…David had just given her medication to help her deal with a cold, and, quite abruptly, she announced that he was “more like the mom” and I was “the dad.” Wait, what? How can our kids (of all people!) be hypnotized by the rigid gender dichotomy that our family undermines by our very existence?
It’s not even as though we follow roles that break down in quite the way of “traditional” mom/dad couples. My job’s hours are pretty flexible, so I have lots of time to spend with the family. I do my share of the laundry and generally clean up after dinner. David does the cooking. And when it comes to caring for them when they’re sick — which, after all, triggered the mom/dad comment — it’s a pretty even deal. In fact, I had to interrupt writing this column to mop up some vomit.
I admit the home workload isn’t strictly a 50/50 proposition. David’s design business is part-time at this point, and he does more around the house than I do. But our roles are flexible and nongendered enough that calling us Mom and Dad is just weird.
Hey, Daddy! is Slate’s monthly column exploring the joys and struggles of parenting from a gay father’s perspective. Got a topic idea or question for Daddy? Send an email.