One father asked the internet if he's a jerk after his wife nagged him to be more of an active parent, and it was as poorly received as you'd expect.
In a recent post on Reddit, user u/ClassicCase4 asks the subreddit r/AmITheA**hole — a group that determines if the author of any given question is the jerk in a dispute — if he's in the wrong for believing men and women's roles in parenting are biologically different. Well, we think that's what he was trying to say, but it wasn't worded as eloquently. He says his girlfriend often "nags" him to do more with his daughter, but he feels he does enough.
"I pointed out to her that motherhood and fatherhood are fundamentally different from a biological perspective; from the beginning, she needed to have more hands-on time with our daughter because of postpartum depression and breastfeeding and such," writes the father in a post we edited, "and these types of things carry on through childhood as our daughter is naturally more used to physical contact and comfort from her mother than from me."
Needless to say, Reddit didn't agree with him. To start, he was given the title of *sshole by the community, and he was chewed out quite a bit too. One Reddit user told him his stance was not necessarily wrong in the sense that motherhood and fatherhood are different, but it's not for biological reasons. Instead, the father suggests that social constructs make being a dad a lot more rewarding.
"If I pack a sandwich for my kid, I'm dad of the year for doing the bare minimum," says AppropriateRadish9. "If my wife packs a sandwich, the teacher asks why she left out carrots and a juice box to make it a balanced meal."
That idea isn't just backed up from personal experience, though. In fact, Cornell University sociologists conducted a study and found that motherhood was far more stressful than fatherhood, yet being a dad is more enjoyable Essentially, they found that women have disproportionate amounts of "alone time" with their children while men tend to take care of kids with a little help. Fathers tend to find their time with kids to be more rewarding than mothers, while moms feel more drained and less happy. This comes at a time when more women are in the workforce than ever before.
With all this in mind, it's important to treat parenthood as a team effort if that option is available. Laying a disproportional amount of work on the mother and blaming genetics is simply lazy and wrong. All we can do in this situation, however, is hope the Reddit user who opened up this discussion learned a thing or two after facing so much backlash.