Stay at home parents do not brag enough.
You hear complaints, the desire for validation, gushing about the kids, sure, but rarely do you get outright bragging about feats of strength or endurance. Physical stuff (I will leave out the emotional dances and successes and all that for the moment).
And while I hate to generalize, I think this could be a guy thing. Guys can take care of children and remain self-centered enough to think they are simply … awesome. And they can talk about it even though nobody else is listening.
I don’t see this much in Sweden yet. But Swedes do not really brag ever. That’s bad form in a society of equals, where you are not supposed to stand out.
So maybe the duty will fall to me, the American. I just need a poker game or a bar, the right setting. Sure, I might get laughed out of the room at first, but here in Daddyland there are lots of dudes on paternity leave. They know. They will nod knowlingly.
Because I do some fierce things. I push strollers one handed through the snow with a screaming baby in the other hand – while passing other strollers. At daycare, I do not stop and get NK dressed even when it is snowing. Nope, I just pick her, her clothes and her baby brother up in my arms and hop over the swarm of toddlers and parents fighting over snowsuits. Then I drop the kids in their proper sibling stroller slots (not the side by side kind of sibling stroller either). Then I sweep up the clothes from the ground, tuck in the kids and go off singing (until the baby gets unhappy but then see the one-handed feats of strength above).
It goes on. I do laundry with two kids hanging on me. I cook. I do my toddler’s unique one legged hopping dance on my bad knee – while carrying her baby brother … and 200 pounds of bricks (why you ask? because I am a stud.)
I joke, but this all gets me out of some pretty tough spots. You do not want to be stuck by the side of a highway with two screaming children, no diaper bag and the Swedish dark coming fast. No, you do not want that.
That is when you need to get heroic.
I think there should be exciting serials written about a lone man getting through a day with two small children using his wits and brute strength.
Hmmm, maybe I just will someday.