The number of stories about dads not pulling their weight can feel truly endless. Default parenting tends to land on the mom in most heteronormative couplings, and the work can be beack-breaking. Moms truly carry more than their fair share, and that even includes planning events that don’t center on them, like daddy-daughter dances.

A Chicago-based family coach, Lori Sugarman-Li, is sharing a friendly and all too real reminder to moms everywhere that they do not need to do it all, especially when their partners need to step up. Sugarman-Li wrote a post on Instagram about a female client of hers who said she was going to meet with a group of moms to plan a father-daughter dance for their kid’s school.

Sugarman-Li encouraged moms to “release” their obligation to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, calling on dads to “plan the dance.”

“I couldn’t begin to tally the number of hours I’ve put in as a volunteer at my children’s schools. Everything from bake sales to book swaps to chairing fundraising galas to being Head of the entire Parents Association,” Sugarman-Li wrote in the caption.

“Everything from bake sales to book swaps to chairing fundraising galas to being Head of the entire Parents Association. With few (notable and wonderful!) exceptions, I do this soul-nourishing, community-building work with women. ✨”

She describes working with these women as an inspiring experience where passionate and creative minds come together for the greater good, and while Sugarman-Li insists that men share these same traits — minus the underlying sense of obligation.

She finds that society lacks the “notion that this is a space where [dads] belong and “can impact their children’s journey in such meaningful ways.

“School and community volunteering has for too long been categorized as women’s work. Dads – it’s time to step in. Plan your dance. Show your daughters you don’t think it should all fall on them someday too. Show your sons how to rock this beautiful work,” she concluded.

One Instagram user commented on the post, citing that this notion is a bit of a Catch-22.

“What I’ve continuously heard among male clients and men, in general, is that there wouldn’t be these events if men had to do this,” she wrote. “It can be hard to articulate the need for help or to take full responsibility when someone doesn’t see value in the thing in the first place.”

So basically, if men were “in charge” of planning the father-daughter dance, there wouldn’t even be a dance because most men just don’t think that way. Frustrating? You bet.

Sugarman-Li told Good Morning America that a group of moms organizing an activity for kids was just par for the course and a continuation of unequal domestic workloads between parents.

“It sort of struck me in that moment, that is representative of so many things and so many examples and so many hours of volunteering that women offer for the benefit of others,” she said.

“In sharing this example in the post, I really wanted to [highlight] that, in addition to having these important conversations about what goes on in the home, we should also start a conversation about what happens in our community and the weight of that community volunteerism that women carry.”

She then cited a personal example of this perpetuation in her own life as she attended a parents’ association meeting for her own sons, ages 10 and 12, the week prior when she noticed that not one man was present — 17 women and not one man.

“I was so aware of that void of not having any male voices around the table,” she said, adding that she spoke to fellow moms at the meeting about getting more dads involved.

“We were laughing because not only did we go through the entire agenda at hand, to try to solve all those problems, but now we carry the problem of how to get more men involved.”

Oh the irony — add it to the never-ending list for mom!


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