Friday, 6 March 2009

Dad's role

I am in no way a fan of Toby Young. When he appears as a critic on foodie programmes, I cringe. However, was interested in an article he wrote ....

The interesting part is the bit about husbands of stay-at-home mums

"By the time I finish work every evening, Caroline is so fed up with the kids that she dumps them in my lap and then locks herself in the bathroom. Not only that, but I am expected to be the primary care-giver at weekends, too. The upshot is that I never have any time off. I have not read a newspaper in five years.
Friends who are married to working mums, by contrast, are on easy street. Their wives are so wracked with guilt about not spending enough time with the kids that they completely monopolise them whenever they are at home. The role of the fathers in these households is to wave benignly at their children as they walk in the door before uncorking a bottle of wine and collapsing in front of the telly. At the weekends, while I am traipsing round Legoland, they are practising their golf swings in Berkshire."

This makes me think of my husband. BC he was an aspiring writer. He had given up a IT career to pursue this dream. AD for a while that dream continued. The idea was he would stay home and look after the baby whilst also writing. But when the time loomed for me to return to work, I just couldn't do it and also he found that baby was a bit non-interactive. So we agreed, I'd stay home whilst he went back to work. This would continue until baby was a more interactive human and he would take over.

Like Caroline above, I'm guilty of dumping the tod on husband as soon as he walks in the door. Its his role to entertain her while I get our dinner ready. I give her a bath, then he is back on duty with bottle and bedtime book. This latter gives me a break, time to catch up. In reality I clean the bath stuff and do the dishes and just about manage to pick up my knitting (hobby of the moment) before he comes in and offers a cuppa.

Life had not worked out how we expected. We don't go out unless it's somewhere the toddler can go. If he gets tickets to a gig, he goes with friends.

Until the toddler is truly interactive, and willing to interact with objects on her own (books, films etc) we are devoted to development time. But one day, I promise my husband, he will finish his book and I will be waiting every evening with a nice glass of appropriately chilled wine.

1 comment:

Doctor Pangloss said...

Our days are full of activity with Toddler Pangloss. I don't care whether he's going to remember it in years to come or not, but I'm happy that he's enjoying the moment; if he does remember his days out at farms, parks, museums et al then that'll be a bonus.

On the flip side, I know TP would be just as happy pushing his cars and dolls around on the carpet at home.

I guess we're just trying to give TP a childhood that we never had.

As to fatherhood, I decided to take a year out from work and was stay-at-home-dad. TP was 11months old when I took over and I felt I cheated my wife out of alot of high points - TP taking his first steps, hearing first words and as the year progressed, hearing 2, 3 words being strung together. I'd never been so run-down and ill in my life, but it was a fantastic year off.

Every father should do it, not just to know what hard work REALLY is, but that it's an amazing experience.