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Mothers' Gatekeeping Keep Dads in the Closet

by Archie Wortham    --show me more like this

"Mothers who seek martyrdom keep their sons from becoming veterans of self-sufficiency." That's our post-Veterans' Day thought.

Veterans have done lots for this country. After spending 20 years in the armed forces, I can tell you there were a lot of reasons I chose to serve my country. Among them was the idea I owed something to my country and to those who fought to give me what I had. How can you not be willing to return the favor to someone who gave you liberty and freedom? How can you really feel you belong here, if you have not in some way given something to preserve freedom and liberty for all?

But some of us do. Some of us have. And among this small number of contributors are mother and fathers who love too much. Among this small number are parents who try to keep their sons and daughters from understanding what it means to really own something by giving them everything! And one of the most tragic failing of all are parents who deny the growth in failing, if the failure makes someone realize success still awaits them if they try again!

Recently my wife took a trip. She left me with our sons for a whole week. Now I'm not looking for a medal, but let me tell you, it wasn't easy. But the boys and I managed. How did we manage? We learned a lot of things, and among them is: ‘mom's way is not the only way; dads can do more than buy food, dads can cook; and if dad want things to go differently, maybe we should help."

All these things gushed forward as I realized why some mothers hate their daughter-in-laws, and vice versa. Ever seen "Everybody Loves Raymond?" Some mothers think their sons hung the moon, should be president, and no woman can ever be good enough. The results? Many boys never become veterans of the housework wars that many have to maneuver through when mom's away, or better yet, that's why many moms are never away. It's a shame. It should stop. And if it's to stop, mothers who seek to become irreplaceable need to understand there's nothing sacred about being sacrificial. Mothers need to realize that there is nothing humble about raising a ‘hobo' for a son who doesn't know how to turn on a stove, that colors and whites are washed at separate times, or that ironing has nothing to do with the ‘periodic table of elements.' But until fathers start assuming some of these responsibilities, their sons will never think it's okay to do these things. Until fathers realize that there is nothing unmanly with doing housework, boys will continue to get over when they get married, and ladies, be careful about who you married. Look at the dads, because every man who becomes a husband has the potential of becoming a dad.

Presently our country is going through lots of turmoil. But the turmoil caused when women moved into the work force is something often ignored, misplaced, and forgotten. Kids used to have someone they could come home to after school. In many houses that's changed as our focus on the type of life we wanted for our children changed. I'm not sure who was responsible for the change, but one of the things they didn't anticipate was that we would need a person in charge of Homeland Security. We had that. It was mom. When mom moved out, men wimped out. Well we need to weigh in, take charge and teach our boys to fight for their rights in the kitchen, laundry rooms, and diaper changing room.

I'm not proposing anything radical. I'm just stating that in order to insure we raise boys who can take care of families in case they need to, we need to let them. In order to insure we raise boys who can take care of our country in case moms are at war, we need to teach them they only fail if they stop trying. To insure we keep America free, we men need to unshackle ourselves from the burdens that our forefathers gave us, that in order to preserve peace, liberty and freedom, we need to realize what it really is worth. To me, it's worth being able to learn that we run houses with our spouses, not in spite of. That goes for mom too. So moms, let up on dads, because if you continue to think that only your way is the right way, that's the only way you are going to have, and you'll have daughter-in-laws who will love dads, but despise your intervention. Help us, help our sons, leave martyrdom to the saints and mothers raising potential presidents.

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