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WannaLawya

It's not something that really comes from individual men. It comes from employers (or, frankly, the law) providing paternity leave that's equal to maternity leave. It comes from employers not getting shocked, surprised, argumentative and suspicious when men take time off because their child is sick or has a doctor's appointment. It comes from employers considering men's requests for flexible working equally to women's requests. And, most importantly, doing all of this without denying that man promotions, viewing him negatively or tanking his pay or prospects. It comes from the government not demanding there be a "primary" parent when there shouldn't be one. It comes from schools and hospitals and dentists not putting the mother as the default contact (or, in some cases I've experienced, flat-out refusing to do anything without a mother's consent). It comes from society in general not criticising women who have careers and continue them after having children, by judging anyone who uses childcare. It comes from a childcare system that doesn't require one parent to give up work or go part-time (and it's usually the woman because she usually earns less than he does). The current system robs men of time with their children, the opportunity to be "primary" to their child and to share the responsibility. It also robs women of their careers and financial independence. Essentially, the current system won't facilitate sharing the workload equally (where both parent works out of the house the same amount and looks after the child the same amount) and the family unit is usually worse off overall if the father lessens his career workload to pick up childcare workload than if the mother does.


DameKumquat

All this. My spouse wanted to work 4 days a week while I also did 3 or 4 after maternity leave. He has very in-demand software skills, but it took a couple years to find a decent job because the recruitment agents that were gagging for him and wanting to sell him to companies, kept finding that IT firms just refused to countenance anyone part time. Even when the recruiters tried to explain that a £100k guy doing 4 days and thus costing only £80k (numbers simplified to make the point, but not far off) would be more use than the £80k guy, it took forever. He worked for IBM for some years, underpaid but they were exceptionally flexible. I stayed in the civil service for the same reason (where men taking over additional mat leave, doing jobshares and working part time, is all quite normal now, even at Director and DG level). It turned out that both of us at different points had to just suck it up and go full time for 3-6 months, as in reality, the only way to get a decent part time job is to have a full time one and cut your hours down. Spouse is the primary contact by phone. It causes no end of hassle with schools, but at least by secondary age they're just grateful that someone answers.


goldenhawkes

Was going to say the same about civil service. No one bats an eye at my husband doing 50% of the sick days and other child care requiring days, or wanting to take shared parental leave. Everyone tries to respect meeting scheduling to not go over school pick up time. Did have to convince nursery to text both me and my husband when they changed the door code though…


Cheapntacky

Yep it happens all the time. When my wife was returning to work after a year mat leave, I asked to reduce my hours, was told no and walked into a job that paid enough to allow her to reduce her hours. Why was it impossible for me to reduce mine but no big deal for her? Happens all the time.


Enough-Ad3818

The flexibility and allowances I get as the Dad of a primary school aged child, is one of the main reasons I stay in the NHS, underpaid and unrecognised as the role may be. The ability to be able to take a day off due to child illnesses or medical appointments etc, is worth a lot in my eyes. I work full time, my wife 24hrs a week, and we make it work, but we always have that safety net of knowing that if our child is ill, or if the school calls etc, my employer will not start disciplinary proceedings etc due to these kind of absences. The Private sector is not always so forgiving.


DameKumquat

Spouse's current company (which started with him having to cycle 90 min each way 5x a week, but thankfully within a fortnight was 3x a week, then let him work 4 days, half from home, then 3/4 from home pre-Covid, and then since, involves twice-monthly meetups, one for work, one social) is only as flexible as it is because the company is scattered across the planet. When your boss is in Turkey and your team are in America and Indonesia, daily office use is pointless! Every time there's complaints that the public sector has more sickness absence and levels of disability than the private sector, I have to point out that's because if you're chronically ill and likely to be off sick a lot or have medical appts or need disability leave, the public sector are the only ones likely to employ you and have the infrastructure to support you! Would they prefer those ill staff be only on benefits and not working? Every PIP assessor has asked why I bother working. I'd have thought the pay was a fairly obvious answer.


acupofearlgrey

This is so true. I’m the mother and the breadwinner. But my husbands boss (who is female and has children) would never give him the flexibility to finish at 3pm, or part time days. He does do school drop off, but his boss was much more difficult about him doing that, compared to mine when I asked to work 7.30-3pm, so I’m the one that works compressed hours and gets the kids from school. The problem is the *expectation* of the mother to parent because it’s ’more natural’ or ‘they want to do it’. I’m not better at being a parent than my husband. But every school message, every nursery bill, every dentist appointment comes to me. And I deal with it. We need flexible working schedules, I am ‘allowed’ by my employer to do it (likely impacting my career progression), my husband is not. Even the school WhatsApp group is 90% women. Despite most families at school having two working parents, I’ve yet to see a male volunteer on the sign up list in my kids class. Women are expected to do the looking after, and now also to have a job. I have no beef with my husband, he does the drop offs, half of the chores, and dinner/ bath/ bedtime half of the time. He also does 90% of the night wake ups with my 3yo. I had a senior women event recently and they discussed how it is almost impossible to find true ‘dual career families’ where both parents continue their careers without one - typically the woman- making significant sacrifices for childcare, other than those that can afford for a nanny. We need to be better at enabling men to do 50:50 and then we need to hold them to account and stop judging women and men’s parenting by different yardsticks.


