We are collectively obsessed with mothers and how their behaviors, decisions and lifestyle choices affect children. It seems like every week there's a new study that contradicts last week's study: moms who breastfeed have smarter babies, except when they don't; working mothers have independent children, except when they don't; stay-at-home moms raise more confident kids, except when they don't. And on and on, ad nauseam.
Then there's the advice, commercials, products and think pieces all dedicated to "helping" mothers who work keep their shambles of a life together, and they urge us to buy fried chicken on weeknights, expedite our cleaning routines, hire tutors, feel less guilty, feel more guilty, work less, make more money, cook more family dinners.
This is how you have it all.
Dads, on the other hand, are like vestigial appendages, orbiting along the outskirts of family life like unconcerned satellites, except for when they make the odd appearance in a commercial for bleach or diapers, where they are usually doing their best to derp everything up, because men, right?
We don't worry about what they eat, when they cook, what they wear, how they feel. But what if we did? What if we talked to them the same way we talked to moms, constantly concern-trolling them about having it all?
The answer to that question is here, and it's hilarious. Twitter user "manwhohasitall" is here to get dads in on the "so, how badly are you messing everything up today?" game.
Is it REALLY possible for men to juggle kids, housework, career, good looks, a naturally glowing nose and 'me time'?— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) October 18, 2015
Are you a working dad? Guilt is your worst enemy. Tackle guilt by staying hydrated & snacking on the depth of a spoon during the day.— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) October 18, 2015
I have absolutely no problem with male managers, as long as they leave their hormones at home.— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) October 17, 2015
ALL MEN! Good news! You can now buy a PH balanced testicle spritz to boost your confidence anytime, anywhere!— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) October 13, 2015
MEN! Accentuate parts of your body you like e.g. nice pecs, to draw attention away from problem areas e.g. your life so far.— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) October 10, 2015
Working husband? How do you stay hydrated? Jack, age 29 "I keep a spare cherry tomato in my trouser pocket". What an inspiration.— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) October 9, 2015
Does your wife help out with the housework? You are VERY LUCKY. Blessed & charmed. I'm lucky, my wife once watered a plant.— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) October 9, 2015
I love to see a mum play a full part in her child's life. Good on her for being there I say. 10 out of 10.— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) October 15, 2015
Surprise! It's all ridiculous, condescending, obnoxious dreck.
And it's hilarious.
It's funny like "funny ha-ha," and it's funny in the way that makes you want to rock back and forth and cry in a darkened room all by yourself. Seriously, it's genius, and the genius is in its absurdity. This stuff isn't more whack just because it's suddenly aimed at men. It's whack on its face — it just takes a gender swap for people to hear it as loud and clear as most women do every single day.
It kind of stings too. All the cutesy pandering about "me time" suddenly feels a little more desperate, the bits about "male managers" can take you to something of a dark place, and who can't relate to the "you're so lucky!" comments that a woman whose partner takes out the trash all by themselves like a big boy is certain to receive. It's hilarious that a man should be told to keep his hormones from interfering with his career, but only because it would never happen. It's funny to joke about men "having it all," but only because by even the most relaxed standard, they already do.
The best satire makes us think. Let's also add that the best satire incorporates the phrase "PH-balanced testicle spritz," because that's just a true statement.
Attitudes about parenting and gender roles are changing, even if they are changing slowly, with more dads opting to stay at home and more moms refusing to take on the lion's share of all the housework. It's a rare couple that has a true 50/50 split, but at least the division of housework and child care is something that's up for discussion as opposed to solely a woman's domain, as it has been in years past.
Men and women both have plenty to offer in the workplace, and moms and dads both have plenty to offer their children as parents. None of that requires a discussion about testicle spritz.
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