Many us have been there: You’re pouring yourselves a nice homemade cup of tea, probably surrounded by all your close family and friends, all huddled around the television to watch the “Game of Thrones” finale. You feel a wave of joy as you’re about to start your morning regimen and to take one more step in your ever-changing life. Then someone in your family, somewhere off in the distance, gives you something. Something that makes you ecstatic, makes you feel a sense of responsibility and status.
It’s nice when your family members take time to say hello, to admit that you’re doing a good job, to let you know that they care about you, but it never gets old to take a minute and tell a stranger how you feel and that it made you feel.
This is part of what inspired Melissa Chandler of Newport, Calif., to take a screenshot of her husband taking a selfie after she had accomplished her usual errands and then post it to Instagram with the caption: “Daddy privilege.”
Although Chandler’s message has gone viral, she claims that her husband did not plan to take a selfie.
“Instead, it was the very last thing my husband Ryan, a full-time stay-at-home dad, took as we walked to our vehicle,” Chandler said in an email to The Washington Post. “I posted the photo and thanked him for being a great dad, saying that I am so lucky to have him in my life and a great husband to me. Ryan replied with the photo, then took a knee and opened a new bottle of wine.”
To emphasize that Ryan’s actions on Tuesday were meant to be a genuine act of gratitude and not a way to fulfill a parental duties, Chandler shared another picture of him modeling his parenting skills. This one shows him in a baby car seat, putting his son on the car seat.
“He was really excited for him to get to ride in the car seat and got real weepy when he realized the way it would go if we got on the freeway and he’d get distracted,” she said. “These aren’t actions of being a good dad but really just of a good person trying to appreciate every little moment.”
The outpouring of support from social media users seemed to match Chandler’s interpretation of her husband’s actions. While they had different reasons for being grateful to their husbands, it seemed most appreciated that their husbands recognized the routine they each were responsible for — no matter how free or how hard. As Chandler said, “The reason we’re grateful for daddy is because he does this everyday, even though we do as well. It is a fraction of what we do.”
Additionally, it’s important to note that what Chandler and her husband went through was no doubt stressful. Her husband was the one having to deal with the stress of newborn care, while she was the one in charge of building routines and schedules. Chandler also noted that since she was the mother and “responsible for making sure [her son] was fed and cared for,” she was doing a lot of the laundry and other domestic chores.
And “this,” the simple act of opening and closing the door to their car, however run of the mill, is what made Chandler say, “Daddy privilege.”
“Even when this was my first child, I knew that this would probably happen because daddy brings dinner, gets water, and often helps me dress for bed,” she said. “I actually tell my husband often how lucky I am. Being a mom, I don’t think I would find another man who would do as many things for me!”