Parenting

Equal Parenting And Why It’s Fabulous

I’ve lost count of how many times people have told me that I’m so lucky that my husband ‘takes care of the kids’ while I work, go away on business or spend two hours at the hairdressers. YES, TWO GLORIOUS HOURS.

When will society get it into their heads that mums and dads are parenting equals? In our family my husband and I are interchangeable and both equal in the eyes of our children and I’m ecstatic about it.

Equal Parenting

Why? Because it means that I can leave the house and my three kids won’t have a meltdown.

Sure a few years ago I felt miffed when my child ran to my husband instead of me when we arrived home from a weekend away together. But my disappointment lasted all of two seconds.

Quite frankly having parents that are seen as equal is what I call living the dream. Dads are just as capable as mums to parent but it seems society or certain sections of it are intent on tarnishing their efforts.

If I asked room full of mums whether someone had ever insinuated a parenting fail was due to an inept father then I bet most hands would be raised.

Those that didn’t say yes would surely have to admit that they’ve been told how lucky they are to have a husband who helps with the baby and the washing!

Imagine that, a man helping to do domestic duties in his own house. Shocking!

Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that we mums cope with multi-tasking a lot better than men, but this isn’t to say they can’t do what we do.

What they can’t do is do something the exact same way we do and this can be hard for many mums, eg me, to accept.

This works both ways, our partners cringe at the way we teach our children certain things. I know my husband has to look away when I start showing my son how to kick a football.

But maybe we mums are also a little guilty of saying things that reinforce the view that our partners aren’t quite doing it as good as we are.

Dad fishing with son

There are days when I come home late after a meeting or work trip and find that the kids’ clothes have been put in the wrong drawer or takeaway was eaten two nights in a row. I’ve then made a big deal of it when I should have just let it go.

However, then I get the grumps because usually someone will say to me, ‘oh well, they did their best and you were lucky to have been able to get away at all’.

Yes that’s true, but should I be overly gushing in my praise for when my husband takes care of his kids? Where are the lashings of praise for my parenting efforts?

Then there’s a friend who recently admitted she’s had to stop herself from asking her partner to hang out ‘her washing’ which in fact isn’t ‘her’ washing but that of the families.

Oh so many questions and no answers, but maybe the next time some well-meaning person says ‘you’re lucky’ it might be worth reminding them that these days parents are equal or at least trying to be and that luck has no role to play.

emily-toxward
written by:

Emily Toxward

When former journalist Emily Toxward isn’t wrangling her three kids she’s juggling the demands writing and failing fabulously at being a domestic goddess. A published writer for nearly 20 years, Emily left full-time work in 2008 to have children and write from home. Always on the go, she spends her days negotiating with an army of little people she created and visits her local Gold Coast beaches for a little sanity.