La Tela di Carlotta
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A dad is a mom with a penis

Mar 19, 2019

Since I became a mom, every time I show up somewhere without the kids (especially at the beginning, when Oliver was a baby and then when Emily arrived), the first question people ask me is, “Who did you leave the kids with?”.

What do you mean, “Who did I leave the kids with?”. With their father, of course. If my husband is not with me, then he’s with the kids: it’s pretty obvious to me.

Well, apparently it’s not. I don’t know if it’s only here in Spain (I haven’t been a mother anywhere else), but there’s this silent belief that the father can’t take care of the children by himself. That he can’t get his babies to stop crying. That he can’t change a poop nappy. That he can’t put his children to sleep on his own.

Well, all I can say is: that is 150% NOT true.

A dad is a mom with a penis. He can do whatever a mom can do. He can stand whatever she can stand. He can parent solo if put in the spot.

Sure, there are families and families, and each reality is different. But in my experience, behind a dad who can’t parent solo, there’s always a mom who doesn’t let him.

A mom who tells him off if he does things his way—dads always do things their way, but they get them done nonetheless.

A mom who takes the crying baby from his arms, because she doesn’t believe he’s capable of calming him down—dads are always capable, and sometimes better than moms.

A mom who does everything for the family and then complains that daddy doesn’t do anything—if a dad has everything done for him, he will gladly accept his privileged position… who wouldn’t?

In my family, mom and dad do everything 50/50 and we both can do everything 100%.

There’s nothing Alex can’t do—ok, maybe breastfeeding for obvious body limitations, but even without a boob he can put the babies to sleep and avert crisis when I’m away. This has been scientifically proven.

There’s nothing I can’t do—ok, maybe cooking, because Alex is the designated cook of the family, but even without cooking I can keep my children alive for any amount of time. This, too, has been scientifically proven.

I will always remember Alex’s words when I once asked him, “Are you sure you can do it on your own?”. I was leaving him alone for the first time in the evening with 2-month-old Oliver to go back to my dance classes. All he said was, “Of course I can do it. I’m his dad”.

I’M HIS DAD. I love this man for being the way he is—fine, maybe Alex is a natural, because he grew up without a mom, so daddy doing everything is normal to him. But that’s not the point.

The point is: that is the right attitude! ANY DAD can do what a mom does if they put their mind to it—or if they’re put in the spot.

I’m his dad. This is the attitude I’d like every dad to have.

I can do every “mommy thing” my wife does. This is the pride I’d like every dad to feel.

I can put my kids to sleep. This is the confidence I’d like every dad to develop.

I can change my kid’s poop nappy, and even get my hands dirty. This is the size of the balls I’d like any dad to grow.

So, this last message is for you, dads.

You will never ever “mom” as well as a mom would (we’re simply awesome, sorry!), but you can surely come a close second. Gain it and what it with pride! And the next time your wife wants to take your crying baby from your arms or questions your ability to do kid-related things on your own, let that ego of yours kick in, stand your ground, smile and tell her, “Don’t worry, I can do it. I’m his dad!”.

Tell me what you think

Did you like it? Do you agree or disagree? I'd love to hear from you.

The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
"Stop crying!" doesn't work
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

Oct 16, 2020 • 19m
La nostra routine con i bimbi
Mi chiedete spessissimo quale sia la nostra routine a casa con i bimbi e in questo episodio vi svelo che noi, una routine vera e propria, non ce l'abbiamo. Abbiamo una routine minima e indispensabile, che è un concetto che mi sono totalmente inventata su due piedi mentre parlavo a briglia sciolta in questo episodio, ma che credo funzioni davvero. Almeno per noi. La routine minima e indispensabile, secondo me, risponde anche a un altro "problema": trovo che ci bombardino spesso con l'idea del...
11
Oct 9, 2020 • 24m
Sostenibilità: come sensibilizzare i bambini e i giovani adulti | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
In questa puntata a due voci di Educare con Calma – divisa a metà perché amo gli episodi corti - parliamo di sostenibilità e per farlo ho invitato mia sorella, Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli, project manager della Federazione dei Giovani Verdi Europei e un esempio per chiunque voglia intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità: negli ultimi ha cambiato tutta la sua vita per ridurre la sua impronta di carbonio e per prendere ogni giorno decisioni più sostenibili per il nostro pianeta e in questa ...
10
Oct 2, 2020 • 24m
Intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
In questa puntata a due voci di Educare con Calma – divisa a metà perché amo gli episodi corti - parliamo di sostenibilità e per farlo ho invitato mia sorella, Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli, project manager della Federazione dei Giovani Verdi Europei e un esempio per chiunque voglia intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità: negli ultimi ha cambiato tutta la sua vita per ridurre la sua impronta di carbonio e per prendere ogni giorno decisioni più sostenibili per il nostro pianeta e in questa ...
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Instagram

I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.