Please don't call my husband Super Dad.

A handful of women I have met during my time here think my husband is a superhero for doing regular, routine, and ordinary dad things such as cooking breakfast for the family, food shopping alone, or carving pumpkins with us on a Saturday. Apparently that is all it takes to launch a man into Superman status. How many of you moms do those things regularly?

When is the last time a man called you Super Mom for getting a barbecue stain out of some Bermuda shorts? Where is our parade!?!

Seriously though.

My husband is fantastic. I could not have asked for a better father for my children. I am lucky, they are lucky, and he is wonderful. I tell him often. However, he is not Super Dad. He is fulfilling his obligations to his family as a man and as a father. Is our standard for men as parents so low that when we see one performing his normal fatherly duties it is something to celebrate?

I feel very strongly about this because my standards for myself as a mother are high. Too high perhaps, I am only human and sometimes fail to meet my own expectations. My standards for my husband are equally high. I do not throw confetti at him when he vacuums, I will not celebrate his impromptu laundry folding, and I won’t post a gazillion Facebook posts about how awesome he is for watching his kids for a half hour so I can go for a run. I refuse.

Enough of the stereotypical images of the bumbling dad that has to defer to mom in all domestic matters. No more celebrating men for doing the same things moms do without applause. Enough. It sends an awful message to our kids and doesn’t accurately reflect today’s society.

There is no such thing as “women’s work”. There are stay at home dads that are not any less manly because they know how to iron. My husband is not special. He is a father. Fathers cook, clean, help with homework, and do chores. Just like mothers. We are equal partners in all matters (except for the killing of disgusting bugs – him and apple crisp – me).

Obviously certain changes in our lives dictate what our partners are able to do around the house, my husband now spends most of his time at school related activities. I do not expect him to clean the house at 11 pm. when he gets home. He does his fair share in the manner that he can at the moment.

I would not have married a man who was not up for fifty percent of the household, domestic, and child related duties. I married a responsible and self-sufficient man. That was my choice. I did not want to mother a grown man and am thankful I don’t have to. The worst part is my husband saying to me half kidding “You see! I *am* Super Dad! I am above average! Now stop yelling at me when I want to play a few minutes of NBA2K when you want me to finish the laundry.”

Edited to add: Some people (that seriously seem to lack critical thinking and reading comprehension skills) have accused me of being less than supportive of my beloved husband.

Clearly they missed the entire point of the post so let me break it down in simple terms for them.

My husband is amazing but not because he knows how to use a broom. He got himself into an Ivy League school you bet your you know what I expect more from this man than the occasional floor sweeping.

Example: Husband folding laundry = appreciated but not amazing.

Husband letting me sleep in on Father’s day = AMAZING. Above and beyond. Incredibly sweet.

Make sense?

If this post is the kind of thing you choose to get up in arms about I question your sanity.

Dear angry ladies: Maybe if you treat yourself with respect and demand more from men you too will end up with a winner. Try it. It works.

super dad

He is gorgeous too : )

ModernMami wrote a similar post you can check out here.

What do you think?

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  1. I love this post and it’s so very true. I’m very blessed that my partner and I share everything in our household 50/50. I do not have to ask him to help and he never complains. Our home runs 100% smoother because we both do what needs to be done. He does dishes, he sweeps, he cooks, he helps with homework — he does it all! And I would expect nothing less of him – and he would expect nothing less of himself!

  2. Amen!! I always hate when men get super praised for doing any of the things that we as the moms/wives do on a daily basis.
    My husband will cook or clean or stay home with the kids while I run out and do girly things.
    But all of which I do for him as well.
    It’s parenting. And marriage. It’s a 50/50 thing.
    I do more of the cleaning and cooking because I stay at home and he works.
    But if I worked and he was at home, it’d be him doing the majority of the house work and cleaning.
    People are just silly.
    Maybe it is just rare to find good men these days?! If that’s the case, how sad.

  3. Vivien

    Awesome post! I absolutely agree! And I would love a parade in my honor some time- I cleaned the kitchen this morning…

  4. I agree. It’s really not a statement on the supernatural husband you have but rather the sad society in which we live. Unfortunately, the standard male is not like yours. Even in today’s modern society.

  5. I agree! My husband gets this a lot because he’s home with the kids on the weekend and I work on the weekends. He gets praised for grocery shopping or taking the kids to the park. Of course he does those things! He helped make those tiny people, he should help shoulder some of the responsibilities.

