I love being a dad. Like, really love it. I get excited about getting home and spending time with my baby and I don’t care if it sounds soft and stereotypically un-manly. Since my little boy has been born, I have really noticed that dads are often thought to take a back seat role in the parenting game – especially publicly.
There have been a few things that have got on my goat when I’m out and about, flying solo (so to speak) with my boy.
Oh, where’s their mum?
After I get home from work, we try to make sure we do something together as a little family. I do however appreciate that my wife has been with the baby all day. So sometimes I go for a walk with Eddison to give her a break. He loves the park because of the trees (no, obviously I don’t let him climb them yet – he’s only seven weeks old) and the sounds.
Every time, without fail, somebody makes a comment about him being with me alone. I’m a good parent. I don’t need to be supervised. I may be a male but it shouldn’t be a shock to see a little baby out with just their dad.
It’s amazing how many places still only have changing facilities in the ladies’ toilets. Even one of the biggest baby shops in the country is guilty of not having changing facilities that allow dads to do the change.
How is this even allowed? Changing a baby while you are out can be challenging at times and as a dad, not actually having a place to do it makes you feel hugely pressurised. You don’t want to be “that” person who kicks off and makes a scene but I feel like changing facilities need to be gender neutral.
He’s hungry and hot!
Why, oh why does Doris in the Co-op insist on telling me what’s wrong with my baby when he cries?! No Doris, he’s not hungry, he ate 10 minutes ago, and no he’s not hot – he’s just being grouchy. Funnily enough I know my boy pretty well, but of course Doris has two of her own and when they were small… I don’t care Doris. Dads seem to attract even more unwanted advice than mums, especially from strangers. Of course I’m polite and nod, but secretly I’m wishing they would shut up.
Are you babysitting tonight?
When it’s your own child it isn’t babysitting. Even in this modern day, it seems that dads are seen as part timers when it comes to parenting. Given the choice, I would be at home with my child, but I have to work. That’s just the way it is. After working all day, I choose to be with my baby – he isn’t forced upon me while my wife goes out, in fact I encourage her to do stuff so I can have some time with my son. Babysitting implies that you infrequently watch a stranger’s child. I am not a babysitter.
I guess I just want people to realise, it isn’t weird when dads spend time with their children. In fact, it should be encouraged. Next time you see a dad on their own treat them like a mum!