Thoroughly Modern Mammy Maria discusses how fathers should have a dad squad, and that parenting is not just about mammy.
After my recent article on loneliness, I had more than a few Mums contact me. Some simply said they enjoyed the piece. Some admitted to being lonely in a busy home. One said she had no one to talk to outside of her home.
This upset me and so the following Wednesday I held a “Wee Cuppa Wednesday”.
It was simply a play-date. I posted on my blog that myself and Princess would be at a local soft play centre from 10.30am and if any other parents wanted to join us, they were more than welcome.
It was lovely. Fifteen mammies had a cuppa and a chat and our kiddies had great fun. There are already loads of meet-ups locally and even since then, another one has been arranged in town It’s great to see.
But a very genuine and valid point was raised on an online discussion, where a frustrated Mamma Bear asked why we always refer to these meet ups as “Mammy meets”? She pointed out that there are many stay at home Dads who are equally in need of company and conversation.
And she’s absolutely right.
In recent years, there are more and more Daddies who no longer work outside of the home. They adopt all responsibility for the daily care of kids, school runs, housework and running the home while Mum goes out to work.
And yet, they are not given the same credit socially.
We arrange Mother and Toddler groups and Mum meets. The ‘Mammy Community’ is becoming increasingly empowered and supportive of one another, but what about the Daddies? Where is the support for the Daddy who suddenly decides to be, or indeed finds himself, at home with the kids all day? Is he not perhaps missing his job, missing adult conversation and feeling lost, just like many Mums?
Mammies can generally ring up a mate and ask advice if they need it. Is it that easy for Daddies? Mums are proud to be SAHMs (Stay at home mammies). Dads should be too. But are they?
I don’t think society makes it easy for Dads. We expect Mum to stay home. We seem surprised when it’s Dad who does.
The lady who posted was right, we need to reassess the language we use. We need to remember that parenting is not just about Mammy.
Everyone’s situation is different of course. In some homes, Daddies are hands on and share equal caring responsibility with Mum. In some homes, Mum will happily admit that Dad does most of the “parenting.”
In some cases, Mum is doing the work of both Mum and Dad, but we must remember that in other homes, Dad does it all. For so many different reasons, Mum is no longer there.
In other houses, Mum has good reason to state that Dad is useless. Maybe he is. Maybe he left. Maybe he doesn’t want to know. Maybe she won’t let him help. Maybe she can’t.
Sometimes, in some homes, the Dad is doing all the parenting because do you know what?
Shock horror… some Mums are “useless“ too…But we’re not allowed to say that, are we?
Everyone’s circumstances are different. There is no right or wrong. There is no perfect parent. Whoever is raising the children, deserves all the respect and praise in the world, regardless of their gender.
And they deserve support.
Stay at home Dads, or even working Dads (who are still, you know, parents), deserve more acknowledgement and support. No, they don’t deserve MORE than Mammies who do it all already. But they deserve the SAME. Because a parent is a parent.
My Wee Cuppa Wednesday was open to all parents. Only Mammies came. I do have a few Daddies who follow the blog, but they rarely comment or interact.
I see a neighbouring town running a “Daddy Day” where Dads and kids come along for playtime and sausage butties. Run by Dads, for Dads. Isn’t that a lovely idea?
Maybe it’s time for a local Daddy Bear to set up a morning for Dads? Maybe someone might stand up and arrange a Daddy Date for all the menfolk who are just as fed up of Peppa Fecking Pig as Mammies.
Because Daddies need a Daddy Squad too.
And before I get accused of being “sexist” again, of course Dads should be welcome at all parenting events, but you know, maybe they don’t actually fancy the idea of sitting chatting to a crowd of Mums. And maybe, it’s OK for us to acknowledge that not all Mums would be overly comfortable if they were the only mum among all the dads to turn up to a parent meet either?
It’s not just the organisers of the Meet-ups who should be addressing the issue.
It’s all of us.