Parenting Bonus: Developing Mom Strength And Dad Strength

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Over at Deadspin, Drew Magary answers reader email. One of his questions this week came from Pablo:

My first child is due the day after Thanksgiving. When do I get dad strength?

He goes on provide an indepth explanation of “Dad strength,” including how it won’t happen for new dads for a while. See, you “have to spend a good amount of time carrying the child, and assembling *&^% for the child, and installing car seats, and loading the trunk with *&^%, and setting up Pack-N-Plays, and carrying bag after bag after *&^%ing bag at the airport before you’ve built up the requisite muscle groups for Dad strength. And even then, I’m still not sure when it officially kicks in. I’d like to think I’ve finally gotten my Daddy Strength belt, but that’s not going to be made official until one of my children is trapped under a pickup truck and I have to lift that truck to save them from choking to death on exhaust. I plan on running my oldest over sometime next year to get a proper reading.”

And then he explains how awesome it is to use your Dad strength to show your children that you will not be trifled with. But how Dad strength can be best shown off at the local pool by throwing your kids through the air at will. He proposes a workout DVD for single men who are interested in gaining Dad strength.

“You’d get a weighted baby doll you’d have to carry around, that squirms and flails ALL THE TIME. Really helps work the core. And you’d have to get under various appliances and furniture and go nuts with a screwdriver. You’d eventually get Dad strength, and I’d have the satisfaction of knowing you were dumb enough to voluntarily suffer through all the menial bull*&^% I have to do.”

Really helps work the core. I love it. All I know is that Dad strength is real. About a year after our oldest was born, my husband carried roughly 30 lbs. of booze home from the neighborhood liquor store. When he got home, he realized he hadn’t shifted the load once — he’d gotten so used to carrying a similar, but flailing, weight around at all times.

And Mom strength is also amazing, obviously. I can carry multiple children up and down the stores — at a total weight of around 75 pounds these days — without a second thought. It’s just easy. I work muscles I didn’t even know I had before.