A Dad’s Advice to Moms…and a Little Pandering
The only “bad” thing about this article is the first line, where Thomas Matlack does a little audience-culling by immediately telling his predominantly-female Babble.com readers that “moms are generally better parents than dads.” It’s alright to pander to your audience a little, especially at the beginning of your story, since it helps focus people and sell them on the idea that you’ve got something to say. But goddamnit, Thomas, we’ve come so far as men and you just threw it all away. You’re a father – be proud, for christ’s sake. I realize you were “just joking” (I can see the e-mail already), but c’mon. It’s not like saying women are better at fashion or men are better at killing things, which are “who cares” topics. You’re hitting men where it hurts. Enough said – but Thomas, you’re on warning. Another one like that and we’re taking your balls, Project Mayhem style.
Anywho…the rest of Matlack’s article is the kind of insightful father-talk that I love to read. It’s not the knuckle-dragging man stuff that you’d expect on a woman’s parenting site, except maybe for Matlack’s first bit of advice: “think caveman.” This isn’t terrible, only because he describes the real issue – that while girls are more internal, boys jump and shout to let you know an emotion. True enough.
Matlack continues with some spot-on commentary, coming from his experience with two sons and a daughter. He lets us know such gems as ” Boys sort out their identities in relation to the mythical characters they hear about,” and, if I’m allowed to be a giant bag of emotion, probably the most touching thing I’ve heard in a month: ” If you don’t believe in God, you will once you have lain next to your overactive son while his body goes limp next to you, and he ever so faintly begins to snore.” Not that I’m super religious, but the idea that once you’re a parent, it’s moments like this that make your life worth living.
I’d argue that while obviously on Babble.com, this article fits better as advice from a father to mothers, that Matlack’s list is a good one for parents of young kids like myself as well. If you can stomach going to one of those “other” websites, give it a read. BTW, Thomas Matlack knows about male and female audiences – he’s the founder of The Good Men Project, to whom we often link and reference.