Separate but Equal

DriedCherryChocolateCashewBlondie2
It’s Father’s Day. And I’m going to get a little controversial so I fully expect the hate mail. I’m going to talk about the shaft that father’s get in the reputation department. I hear my friends talk joke about it and they even made fun of dad’s in a recent Lowes/Valspar commercial. The idea that dads are somehow less of a parent, I’m here to tell you that they are not.

I will have female friends make fun of their husband because when left with the kids for a few hours while they went out for mommy time or whatever they came back and the place was a mess and the kids were all thrown off (I guarantee if you left for a while your kids would get into a new routine with dad and then when you came back YOU would be throwing them off). The Valspar commercial features a dad and the kids talking to mom via Skype and the dad assuring her everything is fine. But when they pan out the kitchen is covered in a HUGE mess with food everywhere. I find this a really crappy stereotype, a goofy lovable stereotype but a stereotype nonetheless.

I have a male referee friend (though he retired from reffing) who is a great stay at home dad of three kids (two girls and a boy). We actually had a non-hockey mutual friend because he used to be in her Mommy and Me play group. My Facebook feed is filled with him sitting at tea parties, fixing boo-boos, getting dressed up to go to the Daddy/Daughter dance, swimming with them, sitting listening to story time with them, riding bikes and I’m sure he does a million other things with them as well (and so does his wife who is equally an amazing mom…she just happens to go to work too). I respect their relationship so much. He clearly has faith in her to be the breadwinner and she clearly has faith in him to raise the kids (during the day) in what is considered the more traditional female role. I have no doubt their kids are going to grow up and do extraordinary things. Fathers are doing the same things that mothers are doing with their children: They are making memories and they are shaping lives.

This Father’s Day my husband got up and made the kids breakfast (here’s the recipe to his famous home fries), just like he does every weekend that he has them. He only has them every other weekend and four hours on Wednesday, not because he doesn’t want them more, but because Washington State while progressive in other areas, is rather backwards in the world of child custody. Washington State almost 99% of the time gives primary custody to the mother, unless that mother is willing to deviate from the standard and agree to other arrangements therefore perpetuating the myth that the mother is somehow more important than the father. I find that when given the opportunity father’s want to spend the time with their kids and want to be involved. When MDP’s kids were little he rearranged his schedule to be on 4/10’s so he could spend Fridays in their classroom. He goes to almost every activity they do. He recently rearranged his work schedule (now getting up at 4am) so that he can take his daughter to soccer practice at 3:30pm (which she has several times a week). He takes off time during work to take them to doctor and dental appointments. He is as active as he can be given the amount of time he has with them.

Are there deadbeat dads out there? You bet. Are there deadbeat moms out there? You bet. If you follow me on Pinterest then you know I have a board called Father’s Rights/Parental Alienation. I am a HUGE proponent of Father’s Rights. I support 50/50 custody. I have been raised since I was little to know that fathers and mothers are of equal importance. I am lucky that my parents stayed together. I would have had to hate to choose between them and being assertive as I am I would have asked to live with both. Sadly most kids are not as assertive as me and get stuck in a war of guilt from both sides to choose who to go live with. If you live in the state of Washington your children don’t even get a say in it until they are 18…and then they aren’t children at that point. As far as the Parent Alienation portion of the board that is near and dear to me because it has happen to my own family members as well as many friends of ours. Parent Alienation can happen to both men and women, though statistically speaking it happens far more to men than women, mostly because women are awarded primary custody more often. I won’t really go on to it here but please know this is something that is happening. We have guy friends who never get to see their children (yet are still forced to pay child support). The mother(s) tells her friends about how the dad doesn’t want to see them (yet we see proof otherwise from the dad’s in emails and texts begging to see the children). They make the child hate or fear the other parent. They don’t let the child talk to the other parent or if they do talk to the father, the mother stands there by the phone to make sure she can control the conversation. They don’t give the child gifts from the other parent. Like I said I can go on, my point being is don’t always trust the parent who says the child’s mother/father doesn’t want to be in their life (especially if that parent lives out of town or state).

So to all the dad’s out there know that YOU ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE MOTHER (and don’t let anyone ever tell you different). That every moment you spend with your kids even if it is just sitting on the couch watching Sponge Bob with them is important to them (even if they don’t know it yet). I have just as many great memories with my dad as I do my mom even though I spent more time with my mom since she was a stay at home mom. Just be there.

A special shout out of course to my own Father. Just like MDP (who fixed the dishwasher and is now putting together shelves)…I’m sure your Father’s Day won’t be restful :) but at least know that you are greatly loved!

I made these bars before I hurt my hand. Though I am going to give baking a try this week (wish me luck). These are a great mix of salty and sweet. I used lightly salted cashews (I got mine at Trader Joe’s) so that the salty wouldn’t be over powered. The milk chocolate helps add the sweetness and the dried cherries were well…in the pantry and I didn’t want to pack them :P though they really do add something to the bars.

