These are crayons
They’re made by taking little bits of broken crayon and putting them in a silicon tray and then melting them in the microwave on high for about 5 minutes. You can also melt them in the oven.
But I didn’t make them, my husband did.
Over the weekend he has cooked, cleaned, fed children, gotten up with them in the morning, cared for them while I did other jobs, bathed them, put them to bed. You know, parented them.
I get sick of hearing about dads who don’t parent their children. Dads who don’t do their share of the work in the home.
Now I get that stay at home parents are at home more and will do more of the work when they’re actually home, but when you have two adults at home why should one be working while the other lounges around relaxing. If both adults did the work then it would be done sooner and everyone could relax.
You know, one in all in.
Now I don’t expect my husband to come home from a 16 hour day and then clean the house top to bottom, but if I’m folding the laundry then we do it together, then it gets done quicker. One person washes the dishes and the others wipes them up. Sometimes one person watches the children while the other mows the lawn or weeds the garden.
It’s not babysitting when a father watches his child and he’s not doing his partner a special favor. On the weekend I have an exam (first one of my course, I’m a tad nervous actually) and my husband will be watching the toddlers, he isn’t doing me a favor, he’s just parenting. When one parent is unable to look after the children the other just takes up the slack.
Does he do everything how I would? No. Does that matter? No.
Haven’t we moved passed the parenting as women’s work era? As a feminist I believe that parenting is a job shared equally between the sexes. I can change a nappy as good as my husband can, he can read a bedtime story just as well as I can.
I don’t buy the line of not being able to or not knowing how. Why are men getting to adulthood and not knowing how to cook a meal, iron a shirt, mop a floor, clean a toilet, or make their own lunch. Seriously, how do these men survive single life? These are life skills I’ll be teaching my son and daughter.
As for not knowing how to parent, how to change a nappy, settle or burp a baby, bath a baby. News flash, most first time mums know about as much as first time dads. We’re learning on the fly, we’re making it up as we go along! When I had my first the only other newborns I could remember holding were my siblings (the youngest being 16 when my daughter was born) and my cousin (who was 4 when my daughter was born). That was it. I had studied early childhood practices at high school but that was 5 years earlier. I had no clue what I was doing!. I didn’t research passed birthing this baby and so when she was in our arms we were stumped. And we made it up as we went along following our instincts and I think we did a pretty good job.
Then 18 months after our first baby was born baby number 2 came along and as shocking as it sounds he wasn’t a carbon copy of his sister. Once again I had to learn, grow and change. The transition from one to two was harder then having just one. I had to learn all about this little person, figure out breastfeeding which I didn’t get right the first time and keep the toddler happy and on track. Hubby would stumble in from a 16 hour day to find me mid-witching hour. He would start cleaning and by the time he had done the dishes and kitchen the baby would be sleeping so I would pop him in his hammock while we tackled mouth Washmore. We had two in cloth nappies back then. By the time we finished that we’d stumble into bed only to be woken within the hour by a baby ready for a feed. Into our bed he’d go where he’d spend most of the night attached to the boob.
We worked as a team. It was a hard year for our relationship but no matter what was going on between us he never let up on his responsibilities as a father. I was never left doing more then my fair share.
Look I know some women like making their partner lunch or ironing their work uniforms or whatever and that’s great, that’s their choice. It should not be expected. And when women are struggling with parenting their biggest help and support should come from their baby’s father.
This goes for breastfed and bottlefed babies. And you don’t have to express to get someone to help you, there are plenty of things dad can do to help that don’t involve feeding. Bathing, nappy changes, settling, cuddling, playing with baby, taking baby for a walk or car ride, wearing baby.
It’s simple really, if you’re a man pull your weight, we know you work hard at your job but don’t forget we work hard at home raising your children. If we all pitch in we all get a chance to sit down for a break when it’s done.
If you’re a woman then tell him what you need done, if he doesn’t know what you need chances are he won’t do it. Avoid the angst and resentment, tell him straight – can you fold the laundry/get dinner started/hold the baby for a bit.