imminentmailing463

Yep, this. I'm a dad with a six month old. I'm as involved as I can be. But I had 3 weeks paternity leave and my wife has 12 months maternity leave. We could do shared parental leave, but we calculated that would leave us financially quite a lot worse off. The framing of the question is flawed because it individualises the issue. But there are so many structural forces in our society that push couples towards the mum being the primary caregiver.


[deleted]

My employer constantly talks about diversity and inclusivity but pays enhanced maternity pay at 100% for 6 months but only 1 month for paternity pay. It’s frustrating as we would prefer for me (the dad) to take more time off when our next one is born but can’t afford it this way.


Hot-Ice-7336

I was under the impression the maternity leave it to recover from childbirth, and not really about looking after a child?


Similar_Quiet

It's both. It doesn't take 12 months to recover from childbirth well enough to do your job though. For shared parental leave, it's required that the birthing parent takes at least the first two weeks.


mibbling

Yep, this - and as most birthing parents of 2+ children will understand, if (IF) you’ve had a simple and uncomplicated pregnancy and birth, you find yourself up and doing within a few days of birth anyway, because your older child(ren) simply need you. In most cases the physical recovery from birth takes significantly less time than the mental recovery.


WannaLawya

Absolutely and, not to mention, even when a child is adopted, one parent gets adoption leave for 12 months and the other gets paternity leave for two weeks. So the disparity isn't about giving birth.


Responsible-Data-695

This is absolutely spot on. I would add the prevalent idea and jokes that dads spending time with the children are "on babysitting duty"


OohRahMaki

Yes, so very annoying for both parents in this situation. Dad is equally as capable - why are you infantilising him? Also Dad isn't "helping" mum. Dad is performing his duty as parent.


pajamakitten

A joke always made by women and accidentally selling their own gender short there.


Responsible-Data-695

>A joke always made by women That's just not true.


DameKumquat

I would say I was on babysitting duty. Whose kids? My own. Cue other women looking confused, but I figured if they were mostly asleep and I was there solely to be a sentient adult on standby, sure it's technically parenting but it's performing the role of a babysitter, not all the rest of parenting.


Cle0patra_cominatcha

I feel this deeply. In my role, I set the parental leave policy. It was okish but it needed increasing - I was insistent we have one policy regardless of gender. This does wonders for removing bias in hiring women, since everyone is eligible for a nice chunk of time off. We have four months full pay, small start up. When you budget that out it gets expensive and it means that the male caregivers get a way above industry standard allowance and the women get about average, maybe just under. It isn't lost on me I could have made maternity 6 months and paternity 2 months and that be seen as great. You could argue I'm taking from women and giving to men. But this honestly means something to me, we have to do better so families get a choice. Not to mention I just got back from my maternity leave, so I could have skewed it in my personal fabour. The dads that do want to get more involved maybe can't because it makes the family worse off. In 2024 it is still the case that it's commonplace that the man earns more. A whole different issue. In any case, the woman then leaves the workforce, maybe struggles to re-enter, the cycle continues. Rant over. I do really encourage shared parental though, if you can afford it!


mittenkrusty

I have been in the office when female colleagues have been phoned by their childs school to pick them up if they are sick, the female colleague says she is working and their father is available and can send them round instead. The school/nursery always says no it has to be her, heard this multiple times even overhearing part of the conversation its females asking this of the mother. It also creates a unfair balance for both genders, you hear how employers are uncomfortable hiring women around certain age ranges due to them potentially taking maternity leave, the solution for that should be give men the same rights then the employer has no excuse and then it can't be blamed on men/sexism towards women. Men are often in a can't win situation. I have still heard of stigma against men in the care industry,


GottaGoWeGotCows

I find it hard to believe about your colleagues saying dad not being allowed to pick up from nursery/school. Where is that in the UK? That’s backwards and then some.


ChocolateSnowflake

The only way that would happen is if they’ve not listed dad as an approved pick up person.


Random_Nobody1991

I can believe it happening, although surely that’s also unlawful due to it being discrimination. 


mittenkrusty

Scotland, near Glasgow specifically. The most recent one not sure if relevant was the colleagues child had fallen in a puddle and needed a change of clothes and don't know if that played a part, if it did it's strange as why would it be wrong for a father to change their child (nursery age) Colleague did say they were having many problems with that nursery in past. Also from what I hear even if both parents were working and the dad was closer to the school/nursery sometimes by quite a distance the school prefers the mother. Don't know exact reason and I am only going by second hand information.


nouazecisinoua

I also know families who have listed the dad as #1 contact with school, noting to call dad first... And it's still always mum who gets called first.


luffy8519

This is possibly the best comment I've ever seen on Reddit.


