Hands on Dads
Father’s Day is always held on the third Sunday in June and this year it falls on 17th June – the day before my son’s birthday. This year we are having his party on the Sunday and so poor Daddy will be roped into food preparation and pirate treasure hunts. For the last two Father’s Days, my husband has gone away for work (he marks test papers) all to provide extra finances for the family as having three kids in childcare meant I could not return to work.
He is a Daddy that has never shied away from changing a nappy, has helped with the night feeds with the twins, will happily (well, maybe not happily, but willingly) iron, takes all three kids out on his own and will make me a cup of tea every morning to start my day!
He is so deserving of a special Father’s Day and yet he has not complained once about not really having a proper one yet. He says he does it all because having a family is all he has ever really wanted and that he could never do what I do and stay at home with them full time, so he will help me out whatever way he can. I think he is pretty amazing and one of a kind but the more and more I go out and about and the more friends I meet, the more I realise times are changing. Dads are hands on and parenting is becoming very evenly split.
The other day I took the twins swimming with my sister-in-law. We sat in the bubble pool as the twins love that, and looked around and realized that in fact there were more dads in the pool with their kids than mums and this was a Wednesday morning – not a weekend!
I think more and more families are splitting maternity and paternity leave to maintain careers. Maybe it’s the case that more women are now the higher wage earners in a couple, that many men are not threatened by this fact and so it is agreed that they stay at home to care for the kids.
I think more men have been advised by their own Dads to be more hands on or they will miss out. I know my husband has. His Dad told him he had never had a bath with any of his children as babies as he was looking at photographs of my husband bathing Noah in the first few weeks. He had sadness to his voice. He did indeed work long hours, and back in the 60’s and 70’s it was just not the way things were done, but I can see he watches his two sons with their children now not only with admiration but a sense of wistfulness.
Now I know I am pretty lucky to have a man who will do the ironing; the payback is he is still a man and will leave his beard shavings round the sink and does tend to leave a trail of devastation as he moves from room to room on coming home from work…the shoes get kicked off in the hall, the tie left in the kitchen, the jacket slung over the arm of the sofa…that kind of thing. However I would rather he did that and sit on the floor to build a tower with the kids, rather than clear up and ignore them.
So I am all for this new change. I love that Dads want to be great Dads and have an involvement in their children’s lives.
So I say cheers to all Daddies and say Happy Father’s Day!
(Now all I have to do is think of something special to get him. Any suggestions gratefully received.)