Who let the Dads out?
Honestly, I’m sick of it. The praise heaped on my husband for being such a super dad. When did he use his vagina to bring life to the world? When did he scoop baby puke out of his cleavage? Does he know where the kids’ swimming stuff is? Or the details of their vaccination schedule?
I jest. It’s absolutely fantastic having a partner who shares the load. Who was there in the delivery room when I gave birth… unlike my dad who was in London smoking cigars whilst my poor mum laboured with me, miles away in Cardiff. Different times for sure, and I think we are all a little bit richer for having hands on dads who are there from the messy, bloody chaos of day 1. (Disclosure: my dad is ace, and particularly embraced parenting when he could take his offspring to the pub).
And for every time Auntie Doris asks me why I’m back at work full time when I could be a stay at home mum (no thanks Doris, I’d be shit at that) whilst ignoring my husband who also works full time, there is another woman of her generation high-fiving me, screaming “YIPPEE for equality”, and delighted that I have options that she didn’t.
Our parenting styles are different too. His is more Lego and Disney based. Mine tends towards the crafting and baking I think I should do (I blame Instagram) and often ends in tears (mine) whilst the kids eat raw jam tarts. He kicks a ball further than me, but I’m better at doing all the voices in The Gruffalo.
So I’m delighted that this is the new normal. And once again I salute the single parents out there, doing it without a partner in wine-drinking, unable to negotiate a lie in because you can’t take turns if you are on your own. But conversely, I am over everyone telling me how lucky I am. I set out to be with someone who was a feminist, because men can be feminists too (get me, I’m practically Emma Watson). I don’t fancy men who can’t cook, won’t clean or are sexist (or any other “ist” except feminist). Why should I do all that? Why should ANYONE, man or woman, have most of the burden? That’s no partnership.
So yes, I’m bloody lucky. And so is he, ‘cause he’s got me. But the ones who are really, truly, massively fortunate are my sons, who are growing up to believe there is nothing unusual about Daddy pushing a hoover around or mixing a martini. Sounds like the new normal is pretty damn good.