Why I Hate The Phrase "Mr. Mom"

I Hate The Phrase Mr. Mom Because In An Ideal World Both Parents Would Have Equal Responsiblity

"We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future." - President Franklin D. Roosevelt

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In one of the first articles I wrote for Odyssey, I mentioned that the phrase "Mr. Mom" had been used to describe my dad, it annoyed me, and I would discuss it at a later day. Well, my dudes, today is the day.

A "Mr. Mom", as far as I can tell, is when the father of a child is the stay-at-home parent and does most of the housework such as cooking and cleaning. They are the primary parent who takes their kid to the doctor when they get sick suddenly and are the person who gets asked for homework help the most. But to all the "Mr. Moms" out there, I hate to tell you, but there is in fact already a word to describe you. It's called being a dad.

Just because you too can make a grilled cheese sandwich and you're a guy doesn't mean you should automatically get a parent of the year award. Calling yourself a "Mr. Mom" just means that you think you're doing such a great service to mankind by being the parent to stay home and raise your children when honestly gender shouldn't matter of who is the primary caregiver. In an ideal world, both parents would have equal participation in raising their child, but in today's society a lot of times that just isn't feasible.

Don't get me wrong, I have a huge amount of respect for anyone who is a stay-at-home parent; it is definitely not an easy job. Most days it is probably thankless, and as someone who never wants children, shout out to anyone who has the strength to do that. But as someone who grew up with a working mother, I think it's incredibly darn sexist and old-fashioned to automatically assume that the mother is the parent who should feel obligated to raise their kids. My mom was the parent who worked full time because it financially made more sense, and while a lot of my friends' parents who chose to say home tended to be the mom, no one should ever feel obligated to either work full time or become a stay at home because of their gender.

If you want to be a stay at home mom, that's fine! But no one should feel the need to trash on parents' decisions to either stay at home or work. You don't know anything about their living situation, and if you're not the person being affected by their choices and know the child will be safe, maybe you should stop focusing so much on how other parents choose to raise a child and figure out why you feel the need to criticize other people for taking on the incredibly challenging task of raising a human being for at least 18 years.

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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6 Lessons My Father Gave Me To Help Me Become A Better Man

Life lessons given to me from a dad who I did not appreciate enough.

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My father grew up in the inner city of Chicago. The Austin Neighborhood. Now if you happen to not be as knowledgeable of Chicago like my father is, the Austin Neighborhood is/was one of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago in terms of violence, and drugs, and other things. He was the first person in his family to go to college and he ended up going to graduate school to become a doctor. These life lessons below are some of the reasons why I am who I am today, and I am very grateful that he has taught me or showed me these things.

1. Always value education 

Given that my father was the first in his family to go to college, this one was sort of a given. He told me to always put education first, as that will help you achieve your dreams. He taught me that it was okay to "love school" when it was socially unacceptable to say those two words together in elementary school. He taught me the value of staying up late at night and studying and working hard to become the best version of yourself.

2. Always respect others

Always respect others, but don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. This one to me was self-explanatory. Always respect people no matter their race, religion, or political orientation, in the end, it does not matter because people are not defined by that one characteristic. They are defined by who they are on the inside, and that takes actually getting to know someone as opposed to just listening to 'hearsay'. He said to do these things, but stand up for what you believe in. "People are never going to agree on everything or believe the same way as you are" he so commonly has said; but, "if you show that you will respect others for who they are, in turn, you will build respect and credibility when you stand up and voice what you believe in". No matter what circumstance you find yourself in, I have made this a life goal and motto.

3. Respect life and live it to the fullest

He said this in both religious and personal way. In a personal way, he wanted me to know that it was okay to have fun and enjoy your life, as long as you respect it and live it to the fullest doing what you love. In a religious sense, he taught me the importance of childhood and life in a religious sense when he told me I was adopted. He said to me, "GOD put you in my family, and I am so proud that he did. Make sure that you are ready when you want to create life and start a family because the human life that you create with another woman is its own individual being created by GOD and deserves only the best."

4. Always remain energetic

Always remain energetic and positive no matter what circumstance is occurring. You can be going through a battle with cancer, or you can be finding true love. Life is always going to have its ups and its downs, and you cannot let that determine how you act or appear before other people. He always told me to "put a smile on my face and appreciate the things that I have, for there are others who wish they could have what you have," and I never truly realized how real this was. He taught me to always stay positive because that positivity and that energy can cause a smile to spread someone else's life. I have worked to always be extremely energetic and positive as this helps to make time go by faster, and it helps you appreciate the way things are and recognize the true power of what we as Americans and what I as a college student have been given.

5. Value hard work 

Value hard work and only give 100% your best effort. This one is self-explanatory. My father did not have any financial platform to jump off of, or an older sibling to lend his or her books to him. He had to work hard and sacrifice in order to become who he is today. He told me that if you keep working at something, and you keep trying and trying and giving it your all eventually whatever you are working towards will go your way; and, that one victory is all the spark you need to shoot off the ground. As Rachel Platten puts it in her hit song, "Fight Song," "I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion." Hard work - to me and my father - is that match, and the explosion is our success.

6. Don't quit

If you see something you want, run after it and don't stop until you have received the 'fruits of your labor'. This one to me I have applied in mainly education and knowledge. If I want to know about a certain thing, I will put my phone down and read about it - yes even sometimes with a physical book from the library. If I want to get something that I cannot afford, I will pull together as much money as possible and work for whatever else I need and then be happy to see that my hard work ended up helping me get what I wanted.

I am very blessed that GOD put me into this family when I was born. I am thankful that my birth mother - wherever and whomever she may be - decided to give me up for adoption so that I can grow up with the wonderful man that my father truly is.

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