One thing i find quite often since having a child is the gender roles women and men are placed into. The man goes out to work and is the one with the least responsibilities for the child while the woman is expected to not only look after the child but the dad/ house and entire world all of the sudden. Don’t get me wrong there are dads out there that are not hands on dads, who see it as the mothers job to look after the child/ them and that may work for some family’s. But i feel it is a awful amount of stress to put on someone.
When we planned having Elijah we always knew we would be a team. I have always said we are team and so has James. When he was born we have always been equal in what we do as much as we can. Ever since the early days James spending time with his son would be referred to as baby sitting. People would say to me when i was at work ” oh is the dad baby sitting?” or if James took Elijah out just them two for some bonding time the comments ” i see your baby sitting” or “i see you got left with the baby” is said. Why is the world still so sexist? I’m still a big believer in the fact that mum and dads should be equal.
I didn’t have a dad growing up until i was about 9 so having just one parent i missed out and longed for so much growing up. I was jealous of people spending time with their dads or people being walked to school by their dads. It was just the little things like when my brothers were born hearing them having dad (stepdad) read to them at night reminded me on how much i missed out on. So i guess that is why now its really important to me and to James that we do things together and make memories together aswell as having our own time with our son and specific jobs.
One thing i find is such a touchy subject is nappy changing. For some reason people make such a big deal about it. Its poop and pee clean it and get over it. Nobody bats a eyelid if the mum changes the nappy and immediately hands the baby to the mum to change a dirty nappy even if the dad is in front of them. We have had comments made about how James changes his nappy like it’s my job to change every nappy he ever fills. I just want to put it out there that yes a man can change a nappy. It is not weird. It is not for girls. It is taking care of your child. I also have found numerous times when we have gone out and James has offered to change Elijah nappy that he cannot do it because toilets in public are not always accessible to men changing a nappy. This means that there is no where to change a baby other that inside a womans changing room and that is the womans job. James has had to come home early once when he took Elijah to a play centre because there was no mens nappy changing facility so Elijah had to sit in a soiled nappy. This is so wrong on so many levels i can’t even comprehend why all places don’t just pay the few quid for a extra table in a mens toilet or disabled toilet. I always think as well what about those poor dads that have lost their partner/ or in a relationship with a man and cannot change their baby it must be absolutely terrible for them.
Taking time to do things like bath time, reading, playing games, dressing should be done by both parents so that they get to enjoy both of your company at different times or together.I cannot ever be more proud of James than when he is looking after Elijah. It is so lovely to see him and Elijah doing things together and Elijah really enjoys it. James is so hands on and i couldn’t imagine him not being. It’s nice that Elijah goes to daddy for things as much as mummy and can be soothed by the both of us.
Maybe one day we will live in a world where men are thought as much as a parent as the mum but for now we don’t. Hopefully things will change a bit more one day and dads will step up a bit more when they don’t if there wasn’t so much stigma around it. I want to raise Elijah to know its okay to be a man and look after a child and develop good relationships with his kids when they’re older if he chooses to have them. With that i’m off to go quietly sob at the fact that James came home from work early and Elijah screaming yeah that he woke him up from his nap not me and its the cutest thing ever while i type this out proving my point that daddys you mater!