“Dad’s day”

This weekend my husband Jack was wearing Lilly in the baby carrier while we were shopping. As we left the shop the bag-checker-lady looked at us excitedly and said’How nice, is it dad’s day today!?’

I know she was being friendly and making small talk. It was all very lovely. But I couldn’t help thinking that she’d never have looked at me carrying our daughter and asked if it was ‘mum’s day’ today.

Why don’t I get acknowledged for taking care of my child in the same way that my husband does? Or more to the point, why is a father carrying his child so exceptional?

Parenting is a team effort. A dad carrying his baby should be no more of a big deal than a mum carrying her baby.

People are quick to tell me how ‘lucky’ I am that my husband will take care of our daughter while I work part time.  First, it isn’t luck. I chose to marry someone who has the same life views as me.  Both my husband and I enjoy our careers and want to work. We also both want to be actively involved in raising our daughter.  Second,  why shouldn’t it be this way? Parenting is not just a mother’s job. Dads are parents too and are just as capable as mums are.  It’s about time society started seeing them this way.


 

58 COMMENTS

  1. NewDadLessons | 15th Nov 16

    Well said! It’s not dad’s day, it’s dad’s role to share in the responsibility all the time, actually.

    Dad’s shouldn’t be viewed as tentatively pitching in with parenting every now and then

  2. Harriet | 17th Nov 16

    Hear hear. This is so true. I think everybody on both sides of the table is getting annoyed at this concept. Yet people do seem to be so surprised when Dads are seen looking after their own children! Why is it such a hard concept to grasp? #stayclassymama

    • Lucy's Locket | 17th Nov 16

      I don’t know. Seems people need to get with the times!!

  3. tinmccarthy | 17th Nov 16

    I think my husband may find this article printed out and taped to the mirror.
    #stayclassymama

  4. thetaleofmummyhood | 17th Nov 16

    This is so true!! My Husband is so hands on with our two because he loves being their dad. I’m constantly told that he’s doing ‘more than his fair share’ and ‘you’re lucky’! What? Grrrrr!

    #StayClassyMama

    • Lucy's Locket | 17th Nov 16

      Oh, how charming! ‘You’re lucky’ – that’s another of my favourites (not). It’s not luck!!

  5. Emma T | 18th Nov 16

    Unfortunately not all dads are as liberated and equal. Now N is older he goes out on the farm to work with his dad at weekends, but apart from that, the OH does nothing. He doesn’t take time off to do something with N, N just has to go to work with him. And when I go out, it is like baby sitting – I still have to rush around getting N bathed and ready for bed, while the OH just sorts himself out.

    • Lucy's Locket | 18th Nov 16

      That’s a shame, he is missing out on so much! I think most families have one person who takes charge of those types of things tho. I always get the bags etc ready for swimming and my husband just sorts himself out. Don’t get me wrong, he can/does do it, it’s just that I usually get there first!

      • Emma T | 18th Nov 16

        Oh yes, he misses out on everything. It’s only this year that he’s been to the school and done a pick up for the first time (every Monday for tennis club). N’s been there a year!

  6. jeremy@thirstydaddy | 18th Nov 16

    My daughter has gone everywhere and done everything with me from day one, and most dads that I know are the same. I have a “dads don’t babysit, it’s called parenting” T-shirt that I wear with pride and get complimented on it more than any other piece of clothing I’ve ever owned. #pocolo

  7. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons | 19th Nov 16

    This is spot on! I have a similar post written in my drafts at the moment after a really patronising comment to my husband recently. It’s offensive to me as a mum that he gets seen as amazing just for popping to the shops with our son, or changing a nappy, but it’s also offensive to him when people assume that he’s incapable of looking after his child. He particularly seems to get these comments from his parents, who think he’s remarkable, and who comment on how lucky I am to have such a hands on husband. Yes, I’m very lucky to have him as a husband, but he’s an amazing Dad – why isn’t the comment about what an amazing Dad he is to our son, not how grateful I should be for him stepping up to be a parent? Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Lucy's Locket | 19th Nov 16

      That’s such a good point! It’s not about you being ‘lucky’ (I hate that phrase), it’s about him being a good parent!! I think some of the older generations have very traditional views of parenting which reinforce that mum should be parent and dad breadwinner. This post was really just a quick thought, I think the issue goes much deeper than this. I look forward to reading your post – tag me/tweet me if you remember, but I’ll keep an eye out for it too.

