But a recent Reddit thread zeroed in on one gender-based parenting stereotype in particular: the presumption that a father cannot be a equally present and hardworking parental figure as a mother.
Far from the absent, workaholics that populated 1950s movies, these guys love to take care of their children. They like to be vulnerable, teach good character, take care of necessary pieces of child-rearing, and simply enjoy fatherhood.
And yet they are questioned with subtle jokes and the proverbial elbow nudge.
The thread offered a safe haven for all the proudly present fathers out there. These modern patriarchs took turns slamming all the presumptuous onlookers they've ever faced.
"Not a dad myself, but an uncle. My sister in law is a mostly stay at home mom, but teaches a yoga class once or twice a week. My brother obviously has to look over his kids during that time."
"My parents constantly refer to that as babysitting... and it drives me nuts. I constantly interject, and tell them that that's just parenting, but there's just something the older generation doesn't get about that."
How to Silence a Room
"The line 'Yeah ever since their mum died' usually shuts them down pretty quick." -- Guerenica
"That's brutal. I love it." -- deadbass72
"'Actually, I kidnapped them... does that still qualify?'" -- Lemesplain
"I don't have any zingers like that, I usually just tell them that when they're your own kids, they call it 'parenting'" -- BigPZ
A Dad, Beard and All
"As a tall (6'4") and Large (300lb) quit hairy and bearded man with twin girls, when they were younger I got a lot of old ladies saying stuff like 'that man should NOT be with those little girls.'"
"Like yeah, f*** me for looking like sasquatch and having kids, right?"
"As they've gotten older, its got better. I don't get comments like that anymore. But if I take them to the park all of the moms avoid me."
Punished for Being Present
"I became a father at a young age (17) and when I would pick up my daughter and take her out for dinner just me and her--it's a weekly thing for us..."
"you wouldn't believe the dirty looks and rude comments I've received from people about being a creep especially when she was about 14 to age 20..."
"...she's 22 now, and now it has changed to other men giving me the thumbs up and basically saying nice job on getting a young lady, and they having absolutely no clue that I'm just hanging out with my daughter."
"My husband had dinner with this family while I was out of town once. They kept praising him and calling him just such a great dad."
"All because he didn't order alcohol at the restaurant. Because he didn't drive drunk with our kids. That's how low they set the bar for him. Meanwhile they have never called me a good anything."
"He is a good dad and yes, he was annoyed by this."
An Unwanted Title
"I don't know if anyone else gets this line often, but I do. 'Oh, looks like you're Mr. mom today' There's a word for dad. It's dad." -- deadbass72
"I have gotten that a few times."
"After the first time it happened, any time it had happened since, I've looked the person in the eyes and said, 'Yeah, she's Mrs. Dad today, we like to role play like that, kinky isn't it?' and then just continue what I'm doing before I was interrupted." -- masheduppotato
"I think a lot of mothers are annoyed by this too.. it makes it sound as if taking care of the children as solely 'her duty'..."
"...and if the father is being a father, that means she's slacking on her duties and using a 'baby-sitter.'"
Even the Infrastructure is Presumptuous
"To pile on, the worst is when you can't find a baby changing station in the men's room and there is no 'family room.'"
"I've straight up overtaken a women's room, so that I could change a diaper."
"I've never gotten that. However the amount of people that have seen me alone with my daughter and act as though I'm the only man they've seen spending time together with their little girl is literally insane to me."
"One woman insisted on buying our lunch because of it."
"I had this happen a few times when bringing my daughter places. She was 6 when we went I brought her to an auto race. This complete stranger who looks about the same age as me, with his younger girlfriend is leaning back on the seat a few rows down."
"He looks back and says, 'Let me guess. The ex wouldn't keep her this weekend?'"
"I was a bit surprised at the question. But I answered, 'Not at all. Just a father sharing his love of the sport like my father did with me.'"
"Then I held my left hand up and said, 'It's nice to know one of us hasn't failed at marriage or parenting for that matter.'"
"Didn't hear another word from him."
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