Ryan Reynolds is No Superdad

Among dads who write about parenting, I’m kind of on an island.

Many dad bloggers think fathers don’t get their due as parents and are portrayed as doofuses by Hollywood and Madison Avenue. I’ve never had much of a problem with any of that.

All the dads I know are fully engaged in the parenting process, and are just as vital and respected as the moms. Sure, there are some negative stereotypes flying around, but progress can take a while. The horse is out of the barn, things are changing for the better, and it’s clear who is on the wrong side of history.

At least I thought it was clear, until Ryan Reynolds went on TV and said that he changes his new baby’s diapers and the media lost its mind.

ryan reynolds, dad and buried, seth meyers, superdad, celebrities, parenting, funny, humor, dads, moms, fatherhood, motherhood, kids, children, funny dad bloggers, mommy bloggers, husbandsBack in February, you could barely hear Kanye insult Taylor Swift (this was around the Grammy Awards) over the chorus of hosannas that sounded when Ryan Reynolds suggested that maybe dads should change diapers once in a while. On “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” the star of the biggest R-rated movie of all time (which, ironically, has the sense of humor of a someone who isn’t old enough to see R-rated movies), admitted that he has been performing literally the most basic, bottom-shelf, slow-pitch, table-stakes parenting responsibility of them all. And the praise was deafening.

The dude said he changes his baby’s diapers and the world reacted as if he’d cured cancer and invented feminism.

Here I am, ranting and raving on my blog about fathers being too sensitive because, surely, in this enlightened age, the general public understands how involved the modern dad is in his kids’ lives. And then Ryan Reynolds takes a step towards progress that I thought had been made decades ago and the general public’s reaction lays the truth bare.

Apparently, dads who change diapers are unicorns. I might have to rethink my whole stance!

This is almost as baffling to me as the fact that Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for President. Are there really that many people out there living the kinds of prehistoric lives that the idea of a man caring for his own baby is so bizarre it takes a movie star to make it plausible? It’s 2016! Are there really such wide swaths of men out there who refuse to lift a finger to either help out their wives or simply parent their own children that one celebrity’s comments suggesting otherwise are breaking news?

Is the bar really this low? For fathers and for husbands?

In the past, I’ve written about how I’m uncomfortable getting praise for the good parenting front I put up online because I’m not all that. Well, guess what? It turns out I AM ALL THAT! I change diapers on the regular! I get up and help feed my newborn in the middle of the night! I pack my son’s lunches, I take him to the bus stop, I read him bedtime stories, I cook dinner, I do laundry, sometimes I engage in foreplay, and once I even stopped to ask for directions!!!!


Look, more power to Deadpool and everything (my wife is DYING for a Just Friends 2, btw!); he’s setting a great example non-terrible example. And I’m certainly happy he’s diving in with both feet to support, nay, JOIN his wife in this whole “raising kids” thing by being an actual partner and a full-fledged parent. But can we all calm down just a little bit? fatherhood, dads, babysitting, dads don't babysit, parenting, gender, gender roles, equality, dad and buried, funny, humor, dad bloggers, mommy bloggers, motherhood, fatherhood, winter, stress, kids, family, entertainment, boredom, fun, outside, lifestyle, cold, activities, mike julianelle, dads, deadpool, ryan reynolds, seth myers, moms, children

Because if the fact that a dad – celebrity or not – is enthusiastically “pitching in” is such big, groundbreaking news, then that makes me sad, especially with Father’s Day right around the corner. And it makes me realize I’ve been wrong to dismiss my fellow dads when they get annoyed when fathers are belittled. Clearly, we have a lot more work to do.

Ryan Reynolds may play a superhero on-screen, but to the millions of involved dads who are out there in the trenches every day, what he’s doing isn’t super at all.

It’s simply normal.

A slightly altered version of this post originally appeared on Scary Mommy.

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10 thoughts on “Ryan Reynolds is No Superdad

  1. I agree. And my husband is an equal partner in our parenting enterprise, as he should be. I am grateful for that!

  2. Hey, my husband loves me and our four kids, but his father is terrible and he never had a good example. He’s changed a few diapers (but complained loudly about it), he never takes care of kids during the night, and in the most basic thing of all, he refuses to help with food prep in any capacity whatsoever (this includes watching the children so I can cook and helping to clean them up afterward). The fact is, I’m married to a man who thinks his job as dad is done when he earns a paycheck and occasionally looks up from his phone to play with them a few minutes. Everything else is my responsibility. I don’t think a dad just doing his job parenting is a superhero but I would GREATLY appreciate that in my own life.

  3. I’ve got a 14, 11 and 8 year old and have been married for 14 years to a man who was raised by very very old-fashioned parents born way before WWII ended. I was raised by a feminist. We’ve struggled a lot with “fairness” raising our kids (or should I say I’ve struggled a lot :p). In society, progress is often slow, but it really seems as though fathers have “come a long way, baby.” Only decades ago, blacks were being separated from whites, people are still, to this day, having issues with same same couples being together…MANY fathers today are really stepping up and I want to say “it’s about time” but it’s weird, my reaction is always “good for him!” Or “that’s so damn sexy!” Why is that, I don’t know, but either way it’s awesome that fathers are doing so much and no matter what fathers should be praised. ❤️

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  7. The “father” of my daughters never changed a diaper. Or fed them. Or bathed them. Or read bedtime stories. Or tucked them in at night. Or took care of them when they were sick. He did nothing. His thoughts were, “my part ended at conception”. So, I left his sorry ass, took my daughters and I raised them to be awesome women. I am now a Grandparent, and he is not part of my grandchildren’s lives. They are better off that way. I’m sure he has no regrets.

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