Sitting here with my coffee, while my 11 month old plays at my feet with his pad, I begin to reflect on the hip hop song playing faintly from my phone. My big boys are in the back room, getting into Lord knows what, while my wife is sleeping soundly, I hear the rapper J. Cole’s beautiful song titled, “Foldin’ Clothes.” This song, at least for me, has become the mantra of the “helpful” male. It challenges the social norms of society and goes against the grain of “gangster hip-hop.” But what is the norm? What’s so abnormal about a guy folding clothes? What’s so abnormal about wanting to help out his partner? Especially if you have kids?!
One of the verses speaks to my soul when he conveys the importance of spending time. “Watching Netflix
Catching up on our shows
Raisin Bran in my bowl
With bananas and some almond milk
I never thought I’d see the day
I’m drinking almond milk
(“You soft!”)”. At the very end of it he stabs in a quick “you soft” that represents the common response that most other males would says after hearing such a confession. But how does this make you less of a man? Why soft? I’ll answer that for you. It doesn’t! Last year, by contrast, an estimated 1.9 million fathers remained home with the kids — accounting for 16 percent of the stay-at-home parent population, according to a HuffPost analysis of U.S. Census data. May 13, 2015. I’m pretty sure they had a few clothes to fold. Almond milk optional.
Please excuse me but I am about to talk real sexy and turn many of my female readers on. I cook well, clean better, change dirty diapers, grocery shop (in store none of the online crap), and yes fold clothes. Ladies take a moment to gather yourselves and remember I’m married. If your husband needs help in this area I will write a how to. I say these things not to be braggadocios, but to simply state there is nothing wrong with doing house work. What’s wrong with making life easier for your lady? Besides that what is a mans job? The bible in the Christian faith says a man should work by the sweat of his brow. Muslim faith speaks of the prophet sewing his own clothes. Men are charged to be the guardians of our families. There is no specific man only work trust me. I have worked on construction sites, in offices, and restaurants. On job sites if you are pulling wire inside the building and not working out in the heat or cold, you are making “easy money”. But if you are pulling the cable and not programing, then you are also making the same “easy money”. So forth and so on. On the these same sites I have seen women doing crane work, heavy demo, and all sorts of stuff guys I know couldn’t and wouldn’t do. That list includes me.
For any fella or person at all saying staying at home with kids is not work, I laugh. It’s not work you say? You’re probably the same mouth breathers that demand dinner at 5:30pm, cant take more than 2 hours alone with your kids and ship them off to summer camp each year. Its not babysitting if its your child numb nuts, its your duty as a parent. So what am getting at? What’s the big picture? Simple. Help your better half out. Fold some damn socks, wash a dish or two. If you’re a stay at home dad don’t feel less of a man, because its a hard job for anyone. If it was easy why the hell would Americans spend $11,666 per year ($972 a month) on child care. Your children are worth it and so is your family. If anyone else has something to say about it offer them a one week trial of doing what you do.
I leave you with this. Father’s have an important role in the house hold no mater what form it takes. Be involved, be aware, and be kind. Your words mold them. Your actions instruct them. Your wife is your queen and you are always the head of the tribe. But a head with no ears to listen, mouth to insert foot into, is no king and his tribe will suffer. To my queen I wanna fold clothes for you.