Charlie Capen is a parenting blogger and father of two. Recently, while at a grocery store with his family, his wife was approached by a woman who asked if she knew she had three kids — suggesting that Capen was acting like a third child.
Surprised by the remark, Capen took to Facebook to write an open letter to the woman offering his own thoughts on the matter.
“I would like to apologize,” he begins by saying. “I stood there completely dumbfounded by the question and didn’t even have the courtesy to respond to your patronizing words.”
Capen then goes on to explain that he was simply having a good time with his kids, which doesn’t mean he’s immature.
“I’m sorry if you think men are irresponsible or babysitters but that’s an outdated way of thinking. More than anything, I’m sorry for the men in your life who’ve convinced you of this idea.”
Capen explains that despite being an experienced writer whose byline has appeared in publications like Fast Company, Buzzfeed, Babble, Babycenter and Huffington Post — specifically addressing fatherhood — he wasn’t able to formulate an on-the-spot response to the woman’s words.
“I’ve spoken at the White House about how fathers strip away gender bias and are great partners in fighting systemic sexism. I’ve become friends with thousands of fathers who do an even better job at speaking about their lives or their work evolving the face of men caring for their children.”
And Capen admits that he’s not without fault.
“But all of this work hasn’t made my job as a dad any easier. If anything, it’s made it more complex. I’m examining my life, paying attention to doing it right. It’s a weekly exercise in being honest with myself and about the world that my children face.”
“I’m sorry if making my kids laugh in a public place warrants a snarky remark, but I need to teach them adults need some levity as the world faces some of its toughest battles ahead.”
“I plan to keep laughing with them for as long as I live.”
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