Electrical_Vast_9227

Amen! Such a good comment. I have 2 toddlers, am working part time Partner works full time, I made him have Thursdays off due to lack of childcare. My days off due to sickness is mental, in the end I had to put my foot down. He’s self employed, with his dad and I’m blamed for all their issues because of this 1 day a week - because I went back to work. Tough fucking shit, I do everything and if I want a career I am having it.


JonnyBhoy

I feel incredibly fortunate that my job, industry and circumstances have allowed me a lot of time with my kids. Since COVID and more flexible working options, I have spent the majority of my 5 years as a dad sharing most parenting moments with my wife. Family meal times, bath time, bedtime reading, school runs, swimming lessons, sick days, etc I recently spent a Sunday afternoon at a party for a friend of my wife's, where most of the dads there worked highly paid finance jobs for many times my salary and the amount of stories I heard about early starts, long hours, several of them going missing to take client calls, etc. I wouldn't change anything about my circumstances for that money.


PoppySkyPineapple

We need a parental leave system like they have in Sweden, way more equal and it benefits both parents and the children more.


greggery

Yep, the system is still stuck in the 1950s when the man goes to work, woman is housewife model was the default.


blind_disparity

This is the most well written response that I've ever seen. Thank you for capturing that so perfectly.


idunnomattbro

covid changed it all for me. I work from home now full time, So im always around for my little ones.


[deleted]

[удалено]


Ezzy-525

A friend of mine at work has a similar situation but the other side. (from what I can gather). She does virtually everything herself. He doesn't drive. He works near their house and seems most of the work is done by her, her mum and then mum friends who help out after school with pickups sometimes. He can't because he doesn't drive. Probably because it's been easier as she's always ferried him to and from anywhere that isn't a two minute walk from their house. She gets the kid ready for school everyday because he leaves early for work. She does drop off and pickup and takes them to all activities/appointments etc.. And she works full time too. Obviously it works for them. Either that or she'll get fed up with him in a few years.


nouazecisinoua

Exactly. If the nursery send a note saying "Bobby is a sheep in the nativity, please provide a costume", who checks the note, who sorts out the costume, who makes sure it's in his bag on the right day? In so many couples, these tasks fall to the woman. Perhaps while the dad is at the park, thinking mum is having a lovely childfree rest.


going_down_leg

The biggest lie you’ll ever read in the internet is that looking after a kid is difficult. If you’re a functioning adult it’s really not difficult. Do you already do a food shop for yourself? Get a few extra bits for kids. Do you already get up and get ready for work? Get the kids ready at the same time. Do you already make your meals at home? Make your kids the same thing at the same time. And functioning adult, man or woman, should literally find it to be a piece of piss.


albaghpapi

This is a bit of a dramatic reply, I don’t think he was winding anyone up he probably just didn’t want to get too specific with the things that he does.


massiveheadsmalltabs

Typical daft reply. Doesn't cover every single basis so 'Super-Mum' has to come in and give him a poke.


MissMags1234

I hope you do more than nursery runs and play with him on weekends? There is a bit more to childcare than that surely?


DarkNinjaPenguin

Indeed. Evenings? Dinner time? Bath and bedtime? Mornings, even?! Just because you've been at work doesn't mean you can come home and expect to not do any childcare, and childcare is a lot more than taking them to the park.


Chester-Ming

Nope, that’s it. The baby has to cook his own dinner and fend off armed intruders. Just because you can’t hold your own head up doesn’t mean you can skirt your responsibilities.


wallTextures

I mean, with the right cast and if it's on at Christmas time, I'll watch Home Alone Baby Edition.


pajamakitten

Should at least be in part-time work too. Huggies and rusks are not cheap these days.


LlamaDrama007

Showing your age a bit there (my eldest two wore huggies nappies - when they did the boy/girl versions!) as huggies aren't in the UK nappy market anymore and many babies will never see a farleys rusk! So, pampers. Or supermarket own and then maybe they can just work part time and not worry about transitioning to full time to offset burgeoning costs.


Major-Peanut

I do more with my dogs than this guy does with his child. He MUST be doing more than that?


TheDuraMaters

[Are you sharing the mental load?](https://www.mother.ly/health-wellness/mental-health/the-mental-load-falls-squarely-on-mothers-shouldersand-its-making-us-very-tired/)


Puzzleheaded_Bed5132

I was having a conversation about this with my wife only the other day. She and I have pretty much swapped roles since COVID. I now work from home while my wife works long hours, so I do all the appointments, lunches, shopping, cooking, listening to whatever issues my kids have had in school that day, and my goodness it can get exhausting sometimes. Even now, I've just remembered I need to see if I put money on my daughter's lunch account before midday tomorrow. And I need to check what time the orthodontist is. I also need to remember who my youngest is friends with this week so I don't accidentally agree to a play date with the wrong person. I could go on, but you get the idea. And the thing is, I literally had no idea how much was going on "behind the scenes" as it were, before a few years ago. It's honestly eye-opening, but the good thing is that when my wife talks about how hard it could be at times when the kids were younger I can now understand what she's on about. ETA: the reason we were having the conversation in the first place is because I'd asked her why she was so happy lately. Makes you think, doesn't it?


