:40

Illustration: Peter C. Espina/GT

As Father's Day is approaching and as a mother of two children, I do ask myself if the father of my children is deserving of the holiday.

Recently I found someone saying online that there are three "magic weapons" fathers always use when taking care of children: having them play on a smart phone, holding them up high and asking them to look for their mother. It may not be the same tricks for each father, but I believe if you ask 10 married couples in China, about eight of them will come to the same conclusion that their husbands freak out when asked to take care of the children.

Take my personal experience as an example. Every weekend, when the four of us all have the chance to get up late, I feel like I am the mother of three children. Usually, one of the kids wakes up first and begins to shout, and I am always the one get up to deal with it because my husband is in a deep sleep. After I prepare breakfast, my husband is still in bed sleeping or playing games on his phone, and it often takes the efforts of the three of us to get him out of bed.

And then, as I sit the two children at the table and begin to feed the younger one, my husband goes to the bathroom and doesn't come out until we are finished.

In the evenings, when I have a few minutes to myself after putting the kids to sleep, if one of the kids starts crying, he yells for me to take care of it and doesn't move a muscle.

My experience is echoed by several moms living in my neighborhood. A mom of a one-year-old girl said that very often when her husband is looking after their little girl, he will lie on the couch playing on his phone and let their child play alone on the carpet. And when she tries to show him something or say something, her father just says, "Yeah, that's great."

Another mom explained that her husband still acts like a little boy, always buying toys their 7-year-old son likes because it turns out he is really buying the toys because he likes them too.

But when asked if they will still celebrate Father's Day with such incompetent fathers, both said yes without hesitation.

"Life needs a sense of ritual," the first mother joked, adding that she can still recall some sweet moments such as her husband actively proposing that once a week he will take care of their child so the mom can go out alone.

"I think my husband does better than me in some other aspects. For instance, he is more patient when helping our son with his homework," one mother said.

I am not sure if Chinese fathers in general care less about children and women are more tolerant of that because of the old tradition of a man's work being outside the home, but in today's society, it is time to change that concept and for more fathers to take responsibility for caring for their children.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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