Given the recent controversy spawned by TIME magazine’s sensationalistic cover story “Are You Mom Enough?” there has been a lot of public discourse on the merits of the cover photo. Perhaps even more than the article itself, which most pundits have claimed to have not read. Since I fit that criteria, I thought I’d chime in with my list of “10 Things Husbands Should Do”, or “Are You Husband Enough?”. I realize that not all husbands are fathers and not all fathers are husbands, but I am both so here’s my list.
10 Things Husbands Should Do
1) Support their Spouses: In traditional contexts, this meant financially. Period. But it today’s society it means so much more. It means staying home with the kids while wives work. It means grocery shopping. It means a lot of things that would make Ward Cleaver roll over in his grave. But this is the year 2012 and as Bob Dylan said, “The Times, They Are A-Changing”.
2) Cooking: It may not be Wolfgang Puck quality, but as long as it’s better than Ronald McDonald makes, it’s probably good enough for at least once a week.
3) Fix Stuff: I’m Jewish, so I take a flier on this one. But on every TV show, it seems like the thing that husbands do. I’ll take their word for it.
4) Negotiate Car Deals: We just need to coordinate that our wives wear appropriately low-cut tops while we do so. If car salesmen can play games with no rules, why can’t we?
5) Hold Their Hands During Childbirth: We may be looking the other direction, and possibly
checking game scores frantically texting relatives on our iPhones at the time, but we’ll be there.
6) Share in childcare fun: Both parents should be able and willing to give their kids baths and change their diapers. For if they don’t, who knows how the reciprocity will work in 50 years?
7) Kill Bugs: They might be big and nasty looking but it is our sworn responsibility to slaughter the creepy-crawlies that the Mrs. discovers crawling on the ceiling, inevitably just as you are about to go to bed. Otherwise she will be convinced that the almost-invisible-to-the-naked-eye arachnid she just spotted will leap from above to take a giant munch out of her neck like Dracula. (Note: husbands are sometimes reluctant to do this in hopes that it’s the spider that bit Peter Parker and we may soon acquire Spidey Senses.)
8) Remember important dates: If you can’t remember your wife’s birthday, your anniversary or other key dates, you are an idiot.
9) Be willing to alternate preferred entertainment with spouse’s: I may sit through an awful romantic comedy every so often, but I will not be afraid to play Words With Friends while doing so.
10) Communicate: You may not always be together due to work or other commitments, so even when you can’t be there, be there. I have three different ways to videoconference with my wife on my iPhone. I think it can even make phone calls, too. Plus texting, email, etc. Just saying hello can sometimes make both your days. Especially if you are
standing outside a strip club at the time away on business while she’s home with the kids.