After my announcement that I hired a cleaning person, I was informed that women used to be able to keep up with the housework and have time for family. A question was then proposed. “What has changed?”
Everything has changed. I am thankful to live in the United States of America where I as a woman can go out into the workforce and support my family financially. I have a voice, an opinion and opportunities that many women before me did not. And I still get to come home and love on my babies, show them that they too can be successful career women, and still experience the wonderful gift of motherhood.
It is an amazing life for us women nowadays, and I realize that a lot has gone into giving us women the chance to be equal. In doing so, another change ignited for men. You see, the opportunity for woman to excel in the workforce also opened up a whole new opportunity for dads to be, well, dads.
Gone are the days where Dad did all the money making and Mom did all the diaper changing. Instead, dads now have an equal chance of washing bottles, giving baths, reading stories, picking out outfits, and even putting baby thin hair up in pony tails — it may not always be pretty but you can see the love in the try.
No longer do dads have to be the only financial supporter of the family and feel the burden of an unwanted, miserable job because it provides for their family and there is no other option. Now, they have a choice and a chance to go after what they want to do and know they have backup and security — help — with the finances.
And it’s no longer “wait until your dad gets home” as, in our house, Dad is always home first. Instead, there’s a real shot at being a true, respected disciplinarian and not just the one who gives out the spankings at the end of the night because of some mishap that happened hours before. Dads are no longer suckered into being the bad guy but get to be in the action and make the prompt consequence decision.
No, dads don’t have the luxury of a full ironed outfit for work the next day (at least not in my house), and very rarely, if ever, does Dad walk in after a long day to a fresh-cooked meal. But guess what, dads get a chance to cook now! And, for my husband, this is his passion. It’s not frowned upon that he makes dinner for our family five nights a week, and he actually likes to do it. Plus, he gets a sense of accomplishment and pride when I go on and on about how amazing his cooking is.
Dads these days get to help with yardwork and homework. They get to fold towels yet dry off fresh-from-the-pool babies. They get to make money and make beds (sometimes). They get to kiss boo-boos, open Popsicles, mow the lawn, blow bubbles, make sand castles and share the worry.
But, do you know what else they get? They get to be involved — present — in the raising of their kids. They get to handle dinnertime when Mom works late, complete with asking about how the day went. They get to do bedtime prayers, snuggles and “I love you’s.” They get to feel the undeniable joy of being a dad.
Look, I am not naïve to the fact that many people in this day and age are doing this all on their own. There are many moms being both Mom and Dad and many dads being both Dad and Mom. You all keep rocking it – you are doing spectacular! And remember, there was a time when moms didn’t have the opportunity to do it all or dads would not even attempt it.
So, yes, everything has changed. This world and the circumstances allowing both parents to be everything to their kids has evolved immensely.
And, in my opinion, it has changed for the better. Mamas no longer are the sole providers of parenting, and daddies are no longer the sole providers of the bread. It is a team effort — sharing the responsibility — and getting credit for the outcome of it all. And I am so proud to live in a country that not only supports but also promotes this change.
So, Happy Birthday, America! You really have come a long way. And that is one thing that I certainly wouldn’t change.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.