The usual ‘mums are great, dads are crap’ monster rears it’s head again with a sideswipe on twitter. Nothing unusual there, the place is littered with polarised views on parenting, mums groups to the left of me, dads to the right and here I am stuck in the middle with plenty of others wondering why we have done this to ourselves! Mothers and fathers interact, are interdependent and manage to hold conversations together at home (I’ve heard it said that some even like each other enough to have sex and procreate) yet the online and media conversations are split. And while it is split into gender groups, the conversations become silly and focused on differences, whether real or imagined up by a journalist.
Mumsanddadsnet ran this story http://mumsanddadsnet.com/2014/03/02/women-are-better/
and rightly called mother & baby magazine out on it. It is the usual, lazy, badly evidenced gumph about women being superior in the home and ,bless them, men try but they are never quite as good. Fools that they are for trying.
We all sigh and look at our watches to check we have not been transported back to the 1950’s. The editor of Mother & Baby thinks we should get a sense of humour about this. I say THAT JOKE ISNT FUNNY ANYMORE!
If we keep perpetuating the mythology of motherhood, a perfect state of parenting that no Man can ever achieve, we are denying the realities of families. We are denying the mothers and fathers who share care of their children, who manage work responsibilities, who parent together. We are denying that men are emotional beings. Of course they are not women, but if the definition of a woman is to be found in Mother & Baby magazine I’m not sure I am either.
For a very long time services have been designed for mothers, by mothers. Mothers get (in no particular order and not exhaustive) midwife care, antenatal care, magazine, websites, leaflets, tv programmes, health visitors, family centres, children’s centres, social workers, books, family support and guess what… THEY STILL GET IT WRONG!
Men are hard wired to care for their children, within 15 minutes of handling infants fathers experience hormonal changes that reduce aggression, promote bonding and attachment and reciprocity. They are not square blocks in round holes, having a go at the parenting thing, they are MADE for it. Get over it.
I’m not laughing with you Mother & Baby – I’m laughing at you.