Father’s Day Gift: Let Dads Be Parents

When the plane my wife was on landed, she forwarded me an email.

As I read it, I rolled my eyes – for the 50th time this school year!

It was from a mother in our youngest daughter’s class inviting all the girls over on the last day of school. It read:

“Hi moms! Was wondering if you would like to come over on Friday @ 2:30 with the girls to celebrate the last day of school for a play date/water slide fun & popsicle’s. Lmk!”

Well-intentioned but oblivious and infuriating.

1) My wife is traveling for work this week and has taken our oldest daughter along to show her what it’s like. So, there’s no one who answers to “Hi moms!” in our house who could attend.
2) I live in a town of knowledge workers. Pretty much every mom and dad works from home on Friday. Any of us could be at this party – unless we were traveling for work, like my wife is, or work for one of those financial services firms that require managing directors to be in the office five days a week like it’s 1983.
3) I was planning to go to lunch with my daughter’s best friend, a little boy, and his mom or dad who both work and also scratch their heads at this stay-at-home mom presumptuous. If that plan fell through, I was going to do whatever my daughter wanted on her last day.
4) I wrote back to my wife: “I guess A. and I are not invited! Woo hoo!” She wrote back, “You have to go for her!”
5) This daughter is in kindergarten and can’t read yet. Do I have plausible deniability???

Going would prove a point. All parents should be invited. What little kid doesn’t like “water slide fun & popsicle’s.”

The Company of Dads exists to provide media, community, support, coaching and advocacy for Lead Dads – aka the go-to parent whether he works full time, part time or devotes all his time to his family – and to be allies of Working Moms at work and home.

But should I try to win over everyone?

I know that 20 percent of men in America are or could be Lead Dads. That’s 25 million men – more than all the subscribers to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times combined.

I know that in nearly 50 percent of heterosexual couples the wife makes as much or more than the husband – and those couples are Company of Dads candidates.

I know that too many companies still have parenting and caregiving initiatives focused only on women to the exclusion of men – and the detriment of the women they think they’re helping by doing this.

I also know that pool parties where you’re not welcome are not fun.

Is it worth it?

Can some people not be won over?

Should I go?