In a recent essay for the Forward, columnist Lenore Skenazy asked why Jewish moms have such a “definitive brisket-braising/doctor-raising image” while Jewish dads are roaming around the world stereotypeless?
Skenazy pushes forward, searching for the true essence of Jewish fatherdom. Incessant people-pleaser? Pushover? Closet worrier? Nobody knows for certain.
Well, if Jewish dads really are such a blank slate, we thought we would make a few suggestions of who they could be. Here we present the ten steps to becoming the most awesome, feminist, supportive papa around. Consider it a Father’s Day gift, from the Sisterhood.
1) Take paternity leave, if you have it.
2) Ask for paternity leave, if you don’t.
3) Occasionally ask if we need help, even if we seem okay. Because sometimes we get so caught up in our busyness that we forget that help is even an option.
4) Ask us for help. We don’t want you to be superman any more than we want to be superwoman. Superman is not sustainable.
5) Don’t just help cook dinner, but actually plan dinner. That means think of what we are having, procuring the ingredients and then making it.
6) Be nice to our mothers.
7) Be nice to our sisters.
8) Let us sleep in once a week. We promise to do the same for you.
9) If we are spending a suspicious amount of time in the bathroom and you suspect we are reading our Twitter feed or celebrity gossip instead of eh, you know, give us five more minutes.
10) Never ever lie to your boss if you have to pick up our kid from school because he or she is sick. Bosses need to know that dads are parents too.
11) Bonus step: Make us a cup of tea.
Elissa Strauss has written for the Forward over a number of years. She is a regular contributor to CNN, whose work has been published in a number of publications including The New York Times, Glamour, ELLE, and Longreads.