Married to a Did-Enough Dad? Taking Short-Cuts and Using “Convenience Cards” with the Kids

We talked to a lot of wives about their marriages, and while many had great things to say about their men, some were frustrated about their husbands’ tendency to be a Did-Enough Dad.

Did-Enough Dads - These are the Dads who do just enough to get by. Domestic Shortcuts (skipping baths and teeth brushing) are Standard Operating Procedure, and they make liberal use of Convenience Cards (TV, McDonald’s, 1-800-Grandma).

“Why is it that whenever my husband changes a diaper, he just leaves it on the floor? He doesn’t even roll it up and tape the ends together. If I’m gone for more than an hour, I find a little trail of them when I come home. Follow the Yellow Brick Road!”

—Nina, married 8 years, 2 kids

Guys are all about shortcuts. They’re looking for the easy way out. A guy may do a job, but does he get the job done right? Kids are not bathed. Vegetables are not eaten. Clothes are not clean. Teeth are not brushed. Shortcuts drive women nuts because (a) we have to pick up where you left off, which means more work for us, and (b) we always have to be “in charge” because you will not assume full responsibility.

Our friend Karen complains that her husband uses up all the Convenience Cards (i.e., all the easy activities) when it’s his turn to watch the kids: “They’ll spend most of the morning watching TV, eat junk for lunch, and then, when he hands them back to me, they’re hyped up on sugar, wearing dirty clothes, and begging for more Blue’s Clues.”

Top Ten Convenience Cards That Our Husbands Use

1.   TV

2.   DVDs

3.   Skip baths and brushing teeth, because, hey, there’s always tomorrow.

4.   Fast food

5.   Fruit Roll-Ups count as fruit, right?

6.   How about juice, doesn’t that work?

7.   The kids can just wear their PJs all day. We’re not really going anywhere.

8.   Do we really have to fix her hair? Can’t it just be messy this one day?

9.   My turn to watch the kids? Dial 1-800-Grandma.

10.   Bribe the kids with candy or ice cream to do things they should do anyway.

What’s your husband’s favorite Shortcut?  Does he have a whole deck of Convenience Cards too?


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