If you've been anywhere online this past week, you've probably seen the link for a video by The Skit Guys. Mom Goggles has gone viral on social media, as do most videos extolling the virtues of mothers everywhere. If you haven't seen the video clip (SPOILER ALERT), the helpless dads rush order Mom Goggles so as to survive a weekend with the kids while the moms take a much needed weekend getaway. These Mom Goggles supposedly reveal the secrets of motherhood, which include cheering on mediocre art projects, being overprotective, fearlessly changing the most putrid of diapers and expertly folding fitted sheets.
I score one out of four.
I don't pour on the compliments for scribbly drawings, I gag when I change especially pungent diapers, and linens go directly back on the beds after laundry
day week specifically so that I don't have to fold those possessed fitted sheets.* So basically, I'm guilty of being a tad overprotective. Yay me!
This is where, just like Grandma's giblet gravy, the plot thickens. A lump-in-your-throat phone conversation brings it all the surface. It goes something like this "Thank you, thank you, thank you. How would we ever survive without you? We're all so undeserving of you. Crap the kids are destroying things again."
Well, you get the gist of it.
To their credit, The Skit Guys have produced some top-notch videos for fathers too. They have directly addressed the importance of a dad's role in family life, and even touched on sentimental and emotional moments for fathers (not exactly the social norm). And yet, in my admittedly limited perusal of their father videos, I didn't find a single instance where the woman expressed true dependence upon her husband, and apologized for not telling him enough how much she respects him and appreciates all that he does. I'd love to be proved wrong on this one, because The Skit Guys are doing important work and casting a broad net within mainstream evangelical churches. I'm just not sure that men need more reminders to lead their families, work hard, pray more, take the lead, sacrifice, oh and be a leader!
To summarize, inspirational videos to dads issue a call to rise to a new standard, whereas inspirational videos to moms issue a call to dads to rise to a new standard. I've already hashed out my feelings on The Battle of the Sexes (part one and part two), so I won't bore you with a rehashing. Suffice to say that with an over-inflated view of my role, I would do well to see a few videos reminding me that I'm not "all that" in the home. That I am fortunate to stay at home and should be thankful for a hard-working husband who makes that possible. That I need to be vocalizing my respect and appreciation. It's not wrong to call women out on our uppity attitudes; It's wrong not to.
For several years, the Social Opinion of Stay-At-Home Mothers pendulum swung toward belittlement and disregard (I've whined about my own experience with this). We've sailed right past the place of balance, and are camped out at the other extreme. Now motherhood is being heralded as the World's Toughest Job, complete with no breaks, no life, no food...basically prison life in Sing Sing in the 1800's would be preferable to the back-breaking work of staying at home with children.
In reality, there are hundreds of jobs that would be tougher for me to manage. Aside from occupations which are outside the realm of my physical capabilities, there are scores of jobs that I wouldn't last one day on the payroll.
Lest you think I take my parental role lightly...There is absolutely no other job that can slice me to my very soul. There is no other job where I feel my failure as acutely. There is no other job where the stakes are so high it leaves me on my knees, in His word, seeking counsel, and scouring resources. In that sense, yes, my job is incredibly challenging. However, this burden weighs just as heavily on working moms, and (GASP) dads too. True, dads may not ugly cry over daddy guilt or scroll through parenting blogs for creative discipline methods, but their burden is just as real, just as fierce, and just as deep.
So why, oh why, do we continue to tell mothers, "You are the pinnacle of all society. We salute you." and we tell dads, "Stop sucking. Oh, and lead your families, because it’s biblical." Perhaps it's time to stop swinging wildly from the motherhood pendulums and shift some of our focus onto the Social Opinion of Fathers pendulum.
Can we band together to begin the momentum?
Ordering Daddy Goggles,
*...which DO NOT fold flat "like a charm" so just WHATEVER Pinterest.