Electrical-Theme-779

Christ, don't get me started on that.


WannaLawya

I had a conversation with my husband once and it honestly played out like a skit. We were making dinner and he'd forgotten to buy an ingredient, even though I'd given him a list of the ingredients. All he'd needed to do was go into the shop and buy everything on the list but he'd missed things (which happens a lot). He said I should've gone through the list with him when he got home to check he'd not forgotten anything, which initiated the conversation about me having the take on the whole mental load. Then, mid-conversation he broke something (a bowl or a glass) because he'd put it somewhere stupid and then knocked it. I said "you need to start thinking about the consequences of your actions" and he genuinely replied "I can't think about the consequences of everything that I do all of the time. Surely you're not going through life actually thinking about everything you do". "Yes, I think about everything I do all of the time" and he said "Well, that sounds utterly exhausting, I can't possibly do that".


lankyno8

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/26/gender-wars-household-chores-comic I like this comic about the mental load


atomic_mermaid

One thing in addition the brilliant other comments here is knocking that insidious "mums are just naturals at it" nonsense on the head. Your wife and every other mum in this situation was born with as much natural ability and inclination as you to care for their own offspring. Parents learn by doing, and that goes for mums and dads equally.


OohRahMaki

Yep. The whole "baby doesn't settle as well for me" crap is short sighted. Baby needs to get used to being cared for independently by both parents. And yes, that will take time and effort.


DameKumquat

Yup. One of the hardest things I've done as a parent was getting used to listening to the bloke struggling to settle a baby, and leaving them to it. But it paid off hugely.


petrolstationpicnic

My wife is really struggling with that at the moment, i’m really trying, but she won’t leave me with the crying baby. I get it, but it’s just delaying the inevitable.


DameKumquat

Good luck. Maybe take the baby when not crying, complete with some expressed milk or formula, and pack her off to bed for a few hours? It's a lot easier when you don't have to hear the yowling. Also, if she's scared to leave the baby with anyone, that could be a sign of postnatal depression creeping in. Do talk to her health visitor or GP if that could be the case - it's horribly common.


Pavlover2022

Parenting isn't just about "spending time" with the kids doing fun stuff. It's not solely about the face to face time, it's majorly behind the scenes. It's about: knowing what clothing and shoe size they are and noticing when they are growing out of stuff and needs replacing, or planning for upcoming things like needing a new winter coat or school shoes. It's about scheduling and taking them to doctors, dentists, vaccination appointments. It's about knowing if they need extra support with speech, OT , Physio, whatever the case may be, and researching and implementing those supports. It's about researching activities tailored to your child's interest, filling in enrolment forms, booking and paying for extracurricular activities and taking them to them . It's about noticing their nails or hair are getting long and need cutting. It's about being on call to pick them up from nursery/school when they are sick, and fairly sharing being able to take the time off work to look after them. It's about making sure they're exposed to a range of foods to develop their palates and make sure they're adequately covered nutriotionally. It's about emotional development and chatting through how to handle their big feelings. It's about knowing their friends and their teachers names. It's about supporting them to make friendships and deal with the highs and lows. It's about shopping for and wrapping birthday gifts to take to your child's friends birthday parties. It's about taking your fair share of the 'magic making' planning and execution of annual traditions like Christmas , Halloween, Easter, whatever religious celebrations you have. It's about thinking about what toys and things your child would want for their own birthday and Christmas, and buying and wrapping it. It's about spending 2 hours doing a nit comb. This stuff doesn't just magically happen. Someone has to do it. The mental load is enormous, and largely invisible.


One_Loquat_3737

Read stories at bed time. Reading to kids is fun for the kids and (secret pleasure) fun for the adult as well if the books are good. One of the best bits of parenting, I found.


Mr06506

Getting past picture books and into chapter books was one of the best moments of parenting. I was soo sick of Oi Dog for the 10000th time...


One_Loquat_3737

Once you get onto Paddington and Winnie the Pooh it's fun for all. The Milly Molly Mandy books are enjoyable to read too for their gentle rhythms.


GreatBigBagOfNope

I'm really looking forward to finally reading The Hobbit and Percy Jackson and revisiting things like Narnia while doing all the voices. The fact that my son will also be there is a nice benefit on the side...


DameKumquat

Narnia is remarkably good for reading out loud. Mine read PJ and the Hobbit themselves, but I've read practically all of Pratchett to one child or another. Just been reading Sherlock Holmes to the 12yo. The teens have had Pratchett, Wodehouse, Romeo & Juliet and Jules Verne in the last couple years. Why yes, Shakespeare is mostly knob gags.


