Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Men are Parents Too!

This morning I heard a discussion about advertising for baby products being more gender inclusive. Now let me say that if it wasn't far to early I would have been shouting at the TV. However being civilised I managed to restrain myself. All I can say is the world needs to a get a grip men are parents too. I will explain using my own life as an example.

My husband and I are blessed with a little boy who to be quite frank I never thought would ever be as their were doubts over my fertility. But here we are parents to a very lively 6 month old. Now the discussion before the baby came along was if we have children by adoption or by nature then I would go back to work and my husband would stay at hone. When baby was born I began to waiver but now that I am out to work I see that this will be a good system for us. I say all this to give you a backdrop to the situations that transpire.

My husband changed the vast majority of nappies in the first few months and when he went to church women try to chase him out of the women's toilets as there were no facilities anywhere else. When we see doctors or midwives or health visitors everyone addresses me and he is an after thought if at all. When we had to make decisions about the baby it is the mothers wishes they take. When he goes shopping for babies bits and pieces everything is referred to in the feminine. Even emails from well meaning baby websites talk in the feminine.

The icing on the cake has been the mothers day and fathers day debacle. Mothers day for me was about the grandmothers and aunties and to be honest passed me right by. But since I know that fathers are parents too I made a huge song and dance about fathers day. What annoyed me was that for weeks leading into mothers day I had to put up with mention after mention, advertising after advertising, people after people shouting about mothers day but on fathers day nothing! I might be overstating this but no one seemed to be saying anything. Don't get me wrong there were adverts in windows but no hoo ha. To me we play down the importance of fathers so far that those that choose to look after their families and get involved with raising their children don't get a moments celebration that mothers get.

I acknowledge on both sides of the fence there are issues and problems. But if we want fathers and mothers to be on equal footing we need to have a change of mind from the simple down to the enormous. OK rant over for now ;0)

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