Okay, time for me to ruffle some feathers.

There was an article in the NY Times a couple of days ago entitled, "ARE ALL MOMS MAD AT DAD?". The Times article referenced an extensive survey of 1,000 “nationally representative” mothers from, an online opinion panel, and as author Martha Brockenbrough puts it, "the article is a disturbing portrait of motherhood."

Indeed, the survey is basically a litany of diatribes from irate, frustrated, exhausted mothers blaming their husbands for their overburdened, unfulfilled lives. In other words, it is a waste of time if you are looking for any kind of deep understanding about what is dysfunctional in today's parenting.

Here are some clips from the article:

“We love our husbands, but we’re mad that we spend more mental energy on the details of parenting. We’re mad that having children has turned our lives upside down much more than theirs. We’re mad that these guys, who can manage businesses or keep track of thousands of pieces of sports trivia, can be clueless when it comes to what our kids are eating and what supplies they need for school. And more than anything else, we’re mad that they get more time to themselves than we do.”

“We carry so much of this life-altering responsibility in our heads: the doctors’ appointments, the shoe sizes, the details about the kids’ friends. Many dads wouldn’t even think to buy valentines for the class, for example, or know when it’s time to sign kids up for the pre–camp physical, or that curriculum night is next Thursday at 7:30 and you need to hire a sitter and bring a nut-free vegetarian appetizer that can be eaten without a fork. Even moms who work full-time take it upon themselves to store all this data in our already overstuffed heads. We’re the walking, talking encyclopedias of family life, while dads tend to be more like brochures.”

Whew! Where do I begin?

Well, first and foremost, the lack of personal responsibility taken by the mothers in the survey for the state of their own lives is astounding. Excuse me, but how did you become such perfect martyrs, such deprived slaves to your own lives? Where were you captured from and under what kind of duress were you placed so you had to submit to such a terrible life? Or is it that you're just so good, so elevated and responsible that you are can't help doing the right thing because you're just made that way?

"Nut-free vegetarian appetizers that can be eaten without a fork?!" Excuse me, but at what point in your personal journey did you decide to lead such an inane life?

Let's get clear here, my dear long-suffering mothers: this is your problem of your creating.

Let me tell you about my life as a husband and father of two, ages 7 and 11. I do most of the shopping and most of the cooking for our family; I take the kids to school in the morning, pick them up after school, and put them to bed at night with a meditation (and lullaby for the youngest); and I share most of the other child-rearing and household tasks with my wife. She's better at some things than I am, and visa versa, so we divide those tasks up organically, like actual grown-up partners. I also work passionately at two careers and yet, have plenty of time for fun, health maintenance and a great sex life with my wife. And obviously, all of the above is true for my counterpart, the mother of our children.

Why is our life apparently so different from the lives described in the survey?

Well, back to my original point - because we each take responsibility for our lives. Of all the things that we know for certain about adult life, it's that blaming someone else for your fate is... not adult. We each not only do what we really want to do on a day-to-day basis, we also desire for our partner to do what he or she really wants to do.

Our egos are not invested in living up to some image of parenthood from our childhoods, and therein lies the real crux of the problem. The main reason the mothers in the survey find themselves trapped in their lives is because they are, but how they got there was through the determined process of feeding their own egos, trying to live out what said egos think it means to be the ultimate good mother. Oh yeah, and if you married a clueless guy, maybe it's exactly because you wanted to be top-dog-superparent-homemaker-nut-free-appetizer-bringer.

And then, guess what? It turns out, not only is there no reward for living out that masked identity, but it's ultimately not really good for the kids and a turn-off to your partner.


So, moms, maybe you should stop complaining and finish raising yourself. And take a listen here:

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