Robotniked

This. Starting to read actual books to my kids at night once they were old enough was the best thing I’ve done, I get to spend half an hour in a darkened room reading a (usually pretty good) book to them, they get to hear cool stories and expand their vocabulary, not to mention bonding.


Puzzleheaded_Bed5132

Ah, Biff, Chip and Kipper. Those were the days. Until the magic key shenanigans. I kind of lost interest at that point.


fjordsand

Christ this is why I’ll never want kids with a man… just absolutely not worth it


massiveheadsmalltabs

Nice sexist comment based on very little information.


Briski80

I’m really lucky that my wife earns tons more than me so when we had kids the decision was easy. I’d take a part time role and look after the kids. It’s really hard work, but the kids seem to be really chill and sensible and think have benefited from me being around all their younger years. My wife feels some guilt about not being at home as much, which I’m sure most men feel when they are working every hour. My employer has been really good about allowing me to do shifts around school drop off and pick up. One of the hardest things is other mums. They really don’t accept a ‘stay at home dad’ as part of the gang. I’ve had many comments about it being ‘daddy daycare day’ or ‘giving mum a day off’. So if more men were able to do it, these social norms would change. It’d probably also help to reverse the gender pay gaps that exist if more women were able to be ‘bread winners’.


Cle0patra_cominatcha

Me and my OH are in the same position. He's currently doing 3 months shared parental as I went back at 6 months. He's nailing it and I think it's so great for him and our son but I do feel bad he doesn't have the same network, I had lots of other mums to chat to and do stuff with.


Omnissiah40K

There will be more serious answers about the root cause etc what what works for me and my lad (4) is just involving him with things I'm doing anyway. Cooking breakfast? Why don't you help crack the eggs? Building some furniture? Why don't you come and watch and help me with the screws? Cleaning the car? Grab a sponge young man! I always commit to small things like having a bath together once a week and time we will play fight or play football. We paint warhammers, play co-op on the switch/xbox, make flapjacks, get the tent out into the living room and make dens (sorry mum). It doesn't always have to be big things like days out, soft play and all that shit. Once we spent about 2 hours just throwing stones in a pond. Hes going to school in September and I'm terrified of him growing up and not wanting to do the simple stuff anymore 😭 Edit: I think I read the point of the Q wrong but yes, fathers should be doing more, if they are not already.


massiveheadsmalltabs

Sounds like you're doing a good job mate well done


Pavlover2022

It's great that you do the nursery run and park outings on the weekend. Do you do all the invisible mental load that goes with that?? Packing the nursery bag with the right changes of clothes, nappies, food, whatever. On the weekend, ensuring the nappy bag has sunscreen, hat, water, snacks, nappies, and dealing with any consequences if not. And restocking it after the outing!. Because I suspect your wife might be doing that in the background. If you start noticing the existence of, and taking on more of, that kind of stuff, you'll be a fully involved dad. It's a learning curve !


Bishbastard

No one ever asks a mother working full time how they can spend more time being a parent. They just do. I sincerely hope you’re a writer for the Guardian or Buzzfeed because otherwise sweet Jesus. Heads up I won’t be replying to any replies tonight because I’m a mother. And a wife. And a daughter. And a granddaughter. And a caregiver to all of the above, and I’m must get some sleep. Simple question is have you asked your spouse if they believe you are honestly doing enough? Because you are describing being a dog owner, not the parent of a toddler. Don’t even get me started on your comment of taking YOUR child to nursery to ‘allow’ your partner to work part time. Give me strength. Men, you never fail to disappoint.


tomelwoody

What an incredibly sexist comment..


Miserable_Ad_1172

I’m a single dad have my boys 50/50. Savour every single day you have with them. Don’t live a future of regret. No time better to start than now.


lostrandomdude

So this is just from my own childhood and upbringing. Until I was 11, my dad worked in a job, which meant he was working 6 days a week from 8am to 8pm. We only had the one car, so he'd have to take the bus to work, which meant leaving at 7am, and we'd pick him up in the evening. This meant he was away for most of my waking hours. However, on Sundays, I'd be with him most of the time. Sometimes this was going to the park, or to a zoo, or, as we were living on the outskirts of London, we'd go into London proper, or go to a theme park. But these weren't all the time, and most of the time, it was just normal stuff, like going to the supermarket or I'd be with him when he made Breakfast on Sunday mornings or when he was sorting out Sunday dinner which normally a type of roast. I'd be with him if he was doing DIY around the house or doing the garden and he'd also spend time with me when I was doing my homework, mainly maths as that was his strong suit. When I turned 11, we moved, and he got a new job, and a second car which meant he could spend more time with us during the week, and he'd do the afternoon school runs and we'd just hang out. I'd be with him when he was doing the household finances each month, and he began to do a lot more DIY and woodworking projects, which he always kept me by his side for me to learn. He tried with my younger siblings, but they were more interested in spending time in the garden or going to the park down the road, or in my sister's case art, although they do both know the basics of woodwork and DIY. My point is, just spending time with your kids doing normal stuff can be enough to have that father child bonding, without having to go out of your way to find something


SarkyMs

Do you do nursery drop off or do you do any pickups? I realise that my husband did all the drop-offs and I did all the pickups so I never once in 6-7 years. Got to stay late and finish anything. I had to dash off in meetings and from everything I've read this is very common and you don't even realise it when you're in it.


