Wendy Williams, Tampons, and Mr. Mom

WendyWilliamsmr. momWhen you are a stay-at-home parent, you are obliged to accompany your kids everywhere, at least until they get old enough to get themselves places. We tag along to doctor’s visits, to classes, and to birthday parties. That’s part of the job.

I recently attended a Nick Mom social event (without the kids) where Wendy Williams moderated a panel of actresses who play mothers on a new block of shows on Nickelodeon. Throughout the night, I laughed at the many stories the mothers shared because, as a stay-at-home dad, I could identify.  What active parent hasn’t had trouble at some point understanding their child’s 3rd grade math assignment?  Close to the end of the night, the discussion turned to what it is like to take your child to one of their classmates’ parties.

As the discussion moved along, Ms. Williams asked the mothers about their feelings when “That guy” shows up with the kids to a birthday party. In slightly mocking terms, she referred to the dad as “the Mr. Mom type.” She inferred that she doesn’t like Mr. Moms because she’s a baby boomer and that’s not the kind of man she is used to. She also mentioned that she doesn’t like having a man around when she wants to “sit at a table and talk about tampons,” and noted that it would be weird to discuss feminine hygiene in front of a guy. As she talked, I wondered how many people in the room were looking at me out of the corner of their eyes.

This attitude towards stay-at-home dads is not uncommon. At some point, just about every at-home dad has encountered an icy reception upon entering a “mommy and me” type of class. I have. I’ve been the lone guy in many of rooms full of moms and babies. I’ve gone to birthday parties holding a child by one hand and a present in another, as strained smiles greeted me.

Let’s get something straight:  I don’t go to these functions because I want to, but because my kids have been invited and the day is important to my kids and their friends. And most of the time, while the moms are sitting around that table, I’m entertaining the kids. Times are changing, and more and more dads will be showing up to their children’s events and parties. So those that share Ms. Williams’ sentiments should get used to it.

And by the way, we don’t care if women want to talk about “feminine” issues in our presence. We watched the births of our kids and we have mothers, wives, and even daughters. We’re quite familiar with those issues by now.

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Categories: Parenting

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11 replies

  1. Good for you, Jason! Prejudices come in many different forms. I’m also glad you didn’t do a confrontation at that point. Your opportunity will come :-)

  2. Terrible. Williams’ attitude perpetuates the idea that dads have no place at home. And seriously, when are women sitting around and talking about feminine hygiene? NEVER, unless they’re in a commercial at the time and being paid to do so.

  3. Yikes! I mean, I knew she was an idiot, so I guess no one should expect much, but still… She doesn’t like guys at kids’ parties because she can’t talk about tampons? How many times do I need to bang my head on the wall before that makes any sense?

  4. I think the trouble began with “Nick Mom event.”

    • I did the SAHD thing for awhile. It was awful. I actually had moms coming up to me at the park to ask me why I was there. Others actually asked me not to play with their children when the kids were in group play. And forget events–unless there is another dad there, you’re invisible.

  5. I’m not sure where she finds the time to talk about feminine products when she is at a kids party… I usually find myself too busy with the kids and organizing the next activity.

  6. I would be very engaged in a discussion about tampons. My oldest daughter will be using them soon. I need to know everything there is to know that I haven’t already learned being married to a woman for 18 years.

  7. She thinks that she can talk about feminine hygiene at a kids party? I’m sorry for the kids that will inevitably overhear that conversation and ask mommy what tampon is and end up asking why mommy needs it.

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