  6. I love this post because its similar to how i feel about my husband, we dont have kids yet but he takes good care of me when and everyone thinks hes superman.. He even has the nickname crispy after the sugar crisp bear cuz hes so sweet and takes care of everything lol

    I like what amber said its a 50/50 thing..

    hope you had a great weekend!

  7. Thank you for writing what so many of us think. It burns me up to hear how great a father is for “babysitting” his own kids. Really, society?

    Hugs and Mocha,

  8. YES. Remember the Chris Rock joke? “What you want, a cookie? That’s what you’re SUPPOSED TO DO.”

    Right now the bulk of the home/kid stuff is being done by my husband since he’s out of full-time work. And he does a better job than I do, with less effort. I certainly get in my domestic moods but those are more about “ooh, I want to can and compost and re-purpose and GET BACK TO THE EARTH” and his is more like, “The kids are hungry and should probably eat something.”

    We’ve had our struggles with the domestic stuff but it’s not been about him being a dude, it’s been more like we’re both working and stressed and think the other should help out more. So we argue and both agree to pitch in more and things settle down and we’re fine.

  9. This was a great post and the end was sweet :) While I don’t necessarily pat my husband on back for doing things around the house I praise him all the time for being a good father. A great father. I do this because he made the decision to be a father to my daughter and now she is our daughter. He does all of the things that a father is really supposed to do and then some. He would be fine if I never verbally acknowledged this as he does it because he loves her and in his eyes and heart she is his. I am so grateful because I know how blessed I am, how blessed we are. My challenge is because I was a single parent for several years it has been hard learning to depend more on another person rather than always trying to do everything myself (mostly with regards to parenting. I have no problem letting him fold laundry or do dishes :) He is often reminding me that I don’t have do it all on my own now.

    So yes I agree dads are praised everyday for doing things that they are supposed to do. And maybe super dad is a little extreme (although children tend to think their parents are super hero like :)but the reality is there are a lot of fathers (and mothers too) who aren’t even willing to do what they are supposed to do or really anything at all for that matter. I have lived it and in my line of work I see it every day. It could be that your husband is not the norm (for many) making him “super in the eyes” of mother’s. For you he’s simply just being who he is.

    p.s. I would love a parade for moms. Of course I want to be IN the parade :)

  10. BTW sorry for the happy face overload. Don’t know why I put so many!

  11. I understand where you are coming from. Chris is a great husband & he is super dad compared to a lot of other husbands/fathers BUT he is doing what every dad should be doing. I appreciate him & love him so much.

    For the record, I’m uncomfortable when people commend me for dealing with beings milspouse or handling Klaw’s medical issues. I’m doing what anyone should do in the same situation. Make sense?

  12. I love this post! So true and the term “babysit” refering to Dad’s staying home with their children drives me CRAZY.

  13. You guys are a SUPER family!

    Ack. the baby sitting your own kid irritates me every time.

  14. Shouldnt you be making a sandwich instead of writing this rant about other men that don affect you?

  15. Thay is true,not only for your reasons,but also because its incredibly condecending to men.

    I am a father ,not “mothers helper” and not a stand in .

    I take care of my home and do everything with my daughters because they are my daughters,not because someone else was busy and I couldent get out of it

    I’m sick of people (mostly women) pretending its amazing that I do everything for my girls. It’s not a magic trick that I can braid hair or sew costumes(for ballet) its my fucking job .(although I am very good at my job its still just MY JOB)

  16. I completely agree with you. My son’s father can’t be here all the time since he’s in the military but when we are all together, he does all the things that are necessary for our son. He doesn’t act helpless, or like he doesn’t know what he’s doing, or that he needs my help all the time. He’s a dad, a great dad, but he’s not doing anything extra-ordinary. I only read part of crazy town’s blog post because I only have so much hate I can read in one day and I reached my limit midway through, but she sounds like a real class act. /sarcasm

  17. YES! YES!! YES!!!

    these same trolls must have been hanging out on my blog the day i complained about my husband eating the food i was going to give the kids – one woman had the nerve to say “how dare my husband eat the food HE pays for” – bish please – i don’t bring in a huge paycheck, but i do bring in some income – and even if i didn’t, it’s still OUR money because OUR family is a partnership

    the same as you, i don’t expect my husband to come home from work (and school) and clean the house – but i do expect him to clean up after himself – and when he does, he doesn’t get extra points – he’s an awesome father and husband and i let him know that – but just like i don’t get extra points for feeding the kids, he doesn’t get extra points for putting on a load of laundry!