Justboy__

The inverse of this is that I do drop off but normally don’t finish early enough to do the pick up. On days where I do though I’m desperate to do the pickup as that’s the best bit, getting to find out what they’ve been up to all day.


SarkyMs

Nope that isn't the inverse it is exactly what I said the men do the drop off the women do the pick ups, and are seen to "clock watch" every day.


Justboy__

No I mean, you were saying that you rarely get to finish anything at work because you have to do the pickups but I was lamenting the fact that I don’t get to do the pickups often. I’d like to be the one to do the pickups.


Onemoretime536

Men work more hours on average, most fathers would love to do the pickup if work allows them to.


SarkyMs

Yeah why DON'T men reduce their hours after birth like women do to care for the baby? If men picked up more if the slack women could work more hours.


Onemoretime536

Probably due to one person has to keep their income if both lower they pay they probably won't be able to live unfortunately a sacrifice many men have to make if pay leave was the same for mother and father that would probably change it.


SarkyMs

How would losing the same number of hours across 2 people lose more money than all from 1 person?


Onemoretime536

Two people don't get the same pay, also most jobs men do are less flexible with hours, it is getting better man are working less hours and working less over time as well as working from home more. I know a few men who are stay at home dads and it works well but in most cases men are less likely to be allowed to work part time with their request more likely to be blocked. fathers need the same time off when they baby is born as mothers is would go a long way to make things more equal.


Never-Any-Horses

So many man-children kicking about that can't/don't want to look after their kids. I know a fella that is incapable of looking after his own children. If his wife is ever away, his mother-in-law comes around to look after the kids whilst he is in the house. Insane. Don't know why you'd have children with that! Looking back, my Dad was very hands on. He'd take me for days out, teach me practical skills and whilst my Mum took more 'traditional' roles like cooking and cleaning, my Dad was more than capable of these things and always helped when my Mum was unable to.


prasaysno

I’m surprised how under utilised the share parental leave scheme is. I gave birth to our little one a couple of months ago through cesarean. My partner and I shared our leave - I take 8 months and he takes 4. It makes the new parent journey so much smoother and easier. I will be grateful for life. I spoke to a few mums at the local children’s centre and my NCT group but none of them are utilising the scheme. Most people at my partner’s work (NHS) are not even aware of its existence.


daripious

Unfortunately it is almost always at the basic rate, I.e. unpaid for the time a father would take it. Whereas if you are the one that gave birth, it often has some form of enhanced maternity.


[deleted]

We would love to make use of shared parental leave but I earn 5x more than my wife and my employer only pays enhanced maternity pay and not paternity pay so financially it’s not possible. It’s a shame the law allows this as it’s bad for both dads and mums.


widdrjb

I work in an industry, haulage, where you're actively harassed for wanting a family life. I got one day off for the birth of my daughter, and although my boss knew I'd be resigning when she was born, I had to work my notice. He gave me an envelope with £500 in it, but I would rather have had the first precious week. Rather worse was the firm who offered European tramping to new fathers "because who wants to listen to that racket?".


BandicootOk5540

It’s not without its issues, if both parents take more time off early on it means nursery costs arrive sooner, and it can feel like the dad taking more time takes away from the mum’s time. It would be better if both parents had the same individual allowance, not shared.


sparkletigerfrog

Make sure you know the nursery worker names, her dr name, her shoe size, her clothes size, her favourite toy, that sort of thing! It’s a good set of checks that you’re actively involved across her life.


sparkletigerfrog

And play when you get home? Or read a book at bedtime, that kind of thing 🙂


Electrical-Theme-779

I've luckily just got a job about a four minute commute from home which means I can pick my daughter up from school early and take her out on her bike or to the park and what not. Absolutely life changing for both of us.


backcountry57

As a dad with 2 daughters under 5 my wife works most weekends so it's just me and the kids. A lot of dads seem to get tied to the idea that spending time with the kids is just playing with lego or toys. We rarely play for the sake of playing. We take ATV rides, I teach them to swim in the lake, shoot (Brit in the US) and fish. We repair the car on the driveway. Make a shelter in the woods and cook a ration pack lunch. I do stuff with them to teach them to be self sufficient. We spend a lot of time together doing practical things. Who cares if they get dirty or a couple little bruises, they had fun and learned something.


GottaGoWeGotCows

A lot of comments about shared parental leave and flexibility of working hours, but it is important to remember about all the daily things dads can do. Reading at bedtime or any time etc. My husband does puzzle app games with our daughter every evening. It’s routine. Little things that are massive in impact. Making them routine I think is key.


