HE'S A DAD NOT A BABYSITTER



I count myself as fortunate that I'm in a relationship in which my other half has no qualms about doing his fair share. Whether it's household duties or parenting, he's more than happy to chip in and help out, some days he'll do more than me, if I'm busy cleaning he'll take on the task of occupying the boys and vice versa. I think we have quite a good balance, though often we hear some seriously outdated views on the boys being parented by their Dad. It's unfortunate really, as it shifts a focus onto Dads when in actual fact, most of these opinions and views aren't theirs, most fathers I know completely understand the dynamics of parenting, and that simply taking care of their children isn't a 'job well done' but a part of life.


My Nan is a huge culprit of having this viewpoint, and there isn't any malice behind it, it's just a way of thinking and viewing Fathers that she was brought up with. In her day, women stayed at home and looked after children and traditionally men went out to work, women were seen as the child raisers and men were the providers. Though I think we've largely moved on from this era, it still feels bizarre to think only two years ago was shared maternity / paternity leave introduced, before 2015 men really did have to shoot off back to work within weeks leaving no other option but the women to stay home and raise their child for the remainder of maternity leave. That process is probably what contributes largely to women being seen as the ones 'in charge' of the baby so to speak, they spend the majority of their newborns first months, flying solo, whilst their partner has to work. It's tough and thank goodness it's no longer the only option now that shared leave has been introduced.



'Will he be ok with them?' 'He does a lot you know for a man' 'Men don't really tend to do that', phrases I've had said to me in the last month alone. A father parenting their children, changing their nappies, rocking them to sleep, feeding them, dressing them, playing with them, none of that should be looked upon differently because it's not a women in that role. John doesn't babysit his children, they are 50% his and 50% mine, and that's why our responsibilities will always be equal. No matter what outdated views tend to indicate should be the case. I'm glad that more and more establishments are catering for Dads being parents too, with more male toilets having changing facilities now, I can't imagine how hard it must be for single sex male families if they visit somewhere that only caters for females changing babies nappies, it's such a ridiculous stereotype yet one that doesn't seem to be picked up on too often. It's also a huge disservice to Fathers, John parents just as much and just as well (almost ha) as I do, there will be days he does far more than me, and vice versa, so by treating him as an after thought in this parenting malarkey, really is a huge discredit. My partner isn't babysitting, he's parenting.