  18. I agree! Great post -thanks for getting this out there!

    And like the others posted before me the term “babysitting” when referring to your own children drives me insane.

  19. I agree completely. We both work full-time. Why would all household/kid chores and duties fall on me? Yes, I will sort our toddler’s drawers and he’ll get on the roof once a season…but all in all this is a partnership. I love my husband and appreciate him for being him. BUT I don’t count myself lucky in that regard. He and I both chose one another for our ability to both step up to the plate. We work hard to make our marriage work in the manner we’ve defined it. Great post. I stand behind you on this one, sister!!

  20. YEP.

    • Whoops. meant to say more than YEP. I definitely brag on my husband and I know men in general have a need to feel appreciated and so I do try to acknowledge his help around the house. But I totally agree that being a stand up husband and father is what you are SUPPOSED to do. We can feel grateful for it, that doesn’t mean they need a parade. We’ve has this conversation before, these kids are not just mine, they are his too. Damn straight he’s gonna do his share of wiping butts.

  21. I blame media,30 years of every father on tv being a hapless nitwit who would be to stupid to stay alive if not for his wife .usualy a nitwit aswell ,but better than her husband (to be fair its just a flip from the way it was before but still)

  22. Heather Tomasello

    AMEN! laundry/dishes/childcare doesn’t make a man a SuperDad. it just makes him a dad. being pelted by gamma radiation makes him SuperDad!

  23. After reading one of the “angry lady” posts, I see the point of both her’s and this one.

    Is he the most amazing person because he does what a dad (parent) is supposed to anyway? No. But can we say thank you and call him “super” because he is (didn’t you marry & have babies with him?)? Yes.

    There’s no right or wrong way to say thanks or imply your other half is great.

    The only bad thing is to not show appreciation at all. Only THEN do you have a problem.

    And, of course, if you have to go the other way and he says you’re a bad mother (who?) or you say he’s a bad dad (what?).

  24. Thank you for broaching this subject and for being so eloquent and fair in your approach.

  25. I call my Ogre a Superman. But we’re comic book nerds. ^.^

  26. I must say I have never posted on a blog before, but this particular post piqued my interest so that I felt compelled to write something.
    First of all, I recognize the need to vent. Blogging is a great way to do it, and you often find support and others in your situation. Technology is always amazing me. How problems like these are shared between cultures all over the world, and without this kind of access people can feel alone and progress will be insanely slow. If this particular author (or anyone who commented) just needed to feel support ant let off a little steam I don’t want to detract from that.
    On to the issue: I agree that it may seem a little silly to praise someone for doing their job. I’m guessing few of these readers have praised their local stockboy for facing the items in the local market, or a parking enforcer for making sure that we all obey the rules, even if we’re the unfortunate victim of a car seat that steals our change. My question is: why focus on how your husband is not a “superdad” instead of proclaiming yourself as a “supermom?” Or perhaps more satisfactorily, asking your husband to give you a little more credit (because I’m sure you deserve it).
    I really don’t believe it’s your husband’s fault that people call him a superdad. (And moreover why would this be a negative thing?) Sitcoms since the 50s have been portraying dads as working stiffs, buffoons, incompetents and detached fathers. Look at the sitcoms, comics, and movies today; many dads are still portrayed the same way. I think it’s great that they get a little extra praise for making small efforts, but again, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t.
    Finally, I think it is important to note that every partnership is different. Family dynamic, financial issues, childcare, whether one or both parents need to pick up the “second shift” of childcare and housework…the list goes on. Every family is in a different position. However, I do think that it is reasonable to say that if one parent, let’s say the husband, earns the family income, and the other, let’s say the wife, stays at home with the kids, that decision should be made by equal partners. Therefore if the wife is staying at home taking care of the kids and the housework, and the dad steps in to take care of the kids while the mom goes on a trip for the weekend, why should he get to be superdad while she’s gone?
    Let me reiterate that of course if both parents work full-time the responsibilities of the household should be shared equally, and both should receive ample praise for making it through each day. I guarantee that if both partners recognize the other’s hard work, they will be happier in the relationship and more willing to work together.

  27. I so relate. People said the same thing about Ben because of how he was during my pregnancy and with Cora.

  28. The point is if you set the average as “Super”, most men are ok with less than “Super”, and won’t strive to be anything more. Since there are so many men out there that don’t do their fair share, it is refreshing to see those who do.

  29. *shakes head* poor girl.