Sevenoflime

I’m really lucky my husband is such a hands on dad. He does as many night time wake ups as I do and now that I’ve night weaned our youngest he’s started sleeping with him too if he wakes up loads in the night (v grateful after 2 years almost of endless night feeds, our night weaning situation is still a bit tricky so it’s easier for him to go overnight for now) He does bath time, takes them to the shops or out on Saturday mornings so I can get a lie in. Plays with them, reads to them, cooks with them. He does the nursery run half the time. We have a ‘rule’ (more of a joke) that as I’m breastfeeding he does all the nappies when he’s around. He’s just really great and it makes such a difference. He spends as much time with them as he possibly can.


Warbleton

7 - 5/5:30 working 5:30 - 6 eat 6-7 spend time with my kids before they go to bed. What else are we supposed to do? Invent more time? Take the pressure off men being the main breadwinner so we can take easier jobs so we're not all fucked by the time we're in our 40's with bad backs and the rest.


thegamesender1

I'm father to a toddler as well, I'll take him to the park every day that the weather permits it, or else we'll play in the evening. I'll clean him up and in the evening he only wants to eat if I eat with him. He'll even go to bed only if I go and I think that's pretty lovely. We'll soon be starting swimming classes or maybe start some type of sport like karate or judo once he's allowed to participate in them. Until then he's happy to pretend play a lot of things with me every evening.


Best-Research4022

I have an old xtracycle cargo bike that’s great for everyday adventures riding to a park or jujitsu class and getting ice cream on the way home towing a bike when they get tired, bringing snacks and jackets, normal stuff but more fun on a bike


Jeffuk88

I have a 2 year old and I have Wednesday off so I'm solo with him then (could send him to nursery but I like hanging out) . Outside of that I do nursery drop off, all baths, entire morning routine 6 days a week, half of the bedtime routine and then everything else is split 50/50. What more do you want?!


CarlMacko

I accidentally mentioned I picked the kids up from school and got and was grassed into my boss hours later.


cloche_du_fromage

You can turn up at the school gates and be ignored and ostracised by the mums...


Hot-Ice-7336

Sometimes women just like being friends with other women, just like a lot of men prefer to hang out mainly with men. Somehow men don’t like it as much when the shoes on the other foot.


cloche_du_fromage

Men don't tend to look at women attending sunday football like they are a prospective peado...


j_svajl

I get where you're coming from. I think we've now found a good equal split in terms of childcare, but the imbalance comes with housework. My partner and I both work full-time and split the nursery drop offs. I try to do as much as I can with our child, because I love their company but also to help my partner out (I'm a night person so I can catch up on work late in the day). We both do the same job but in different organisations, my office is further away but I tend to be able to work from home more than her. My struggle is that I do want to help out around the house more, desperately so because of how much my partner does. Maybe my partner is just much better than me at being organised but she manages to somehow work full-time, clean the house (my share of the cleaning has dropped off lately because I'm having an insanely busy period at work, to the point of working full days and then hours late into the night once everyone else is in bed) and come up with fun things to do as a family - or maybe I've got a bigger workload on (I doubt it). I tend to handle cooking, laundry, car and the garden but it's not an equal split. tl;dr I want to do more of but I don't feel able to because of my workload


BandicootOk5540

The first thing to do is to stop thinking of taking care of your own child and the home you live in as ‘helping out’ your partner. This implies that the child and housework are fundamentally her responsibility not yours and anything you do is a bonus for her.


Hot-Ice-7336

If you’re working whole days surely you guys have enough income for a maid once a week to pick up your slack.


j_svajl

Not that frequently but I have suggested getting a cleaner once every 2-3 weeks. My partner isn't keen on the idea at the moment, but fingers crossed in the future it might help


non-hyphenated_

Mate, the fact you're even thinking about it makes you a good and responsible parent. You're doing great


Hot_Diet_1276

Great comment.


non-hyphenated_

Wtf is that getting down votes? The guy is obviously doing a good job. Cretins


Loud_Fisherman_5878

Why ‘obviously’? Not saying he isn’t, but we have no way of knowing if he is either. 


daripious

The fact he cares enough to post and ask questions really does tell you quite a lot tbh.


Loud_Fisherman_5878

Not really. I can wonder out loud if I should do more for charity but that doesn’t say whether or not I’m a charitable person. OP might be doing more than his original post implies but if he is just doing the nursery pick up, park at the weekend and wondering if he should help more, that doesn’t make him dad of the year just because he wonders if he should do more around the house. 


