Chivalry is Dead. Fatherhood Killed It.

Posted by: , October 3, 2010 in 10:41 am

Father+Doesnt+Know+Best+ +RIP Chivalry is Dead.  Fatherhood Killed It.Back when my wife and I first started dating I insisted on most of the chivalrous standards, including opening doors for her and picking up the dinner bills. Even if it were raining out, and we were taking a car ride anywhere, I would walk around to her side of the car and open the door for her.

When my wife got pregnant, my chivalry kicked into exaggerated overdrive as I would try even harder to jump in front of (or around) my wife’s stomach, a jump-worthy obstacle, to open doors for her. In retrospect, my chivalry may have been derived from a severe desire not to invoke the wrath of my wife’s pregnancy hormones.

Unfortunately, some time shortly after the birth of my daughter, many of my old habits started to fade away. I’m not sure whether it was because I had grown lazy or because my daughter had become the primary female in my life, but whatever the reason was, my chivalry had died without me noticing.

For example, for the first few days home from the hospital, I made sure to wake up and join my wife in the living room for every late-night feeding, even though we were strictly breastfeeding our daughter and the time, and I lacked the necessary equipment to provide any real support. So, during those late-night feeding sessions, I simply sat next to my wife and daughter on the couch for moral support.

Within only a few days of getting up for every late night feeding, I began to grow more exhausted, and would eventually only get up for the first few feedings of the night, leaving my wife to fly solo for the rest. Shortly after that I didn’t wake up for any of them, and for the times that I did happen to wake up, I learned how to fake sleep well enough, that my wife would get out of bed by herself, allowing me to go back to sleep.

I’m pretty sure that my attempts to win the fake sleeping contest were the beginning of the end for my chivalrous intentions.

Now, while I do still try my best to open doors for my wife and daughter, I have almost completely stopped opening the car door for my wife, mostly due to the fact that I am busy putting our daughter into the car seat. Even for the times when my wife is the one strapping our daughter into her seat, I rarely remember to run around and open the door for my wife, usually opting instead to stand by my car door until she gets into hers.

That counts for something, doesn’t it?

I didn’t mean for my good manners to die, but somehow I let it happen. However, as a father to a little girl it’s my responsibility to teach her (whether she realizes it or not) how good men should behave, and that real men show women the respect that they deserve. For me, that means that I need to stop being so lazy and get my butt back in gear, to start teaching by example again, especially now that she is at an age where she is beginning to observe and imitate the things that we do.

So, my next mission in fatherhood is to revive my chivalry from the dead, and begin to show my daughter how men should behave around women, and how she should expect to be treated by any boy that she meets in life.

Wish me luck!


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