Last week I was speaking to a new father and his story compelled me to write about Dads this time.
This new dad was feeling left out, useless. Now, realistically he was far from useless, he was out working long hours trying to generate an income to house, feed & clothe his little family.
How did his come about? How did this brand new dad feel so worthless in his role already? Well first factor, as mentioned , was long hours. This cannot be helped, there are periods in our lives when long hours are necessary to sustain ourselves, and hey, doesn’t this Actually make him an honorable man, working hard for his family? Well yes, of course it does!! But these long hours mean he leaves the house early in the day, is late home in the evening, and so he only gets a really short amount of time with his young baby at night, before everyone goes to bed.
Ok , this sounds sadly normal right? This is the case for lots of dads, living in the same house as their wife/partner & child but only seeing them for a small bit of evening and the weekend. It is. And it’s tough.
I see my neighbours bslance it really well, when she is a stay at home mom, he is a working dad, he works close enough to be home for lunches and dinners. It’s a stereotypical set up but it works. He gets to be involved in mealtimes, does the bedtime routine, which gives mom a chance to breath(sometimes, lol). Come the weekend, both mom & dad have things they do either alone, or together, with and without the kids. Mom goes to do her thing, dad gets have alone time with the kids. Dad has to things, mom has alone time with the kids, and they also have family time all four of them. Great balance.
My husband and I are the same in so far as the balance of our own time, one to one parenting and full family interaction, although,with homeschooling, our proportion of all four of us together is much larger. I worked out that on weekdays, counting school hours and work hours that the stay at home parent gets 7hrs waking hour, 2 before school, (then 6hrs in school), 5hrs after school before bed. And the working parent might get 1 hr in the morning, often many don’t even get that! And then 2-3 hours of the evening. That’s 4 hours man!!! 4-7 waking hours with your kid a day. We, by comparison spend anything between 11-14 waking hours with our homeschooled children. This gives us many more hours to play with.
But this new dad (see I wasn’t rambling!), he didn’t feel he had this balance. He felt that his wife, who is breastfeeding, doesn’t allow him do anything. He made a “My precious!” reference, that his wife was so closely bonded with the infant during the fathers working absence, that she could not pass the child over to him when he got home.
So come on mothers, tell me, how many if us can put our hands up & say that at the very least on one occassion we have pushed dad aside and said “mom knows best”?
Why do we assume that? Sure, the kid is ours and we intuitively feel what is best for child, but why do we think dad doesn’t? By nature, moms are more cautious than dads , and yet again we presume this is a good thing, but I guarantee that if dad says your child is able to climb that tree believe me he is almost certainly right! He sees your child through less cautious, more independent eyes. Don’t ask me why, but we mams shield our kids, and the dads see the space in which they are capable. They absolutely adore your children and wish the best for them as you do!
This is a general observation, and the roles can be reversed, or both are of a similar nature, but for the most part there’s duality, and when both are allowed input, this duality creates balance.
So if dad is trying to get a look in, give him one! Let him call the shots sometimes, you might be surprised with the results!
Next week I start a new job, working in a handcraft jewellers store, and while I will love the experience I really will miss the children, but I can honestly say they are in the safest hands with their dad. Yes, there might be a messy house some of the days, but there will be be happy, fulfilled, loved children, and really that’s all that matters!
So, put your feet up, have a cuppa, enjoy the chaos & Give Dad a Chance!!!
Til next time,
In Love & Wellness,