  8. Lucy At Home | 19th Nov 16

    Yes! Well said! Dads are “dads” – that means they’re parents and they have parental responsibilities. They often WANT to be involved too and share what’s going on. #PoCoLo

  9. The Pramshed | 20th Nov 16

    I completely understand where you’re coming from, and it annoys me to when people refer to a dad “babysitting” their child. They’re not babysitting they are simply being a parent and looking after their child. Why is it that always the men get the appreciation, whereas we who do most of the caring are expected to just get on with it. Hmmmm. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG this week. Claire x

  10. Jakijellz | 20th Nov 16

    Great post. It’s so annoying when their parenting is seen as something special – but it’s no more special than what we do on a daily basis! #sharingthebloglove

    • Lucy's Locket | 20th Nov 16

      It’s also demeaning for them, as if men aren’t capable of parenting!

  11. Angela Watling | 20th Nov 16

    You’re absolutely right! I’ve never had a comment like this made to my husband and I, but friends have. It’s really infuriating and it really doesn’t help to introduce equality! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Lucy's Locket | 21st Nov 16

      I think people often say things without thinking them through. Thanks for reading 🙂

  12. Stephanie (@LifeAt139a) | 21st Nov 16

    So true – and we all need to start being the change and using our words carefully. Some of it is ingrained, and it will take a mindshift to change things, but no reason not to start trying. It’s the same at weddings, we tell the bride she looks beautiful, but don’t say the same to the groom. Parenting is a joint thing, not something either parent does on a special day of the week. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo – lovely to have you with us.

    • Lucy's Locket | 22nd Nov 16

      I’ve become much more conscious of these things since having my daughter and I am trying to choose my words carefully. Like you say, some of it has become ingrained. Thanks for hosting 🙂

  13. mackenzieglanville | 21st Nov 16

    So true! My hubby is very involved and like you said it was not luck, it was making sure the man I had kids with was on the same page as me. My mum always brags about what a great dad my hubby is to anyone who will listen which is levy because he is awesome,but sometimes I am like “excuse me mum what about me?? #eatsleepblogRT

  14. Jo (Mother of Teenagers) | 21st Nov 16

    My husband is very much involved with my kids and their upbringing even if they are teenagers now. He takes an active role in all areas of their life and I have never given it much thought really. But you are right so often people will comment on how lucky I am and I want to say “why” this is normal!. #PoCoLo

    • Lucy's Locket | 22nd Nov 16

      I love that you see it as normal! I do too. At least, it’s ‘normal’ in my house. I wish it was ‘normal’ for more people!!

  15. kimberly | 22nd Nov 16

    Couldn’t say it any better! It’s such an old fashioned mind set. Baby changing always in the ladies too… argh x #eatsleepblogRT

    • Lucy's Locket | 22nd Nov 16

      It is SO old fashioned! I haven’t noticed any problems with baby changing here. They have parents rooms everywhere and if they don’t the changing is usually in the disabled toilets, so at least that’s something!

  16. After the Playground (@DrSharonParry1) | 23rd Nov 16

    A very good point. We can only hope that as more Dads are involved with their kids attitudes will change. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

  17. dearbearandbeany | 23rd Nov 16

    This annoys me so much. On the old occasion my husband works from home and he will take our eldest daughter to school, something they both love. When I am at pick up later, I get comments about how lucky I am to have help on the school run. Why am I lucky? he is a parent too. It is our joint responsibility that our daughter gets to school on time, dressed and fed. He plays a role in that every day, even if I am the one that mainly drops her off. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

    • Lucy's Locket | 23rd Nov 16

      Totally agree!! It’s not luck! Thank you for hosting x

  18. Winnettes | 23rd Nov 16

    Completely agree! This makes my husband so angry. I can’t say I like it much either. It is such an expectation that Mums look after the children and Daddys ‘help when they can’. What about all those stay at home dads?
    #KCACOLS

  19. Ordinary Hopes | 24th Nov 16

    I love this!

    However, when I go out and leave him with Daddy our son always tells Daddy he is babysitting! #KCACOLS

    • Lucy's Locket | 24th Nov 16

      Your son tells him! Hah that’s just cute 🙂

  20. Sharing the Blog Love - Showcase 22 - Hot Pink Wellingtons | 24th Nov 16

    […] find it necessary to congratulate any Dad who appears to be a hands on parent.  Lucy’s post ‘Dad’s Day’ got this spot on for me. The admiration for Dad’s who take an active role as a parent […]

  21. The Mum Project | 24th Nov 16

    I COMPLETELY agree with every word you have written. This happened to me as well, when my son was 2 months old my partner went out with him in the pram to give me some time alone and he wanted to spend some time with Bear. This lady on the bus said, “oh wow what a great dad spending time with a baby so young, getting some fresh air!” He was just pushing my son in a pram, nobody has ever said what a good job I’ve done pushing my son in the pram! On a second note, how do we stop these comments from happening? In your situation it’s not like you could’ve said, yes I’m a great mum too because I carry him around as well or like, no he’s just doing his part as a parent. I don’t know?! But I totally agree with you. Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