*Please note that this post was not intended to piss mom’s off. Mom’s are great (especially mine). I’m just expressing my opinion that mom’s are not better than dads…just different.
DriedCherryChocolateCashewBlondie1

Dried Cherry-Chocolate-Cashew Blondies

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Plugra)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (I used Rodelle)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup lightly salted cashews
  • 1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips (I used TCHO)
  • 1 cup dried cherries (unsweetened or sweetened depending on what you like)

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9-x-13-inch pan with baking spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F.
  3. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Add vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds.
  6. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed just until the dough starts to come together.
  7. Add the cashews, dried cherries, and milk chocolate chips to the mixer with it on slow speed.
  8. Mix until the ingredients are fully combined.
  9. Spread evenly into prepared pan, smooth with a spatula.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted near the center comes out clean.
  11. Let cool on wire rack.
  12. Cut into squares...how many you get depends on how big you cut them.
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Comments

  1. My own dad and I have had a lot of issues to the point where I no longer communicate with him at all. But I don’t paint all dads with the same brush just because mine was an awful person. My childhood best friend’s dad was The Dad, and my uncle is another The Dad. Great moms in the picture, but the dads were (and still are!) awesome dads. I’ve actually known a lot of great dads, more than not-so-great ones, now that I think about it. Maybe I should adopt them all as my cumulative dad. :) Give MDP a Happy Father’s Day from me!

  2. Peabody says:

    Sorry you drew the short straw in the dad category. :-( Glad your besties Dad and uncle show you how a dad should be.

  3. Thank you for this Peabody, Sadly, our culture perpetuates the myth of the hapless, helpless, stupid father and husband. If men were truly as stupid as sitcoms and commercials portrayed them to be, no one would be having kids in the first place!

    Thank you for speaking up about parental alienation as well. It happened to me and sadly, the state I live in (Georgia) doesn’t even recognize it as an issue. We need more attention brought to this for the sake of the children. They are truly the ones who suffer.

    And any hate mail you get, disregard and keep doing what you are doing. But certainly share the ones that will give us a good laugh!

  4. I also do not like commercials and stereotypes like that. When I’m working on the weekends occasionally and my husband isn’t, he is at home with the toddler. He not only does a fabulous job taking care of him (as always) but gets a million things done (takes him with him to get the oil changed, does all the laundry, including folding and hanging up, dishes, etc., works out while he takes a nap and then still does fun stuff with him) all by the time I get home at 3. I secretly laugh when I hear people say they were taking care of the toddler all day, so they just couldn’t do anything else but keep them alive, and admittedly when I’m home with the toddler, I can’ t seem to get all this done, haha. I usually just nap when he’s napping too. So, secretly I think he’s a better parent, but would never admit it :)

    I go to work way early, so every day, he gets him ready and off to preschool and is a complete equal parent. I try to comment every time I see one of those helpless father/husband memes.

  5. Here here! My father is a super-parent!

  6. You’re so right about stereotypes of any kind, but commercials are just about selling a product. Men need to step up and realize their role as half of the parenting team. My husband is a great guy, but he was a terrible father, and has admitted to it. He just didn’t ever get the importance of his role, especially as the male role model to 2 daughters. They turned out really well, thanks to me! Sometimes I know that women kind of take over, which just pushes dads out. Moms need to realize that dads play differently, and that kind of play is equally important to the children. I just hope things keep getting better, starting with paternity leave! Great post!

  7. Preach on, Peabody!!! I couldn’t agree more. A belated happy Father’s Day to MDP.

    The blondies look good :)

  8. Thank you so much for writing this. My husband is the most amazing dad any girl could ask for but unfortunately she spends most of her time on the other side of the country. We cherish our time with her in the summers but can’t be with her most of the year.

  9. Hooray for this post!!! My men in my life are awesome, and I have three sons, and I don’t want them growing up thinking they are less because they are NOT! Those stereotypes piss me right off :) . Thanks for your great recipes and your thoughts on how great fathers are, I couldn’t do it without my awesome husband, who is the best dad. I am lucky to have that I know, but again I don’t want my sons growing up not knowing how important and awesome they are too.

  10. Erin M. says:

    yes.

  11. My ex insisted we have four kids and during pregnancy told me “I don’t want anymore effin kids”. He had absolutely nothing to do with raising any of them UNTIL the day I told him we were divorcing. Suddenly he’s Mr. Mom and Amen and Hallejuiah the courts agreed. The man who couldn’t be bothered to do a damn thing for his family put on such a good show that he got primary custody. I gave up my career (engineering) because he insisted I stay home and “be a mom”. It was the best time of my life. When our son came out he pitched such a fit you’d would’ve thought satan himself was disturbing the universe and HE THREW HIM OUT OF HIS HOUSE at age 17 still in high school. He hasn’t spoken to him since (son is 26 and awesome as ever). Child #2 is the people pleaser and maintains relationships with everyone, child #3 stays with me or at her boyfriends sisters house when she’s required to be home during college breaks so she can avoid her father as much as possible.

    My kids will never actively hate their father nor will they espouse undying love for him. #1 and #3 have equal parts disdain and disbelief that they are related to someone with his mindset. #2 just wants everyone to get along and be happy while understanding that her father is a difficult person to tolerate unless he’s acting as perfect to the outside world.

    My entire point is that children know. They will recognize his goodness in their life and they will know. Just like children recognize the bad. My children rapidly figured this out.

    My ex my have gotten custody (thanks Louisiana) through deception and lies but I got the kids in the end. And children KNOW when they are loved. They’re not stupid.

  12. Sorry about your experience but like I said I’m a proponent of 50/50 custody that way you would have had your kids half.

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