Dear Loud Man on the Airplane,
I sat in your row simply because there was an open seat by the window. I know that I am little enough to sneak in and not bother anyone and I love to sit by the window while in flight. I'm a little kid like that. You kindly helped me with my bag and let me pass. Your friend soon came to join us and sat in the middle seat. He was quite nice and friendly.
While in flight I noticed you had slips of paper and a giant glue stick. Obviously I thought that was strange so I said "I like that you brought your crafts on the airplane!" He laughed and said YEP, I carry my glue stick everywhere. Turns out you were adhering his info to pamphlets that talked about a business you had. I said "Ever heard of stickers?" To which you said "But then it wouldn't start this conversation now would it?" Touche.
You handed me your brochures - some sort of coffee and drink mix that apparently saves lives blah blah blah. You were really passionate about it and eager to talk. I simply wanted to finish reading Present over Perfect and enjoy my last few child free minutes KNOWING I'd be returning home to the flurry of activity in only an hour. You asked me if I wanted a sample, I said yes and took one. You asked me where I was from and I said Minneapolis.
And then I tried to read my book. You then made a comment about me "launching your brand in Minneapolis." I chuckled and said "Oh goodness! I already run too many businesses and have too many jobs to take on another one right now!" You replied "OH course you don't you can add more" really flippantly. I said "And run a house of little kids!" To which you said "How many?" I answered 3 at home. You responded "Oh yeah, I have FIVE." And I said something I'd soon regret. "Yes, but you aren't the mother." You said "It's the same thing." I said "For some families yes but for many, NO. It doesn't mean you are a bad father but dads are different than moms." And you said "I do the same work as my wife except I work and travel THREE WEEKS of EVERY MONTH. Guess who is in charge that ONE WEEK?? Me." I just stared at you.
Yeah. Sounds equal. Real equal.
Probably not your best sales pitch if you wanted me to be the new account rep for your stupid product. Perhaps saying something like "my beautiful wife holds down the fort and manages everything while I am gone. While I'm home I do my best to be 100% engaged." I would have respected you for respecting your wife and at the same time you would have valued me. Because what you basically did was INSULT me. I just told you I run multiple businesses and ran a big family and you basically spit at me and told me how you did the same.
I'm sorry dude. NOT THE SAME. You show me the dad that knows the following ... the new school start time, the name of the nurse your talk to nearly daily, the score your kid got on his/her last math test, the 2nd grade spelling words for the week, the due date for the permissions slip, the time of all sporting events/practices for EVERY kid in the house without looking at the calendar (that mom made), the last time each kid in the house pooped, the number of the pediatrician/dentist/ortho and their location/office hours/fax number. Tell me when you gathered all of the groceries, used the Cartwheel app to save an extra 10 cents and changed the kids seasonal closets. How about made the treats for the church because you are on the funeral call list? Did you receive the phone calls from school today about your kid struggling in a subject or in the nurses office? Nope. Mom did. When all of your kids were sick, WHO stayed home?
Etc etc etc.
Listen man on the plane. This IS NOT A MAN HATER letter. In fact if you can answer all of those questions then I applaud you. I write that small list representing the 1,000 bigger things we (moms) do/manage only to say Moms ARE DIFFERENT than Dads. You are NOT a mom and I am NOT a Dad. I cannot claim to do the "Dad typical" things in my home NOR DO I TAKE CREDIT FOR THEM. I know that roles are different in every home and I whole heartedly respect that. But what we must do first and foremost is know that WE ARE DIFFERENT and we respectfully, both bring different things to the table to form one thing - A FAMILY.
I understand my role. I understand my brain holds a LOT of info that quite frankly, I don't even want to hold, so why should we BOTH hold it. I've got this. You do you and I'll do me and together we'll make a great family.
I'll do you a huge favor and not tell your wife that you said "We are the same and do the same things except I travel three weeks a month" because I'm pretty sure she will punch you in the face. Your welcome.
We all bring unique things to the table. But Dads aren't Moms and Moms aren't Dads. Are we clear now?