    • Lucy's Locket | 24th Nov 16

      Thank you! I’m glad you can relate. It bothers me so much. I guess I could have said something like that, but it’s often just a fleeting remark that’s made and it’s not until after that I stop and think about it.
      No problem, thanks for hosting 🙂

  22. Michelle G | 24th Nov 16

    Gosh, this spoke to my heart and I feel a lot like you. My husband took shared parental leave and we got our fair amount of prejudice and patronising – I have written about this as I found it quite hard to deal with at the time. He’s her dad, he’s my equal partner, we’re in it together. I hate the way people say things like ‘daddy day care’ and always focus on the mum. Like you, I chose to marry someone who wants to parent equally. Fab post #sharingthebloglove

    • Lucy's Locket | 24th Nov 16

      Yes or dads babysitting. They’re not babysitting, they’re parenting!
      Thank you for your comment. So glad you could relate. It bothers me too, it’s such an old fashioned view.
      I’d love to read your post, can you give me the link?

  23. Mummy Times Two | 25th Nov 16

    What a fantastic post. It drives my Other Half crazy when people don’t treat him as an equal parent. It’s time things changed.

    • Lucy's Locket | 25th Nov 16

      Totally agree! Glad you (and your other half) can relate.

  24. alifeinpracticeblog.com | 25th Nov 16

    THIS. Thank you for saying it. My husband hates when he gets patronized for caring for his own kids, as do I. I have an older relative with some backward views who patronizes him terribly, they always make comments about how he is ‘helping me out’ or ‘babysitting for me’ or whatever when we’re just like… umm no? He’s parenting our children equally with me? Because that’s how parenting should be! xx #sharingthebloglove

    • Lucy's Locket | 26th Nov 16

      That’s exactly what it is! Patronising! Glad you can relate.

  25. The UnNatural Mother | 26th Nov 16

    We just cant win !! Men get all the glory , They do the pots once a month and they brag they do all the cleaning #fortheloveofblog

  26. Petite Pudding (@petite_pudding) | 26th Nov 16

    My husband gets this kind of innocent yet condescending comment all the time – we are like you, he has the kids when I work my hours. But still people think he is just babysitting. Some days I genuinely think the kids would prefer if he worked part time and not me! #eatsleepblogrt

    • Lucy's Locket | 27th Nov 16

      Many people seem to find it hard to understand that many dads want to be actively involved in their children’s lives. It’s not babysitting at all!

  27. Morgan Prince | 27th Nov 16

    You’re right it is a team effort but it would be nice to get as much recognition as a man would, occasionally! Thanks for linking to #pocolo

  28. Annette | 28th Nov 16

    This post is music to my ears as I couldn’t agree with this more! Hubby gets congratulated by everyone for baby sitting?! …. and for like a 5 min walk to the supermarket. How does that even figure. It should absolutely be 50 / 50. Thank you for sharing with the #dreamteam xx

    • Lucy's Locket | 28th Nov 16

      I’m glad you agree! It’s not baby sitting when it’s your own children!! 🙂

  29. Carolina Twin Mom / Mary Peterson | 28th Nov 16

    Amen to that! I am glad that viewpoints are changing (albeit slowly) about how men are viewed in a parenting capacity. I know a couple of full-time stay-at-home daddies and they are incredibly nurturing. It kills me to think that they may be looked at as just “daddies helping out.” #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Lucy's Locket | 28th Nov 16

      I think they are changing, but slowly, as you say. There is no one size fits all to parenting. I also hope your friends are not seen as ‘helping out’ when they are clearly doing SO much more than that.

  30. Dave - Dad's Turn | 28th Nov 16

    Couldn’t agree more! I get this stuff a couple of times a week. The difficulty is that they mean well, but are actually being patronising. Never really know how to react. Hope people’s attitudes will change over time #sharingthebloglove

    • Lucy's Locket | 28th Nov 16

      I think people are interested to see a dad taking an active role. To be honest, I love seeing dads at baby groups and I always want to ask them their story but I never do because I don’t know how to ask without sounding patronising or like I am giving them undue praise! haha. Can’t win!

  31. RawChildhood | 30th Nov 16

    I love this post so much that I read it to my partner! We have 2 boys and he stays home with them whilst I go to uni. I get it all the time “Oh isn’t he good staying at home looking after the boys?” Erm, well no, they are his children too! Love this post so much #sharingthebloglove

    • Lucy's Locket | 30th Nov 16

      I know! What about the days you stay home? Are you good for doing that too!?
      Glad you can relate to this. We plan on doing 2 days each too.

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *