Before having my daughter I have expectations of what dads are supposed to be like and in turn by significant other would be like.
He would attend all the doctor’s appointments, teacher conferences, recitals, etc.
He would equally share the caretaking duties.
The reality is I received a lot of pushback.
Talking to other moms and dads I learned that this was not surprising which in all honesty was disappointing.
I assumed that in light of the #MeToo, #Feminism, #GirlDad, and #EqualityForAll movements that the “traditional” way of viewing parental roles was on its way out.
Apparently, not fast enough.
DAD IS NOT THE BABYSITTER & BEING A STAY-AT-HOME MOM IS WORK
PARENTAL ROLES ARE FOR BOTH PARENT
Even if you go to work, you are still a parent, just a working one.
Being a stay-at-home parent is a job in of itself. So often as a stay-at-home parent you take on the role as caretaker, chef, educator, and housekeeper. If you are a stay-at-home-working-parent you have those roles while still juggling your 9 to 5.
Unless you are separated, broken up, divorced, or similar PARENTING IS NOT A PART-TIME JOB. Dad is not the babysitter. Mom is not either.
Being a part-time parent or acting as a babysitter in a relationship in which you agree to raise a child together is no different than being single, separated, or divorced. If that’s not what you want, changes need to happen.
Both parents should know the exact same information about their child. Each parent should be capable of taking care of their child without calling the other for help. Both parents should make it a priority to attend the doctor’s appointments, teacher conferences, recitals, etc. You know why? BECAUSE THE CARE AND GROWTH OF YOUR CHILD SHOULD BE A SHARED PRIORITY.
Sharing parental roles can be difficult. For some it requires a change in thinking, accepting some hard truths, and challenging your beliefs or the parental roles you witnessed growing up.
Not sharing parental roles can lead to burnout, resentment, sadness, and overall negative impact to your relationship with your significant other. All those consequences can lead to poor caretaking for your child in general and no one wants that.
Let’s continue to normalize shared parenting dads and moms alike.