From men I coach, I often hear complaints such as, "I go to work and make money while she stays home and JUST WATCHES THE KIDS."
My usual response is, "Dude, woman-up! When you go out the door to work, you're on vacation in comparison to what she's doing. She's got the real job!"
I've been a full-time father raising two daughters by myself for four years. My daughters are now seven and nine years old and I personally know the difficulties and struggles of a single, working parent. Parents who raise their children day-in and day-out are in the front-line of life.
I've heard many men mock full-time parents. More of them need to woman-up and try on the traditional female role of lead parent for an extended period of time. I recommend men undertake the following three practices for 30 days:
1. The Basic Woman: You handle the basics of life, while you also work.
Get up every morning, bathe your children, clothe them, feed them, listen to them, inspire them and get them out the door. Take them to school and come back to pick them up. Feed them after school, listen to them and make sure they do their homework, correctly. Manage all play date requests, sleepover requests and every other activity. Do that for one full month. *Bonus: Attend every single school function they have, clean the house, do the laundry, make dinner, give them attention and put them to sleep.
2. The Advancing Woman: Talk the talk and walk the walk.
Take on parenting without wasteful complaining. I don't mean you cannot vent or joke, or even belittle parenting and your own dysfunctional ways. That's part of being fully self-expressed. I mean here that you do something-about your complaining. You learn, grow, improve and get better at the issues you are complaining about.
3. The Goddess: You are at the source of everything in your life.
Take responsibility for learning from every single moment you get upset, angry and emotional with your children. Be with your children in such a way that you continue to grow, mature and expand in unimaginable, transformational, mindful ways.
Become a fully-functioning, self-determining adult who can be in a conversation with anyone, anywhere, anyhow, anytime about anything and stay in the conversation. Empower all sides of the conversation while experiencing and evoking love, peace and compassion for everyone in the conversation.
Try these practices for 30 days and you may find that the mother of your children is one of the most wonderful, awesome Goddesses you have ever met. And the bonus is you will get to know yourself and children in ways you can never imagine.
Your capacities and capabilities for love, compassion, resilience and willingness to learn will be constantly developed, tested and expanded when you "woman-up."
Our generation has the opportunity for everyone to woman-up and begin to raise fully-functioning, self-determining adults with our examples. I assert that the results would put an end to parentless children, an end to world hunger and create world peace. Simply because we all "woman-Up" and focus on raising fully-functioning, self-determining, loving, compassionate children.