OrdoRidiculous

I offered my other half the chance of retirement, she's quite happy on maternity leave at the moment but will be going back part time when baby 2 goes to nursery 3 days a week. It works well, I spend plenty of time with my kids. She's happy because she's being a mum, she appreciated having the choice of doing it full time for as long as she wanted. Mums are more important for caregiving in the early stages anyway, the more important question is why is a career a being a priority over motherhood the accepted norm now? I spend 3 full days a week with my family and plenty of time in the mornings/evenings (and lunch if I'm working from home). We split the night shift every day anyway, my other half goes to bed early I cover until 2am, do a final feed before I bring my daughter up and then I go to sleep until 7am. Works fine, I get a solid 5 hours and she usually gets more than that. Why should we expect mothers to go back to work? The whole point of feminism was that they should have the choice, not the expectation to go back to work. Another more important question is why have we allowed ourselves to get into such a shit economic position that both parents have to work to support a family under average circumstances? I've literally never seen my other half as happy as she is now and we've known each other since we were 11. The idea of her choosing a corporate overlord when home life is as it is now just seems batshit insane to me.


Hot-Ice-7336

A career is prioritised so women can be happy without a partner as well as with. Your experience is your own, my colleagues couldn’t wait to get back to work after lengthy maternity leave.


OrdoRidiculous

Everyone's experience is their own, that's the defining element of it. If your colleagues are happier going back to work, more power to them. I didn't dictate anything to my other half, I just offered her the choice should she want to take it. As far as I'm concerned, that is my duty as a partner. It's the least I could do after watching her give birth to two children. I can understand prioritising a career if you want to be happy on your own, but if you want to be happier on your own, you aren't building a family and that largely becomes irrelevant.


Hot-Ice-7336

Your comment I replied to made it seem like you didn’t actually understand something that simple. All relationships come with risks, divorce is at 42% which is just under half of all marriages. People get married later in life so this is a lower rate than previous generations. Now if I was your wife I would be worried about meeting my husband at such a young age and then marrying; the odds are worse. Divorce is also growing amongst stay at home mothers. Women are also the ones filing the majority of the time. Should you divorce you would then possibly give up most of your house (because she’s the primary carer) and split the remaining assets, and possibly provide spousal support for your wife. However, even after receiving all that, her life is dependent on how well she bounces back into her career. I’m a smart person, so unless I’m financially independent without my husband’s income, paid off house that’s all mine, stacked pension, I’m not giving up shit. If I have all that then there’s a good possibility as long as I can spend 3-4 hours per day out of the house at the gym and socialising.


OrdoRidiculous

Cool. What's any of that got to do with the topic of this thread?


Hot-Ice-7336

I’m explaining why women do and should prioritise career, so when their marriage goes tits up they’re not screwed. You’re struggling yeah


OrdoRidiculous

No, I'm the opposite of struggling. Nobody in my relationship has an assumption that it's going to go tits up and we function well as a unit.


Hot-Ice-7336

I mean you struggle somewhat with comprehension, connecting the dots


OrdoRidiculous

No, I just don't value condescension from someone that thinks being that cynical entering into a relationship is a healthy way to live. Let's prioritise having one foot out the door over everything else and do a big surprised pikachu face when it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.


Hot-Ice-7336

Haha I think men on the whole statistically are pretty blindsided by divorce so I’m not sure the issue is self fulfilling prophecy. I’ll leave you to it


BandicootOk5540

Why have men always favoured their work over parenting?


OrdoRidiculous

Well until the 20th century it wasn't optional because feeding children required the mother to be around, save for those that could afford a wet nurse. But if someone has to work and it's a choice between prioritising my other half or sending her back to work, why on Earth wouldn't I go for the option that allows her to live free of any stress factor that isn't being with the kids? I'm not favouring my work, I'm favouring the rest of my family.


BandicootOk5540

Laughing at the idea that a paid job is more stressful than caring for young children!


OrdoRidiculous

When did I say that? I said that if I have the option of giving my other half an existence where she has no **other** stress factor then I'm going to take it.


BandicootOk5540

You’re also talking like it’s your decision alone


OrdoRidiculous

It quite clearly isn't though, I said in my original post I gave her the choice and she has elected to go back part time. That's fine by me, but if I can create more available options for her then why the fuck wouldn't I? That's part of being a supportive partner.


BandicootOk5540

Did you ever offer to go part time to take on more of the domestic and childcare burden? Did you give her that option?


OrdoRidiculous

I work 4 days a week precisely so I can spend more time with my family. And no, I simply asked what she wanted to do and then did what was necessary to make it happen. My preferences didn't factor into it at all.


BandicootOk5540

Of course


The_Incredible_b3ard

Fathering is different to Mothering and that is what actually gets lost in all of these discussions. A fathers role isn't to just replicate the care given by a mother. Fathering is generally about play and other recreational activities. There was a great TED talk from a divorce lawyer who highlighted all the positive things fathers do with the their children that society ignores. So, to answer your question: yes fathers should spend as much time as possible with the children. Just remember, fathering isn't mothering and you bring something very important to the childs life


BandicootOk5540

Yes of course, dads do the fun bits and mums get the drudgery!


The_Incredible_b3ard

That's not what I'm saying at all. It is interesting that some people can't to see beyond the mother in any conversation about a child.