Samantha Turnbull Writer, mother, anti-princess

Daddy and daughter

‘Silly Daddy’

Me: “I’d love it if you could give the toilet a good clean while I take the kids to the show.”

Bruce: “OK, how do you do that?”

Me: “Pour toilet cleaner in bowl. Scrub with toilet brush.”

Bruce: “What if poo gets on the toilet brush?”

Me: “Don’t put it in your mouth.”

I thought about continuing this blog post by poking fun at my husband for his poor domestic knowledge… but, despite his lack of toilet-cleaning experience, it wouldn’t be true.

Bruce is a blessing when it comes to sharing household chores and parental duties.

He cooks 99 per cent of our family meals. He does an equal share of school drop-offs and pick-ups. He prides himself on the number of laundry loads he can get through in one day. He’s much better at entertaining our kids’ visitors than I am. And he gets strangely excited about trying out new cleaning products.

I do the yard work. Mow the lawn. Fix things. Organise the bills and the business side of our lives.

My partners before Bruce were tradie-types and when it came to anything handy or mechanical I was content to be hopeless. I cried when I had to drive the tractor in my high school ag class.

But now I’m extremely thankful for Bruce’s lack of stereotypically male skills. It’s forced me to become stronger, more independent and less… princessy.

And who says certain talents belong to men or women anyway?

I recently spoke about gender stereotypes on a panel at the Scone Literary Long Weekend alongside author Ged Gillmore. He just wrote this article for The Good Men Project about sexism against men.

He argues that men in the media are increasingly being portrayed as stupid. I can certainly think of a handful of examples off the top of my head that back him up: The dad in Knocked Up, Joey in Friends, Homer in The Simpsons, everyone in Two-and-a Half Men, even Daddy Pig in Peppa Pig is poked fun at for his laziness and general incompetence.

I don’t want to get into an argument about who has it worse. This post isn’t supposed to deflect anything away from the struggles of women.

But perhaps we all need to bite our tongues the next time we’re about to say ‘silly Daddy’ in front of our kids.

Especially if he’s willing to clean the toilet.

PS the pic below is Bruce warming up our daughter’s socks before she put them on her feet on a cold winter’s day. C’mon! So Sweet!

Bruce and socks

Bruce warming up our daughter’s socks before she puts them on


One response to “‘Silly Daddy’”

  1. Madame Tango says:

    My man does all the washing up and most of the washing and has been known to re-hang the washing if we “don’t do it properly” but he’s a rubbish home handyman and gardener and not the greatest cook. So we are an equal opportunity “silly parent” family – we use to say it about each other but these days it’s usually uttered by our teen-aged daughters (who are then told to do it themselves). A family is all about the sum of it’s parts – who cares who does what – surely we should all work to our strengths damn the stereotypes.

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