I am thankful that times have changed, at least ever since we became parents. Fathers are not just ones who spend ‘select quality time’ with kids, while mothers do everything else child-related. This generation of parents, the one we belong to, is more equally distributed. I see fathers-to-be, new fathers and seasoned ones take up parenting with equal interest (I wouldn’t call it enthusiasm all the time, because at times you really have to push yourself). My husband, to begin with, has been a hands on father from day 1. Whether its got to do with his second nature of being spic and span or that parenting has made him way, remains to be seen. But, he has taken up every aspect of raising L with the same interest and involvement as I have. He has done it all. Poopy diaper cleaning, spit up washes, making nap times happen, cooking meals etc etc. It does not make him a ‘wow dad’. He is doing what he has to do for his kid. I wouldn’t have imagined it otherwise. Not that we ever discussed our roles as parents. We are equally mom & dad to L, as and when the need arises.
I am putting this out here, because like D, many husbands out there are looking forward to spending time with their kids right from the labour ward! It hits me that someone actually goes out to say that ‘Men will treat paternity leaves like a holiday’. Not true, Lady! There are dads out there who would give an arm and more to spend time with their newborns. There are dads who regret having to sit in an AC cubicle while their C-sec-ed wives struggle each day at home, longing for love and comfort. There are dads out there who would love to be changing diapers and rocking their babies to sleep. IT IS PRIORITY. As much a priority or even more as it is to submit that god damn excel sheet full of numbers.
D & I have been discussing the arrival of our second child in the next few months. While L was born, we were ‘lucky’. D got to spend a lot of time with him & I can see it reflect in their bond. This time around, he doesn’t even have time to fully sit through a prenatal check up (which he tries his best to). I can’t blame him. I can’t blame his work either. But an extended paternity leave would be such a blessing!
Dads go through a lot after a baby as well. Suddenly they aren’t just husbands, with wives who could head out partying with them or even sit up for a late night movie marathon at home. They can’t have loud TV noises, lest they wake up the little one. Their wife is now officially someone else’s. They go through zombie nights with the feeding, changing, rock to sleep sessions and it sure would help to get some time to recoup, right?
Cut dads some slack! I haven’t heard about a mom-teacher-meeting or a dad-teacher-meeting. It’s called a Parent-teacher-meeting because mom & dad are parents. One isn’t less entitled to the parenting deal than the other. So they shouldn’t be treated any differently. Now, don’t share this post with your husbands and spill their beer just because they aren’t babysitting the little one. They will find their space, zone and comfort. The key is to participate equally. How? You figure!
Hey, don’t forget that its the sperm and the egg that make a baby! 😉