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Parenthood testing my manhood

March 27, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Quick question.

Does a man having kids make him less of a man or more of a man?

I need you to answer that because I've got some mixed feelings lately.

I had this run through my mind as I was folding laundry that included little purple underwear with pink hearts on them.

Yes, that's what I was doing and they do not belong to me.

I've also been known to throw a diaper bag over my shoulder so it looks like I'm walking around with a purse. Hey, sometimes that's the only available place to put it when my hands our full.

A man's got to do what a man's got to do.

It could be worse. It could be a princess bag with Ariel, Jasmine and the rest of the Disney girl crew on it. I've done that before too.

Yep, fatherhood means you have to check your ego at the door and just hope nobody sees what you are doing.

Like when you walk down the street with a burp rag hanging from the pocket of your pants. It's a necessity to have with a baby, but it is not exactly a fashion statement - especially for a man.

Like when you have to help put a dress on a doll figurine, so Ariel keeps her "modesty" when visiting with her friends in the play barn.

Like when you know all the words to songs such as "Wheels on the Bus" and "Little Bunny Foo Foo," and, unfortunately, about every single nursery rhyme known to man. These song lyrics are taking up parts of my brain which I could fill with sports knowledge or something else more "manly."

I guess most men have been there before, especially in this generation where a two-parent working household means more sharing of the child care duties.

I will not go as far as one dad I know and let my daughter paint my toenails. That is basically giving up your man card.

I'm not sure if I'm more of a man or less of a man since having children. I know I've been forced to grow up quite a bit when I have the need to be a role model of an adult.

If you knew me a several years ago you would say it was about time I grew up. I'll never give up the Twizzlers though. Some things are too important to change.


Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or



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