A Mother’s Day Like No Other’s Day

Doug FrenchFatherhood on Friday

If you’re lucky, you’re going to spend this Sunday celebrating the woman who made you a dad (and/or made you a person). And no matter how many Mother’s Days you’ve celebrated before, this one feels really different. Maybe you’ve been quarantined together or sequestered apart. Maybe you’ve seen a lot fewer retailers in your face to buy stuff. And maybe the mom in your life is one of the country’s 19 million essential healthcare workers, 77% of which are women.

As we wrote a month ago, there are no gender roles in foxholes. The stresses of Pandemic Life are forcing parents to triage daily challenges and hope to find a rhythm, essentially building the plane while they fly it. This bit of Extreme Problem Solving comes when women — who make up almost 90% of nurses and nursing assistants and a solid majority of respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and grocery store cashiers — are laboring outside the home at a rate that makes Rosie the Riveter look like Marie Antoinette.

With more men at home, either telecommuting, furloughed, or straight-up jobless, you know what that means: More of us need to take on more childcare to make it all work.

As we’ve seen at our conference (and on this week’s podcast), dads like Donte Palmer, Taylor Calmus, and Aaron Gouveia have stressed specifically that whatever success they’ve enjoyed has come about when their wives offered strength and solace during a professional crossroads. As we celebrate them Sunday (and nurses the following Tuesday), we’ll be appreciating that this pandemic has revealed mothers as more essential than we even thought. 

IN THE NEWS

Congratulations to new dad Anderson Cooper! His son is named after his father Wyatt, who died when Anderson was 10 years old. (See his Porchlight Post below.)

Great to see a big cross-section of online dads — including Glen Henry, Aaron Sheldon, Jason Wallace, Jeff Johnson, David Blacker, and DJ Khaled — will be making How-To videos over the next several weeks with our friends at Dove Men+Care.

From the Men Engage Alliance, here’s a great list of resources, tools, and advocacy activities designed to help pursue greater gender equity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Serious props to this dad, who spent his Quarantine Time building his son a garden playhouse using just £150 worth of scrap materials from building site he worked on.

He was put into a coma and onto a ventilator, with a 104˚ fever and breathing that felt like “being strangled.” Now that he’s recovered, he can’t forget what it felt like to say what he thought was goodbye.

The family of a man recovering from bowel cancer is fundraising for Bowel Cancer UK by running adapted marathons in their garden.

With the Indy Car circuit on hold, Charlie Kimball is making the most of his found paid leave with his 18-month-old daughter and infant son.

Congratulations to Michael Feldman (husband of Today Show host Savannah Guthrie) for conquering the challenge of his 3yo son’s “tumbleweed-esque quarantine hair.”

This 31-year-old dad weathered double pneumonia, sepsis, heart failure, and two strokes, and walked away to tell the tale.

PORCHLIGHT POSTS

“All you need to do is provide a stable environment where your kids feel safe and loved! That’s it. Don’t be too hard on yourself.” — Dom Zvorak, Twins. Quarantine. Work. Coronavirus … I Got This!

“‘Mommy,’ she shouted, doing cartwheels. ‘Daddy says you can’t count cheese.'” — Mark Fielding, Day 47 – You Can’t Count Ice Cream, Bruce Lee, and Enter the Patience

“After 11am, we’re presented with two bored, hopeful-looking boys who want food, activities, and cuddles. Which is lovely, to a point.” — Jamie Beaglehole, Home Isolation – Week Eight

“As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way.” — Anderson Cooper, Instagram post

“The plot provides an excellent introduction for young minds interested in existentialism, the absurd and the meaninglessness of life.” — Richard Black, Children’s Book Reading Recommendations For the Pandemic

‘GRAM OF THE WEEK

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Photo by Luke Jones on Unsplash