When it comes to playtime, letting your kids take the lead is always entertaining. Especially when they want to play with makeup and have a tea party with dad (The Rock knows all about this). Don’t get me started on how sexy it is to see men fully engaged in silliness with their kids! Unfortunately, some people have a problem with pure joy and fun, and one mom on Reddit was lectured by her mother-in-law for the way she teaches her daughters about gender roles. The kicker? It was all because her husband — aka, the MIL’s son — was playing dress up with his daughters.
In the “Am I The A—hole?” subreddit, a mom of 5- and 2-year-old daughters posted about her amazing husband, named Chris.
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“Chris is an amazing dad, and I think he is especially suited to being the dad of daughters,” the mom wrote. “He is not afraid of girly things or grossed out by periods, period products, etc. Ever since our oldest was 2 he has been more than willing to dress up as a princess and have tea parties with her. It’s my daughters favorite thing to do with her dad and he owns so many of those costumes now lol.”
I’ll be the first to say men shouldn’t be praised for doing the bare minimum, but still. This man is a unicorn and seems like such a good dad.
She continued, “They still dress up together and now our youngest is involved too. He’s even worn makeup done by our daughter lol. It’s the sweetest damn thing.”
The mom wanted to share these special moments with her family, as you do, so she posted photos of them playing together on social media. Shockingly, she got “backlash” from her in-laws.
“They accused me of humiliating my husband and of treating him like a woman vs the man that he is,” she wrote. Huh? Men can dress up, wear makeup, or whatever they please. How is posting pictures of her husband playing with his kids “treating him like a woman”? The mom was confused, too, and she had the best response.
“I fired back that my husband does it of his own free will and they needed to unbunch their panties because it shows how comfortable he is with himself that he will jump in eagerly to play dress up with his kids.” Preach, sister!
Because bullying her daughter-in-law on social media didn’t work, the mother-in-law then decided to confront her in person. With all the problems going on in this world, she is still holding a grudge about a damn tea party?!
“MIL then pulled me up over it a week ago saying that Chris is a man, and boys/men do not wear dresses and wear makeup, that the girls are going to see him as their mother some day, and he is going to be shamed publicly,” the mom wrote. “She told me I should never have broadcast those photos and I am teaching my daughters some pretty ‘sketchy’ things about gender and the roles everyone plays in families.”
It’s a lot to unpack, isn’t it? “I asked her what she meant and she said they would expect all men to do that, when it’s very unrealistic and unhealthy to try and get men to ‘act like women’ and that they need a strong father figure in their lives and how her son deserves to be the man he truly is.”
So let me get this straight. This mom should tell her husband not to play dress up with his daughters so that their daughters don’t grow up with “unrealistic” reflections of men. So, basically, teach your daughters that they will never have a man who respects them or loves their kids? And also, what does a “strong father figure” even mean to this mother-in-law? Because someone who is confident in himself as a father and spending time with his kids sounds like a wonderful example of a father to me.
The mom wrote, “I responded that her son is exactly who he wants to be and he is amazing and wonderful and is adored by his children.” Good for her for sticking up for her husband! Even though it’s a little weird that this mother-in-law was so upset, yet didn’t even bring her concerns to her son once.
Because no brave, confident woman goes unpunished, the mother-in-law had more to say. “She mentioned how tough life would be for the girls if both Chris and I died because nobody is going to keep that up for them or teach them that it was okay,” the mom added. “I told her she didn’t have to worry because I would never let her raise my daughters. This started somewhat of a chain reaction with her yelling at me, then her yelling at Chris, and telling the whole family what I said. The consensus is I’m an AH. Chris told them to f*ck off because she was spewing bullsh*t at me and I shouldn’t have to take it.”
Whoa! So when a private dressing-down didn’t work, the mother-in-law switched gears and decided to play the victim instead, screaming and making a scene about how awful her daughter-in-law is. It’s a wonder her son turned out as amazing as he did with that as his example!
Reddit had thoughts about this one. “What those kids will learn is that their father loves them and is amazing,” one person wrote. “Those will be special memories but there is no world where they are confused about who has what role I guarantee.”
“NTA your husband sounds wonderful and has created memories with your daughters that will last a lifetime,” another person said. “Your MIL on the other hand is so worried about the opinions of others that she’s taking it all out on you. I would not want someone who disagrees with my world view to raise my children either.”
Other moms are sharing their sweet stories about awesome dads in their life (also proving that this isn’t an “unrealistic” example of parenting).
“NTA when my son was 3yrs old he loved Frozen,” someone wrote. “We got invited to a friend’s kid’s birthday party that was dress up, they didn’t have many friends with kids so adults were expected to dress up too. My son and his dad went as Elsa and Anna and everyone loved it, pretty dresses and all. Keep being awesome parents, he is doing everything right and so are you!”
Others are coming for the mother-in-law for taking her complaints to her daughter-in-law instead of her son. “I love how she’s complaining to YOU about HER grown adult son dressing up like a princess,” one person said. “Why didn’t she talk to him about it? It seems like she might feel like your husband’s behaviour (playing dress ups) is a negative reflection of her parenting, especially given her clearly strong views on ‘men are men, men get dirty and work on cars’ etc. IMO, congrats to the both of you for being fantastic parents to your kids. NTA.”
“Its a miracle your husband turned out so cool,” another wrote. “Yeah playing dress up doesn’t make people women, does make your husband a trans woman (though we love a queen) it just means he has fun with his daughters. The most ‘masculine’ thing you could do is be okay with your body and choices regardless of what other people expect your masculinity to look like. And I wouldn’t want them raising your kids either. She was out of line, she fucked around and found out what for. She asked and you delivered. Have an extra flamboyant tea party just for fun!!!!”
This is such a good point. Gender roles are so stupid and damaging for the LGBTQ+ community, and for anyone who wants to raise kind human beings. Who decided men and boys can’t play with dress up, do makeup, or enjoy some delicious tea, anyway?
This person summed up our feelings: “NTA. Keep being awesome parents.” We couldn’t agree more!
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