My 4-year-old daughter's hair trails almost down to her butt and she doesn't want to cut it. My husband and I are pretty chill about the choices our children make when it comes to their appearance, but we do have a rule: "If you want long hair, you have to help take care of it." Part of taking care of those cascading tresses is braids. And while I vocally appreciate everything my husband does to keep family life running smoothly, I won't celebrate my partner for braiding our daughter's hair.
My husband is a hands-on, engaged, thoughtful, feminist, amazing man and father who absolutely does not know how to braid his daughter's hair. He will, though. I've made it very clear that he is required to learn how. In fact, I send him videos with messages like, "Watch this and learn how to braid, please!" because I'm neither subtle nor passive. And when he does learn, I'll thank him — just like I thank him for doing lots of other things I expect him to do as a nice short-hand way of acknowledging that this parenting thing is difficult and I appreciate his willingness to do his part.
But I have zero intention of ever fawning over his every coiffing effort, no matter how infrequent or shoddy. I mean, let's get real for a second: