With Father’s Day approaching, I want to take a moment to celebrate the unsung paternal instinct. Even though it’s somewhat retrograde when stated explicitly, I feel like the notion of the mother’s instinct–some superior sixth sense that governs female parenting decisions–is still widely assumed.
That is, in parenting matters where there’s disagreement between mother and father, mother is innately more right. Egalitarian and progressive as I’ve always believed myself to be, I have found myself falling into this trap. It venerates the mother and marginalizes the father and, perhaps worse, can lead to decisions that are less beneficial than children.
Because, dear reader, the paternal instinct can be a brilliant thing. Here’s why.