We need to crush the idea that dad needs to “help” with the baby.
I’ve heard this many times, I’ve been TOLD this many times: “tell your husband to help you with your baby”. In my case, the context in which it was said was after spending two weeks with my little girl in the Hospital, almost as soon as I got back to work from maternity leave. At that time, frustration about having to miss work so soon took a backseat to the fear and sadness I felt at having my kid hospitalized. However, when I returned to my duties, among words of understanding about what happened, were words asking me to tell my husband to “help” me next time so I wouldn’t be away from the job.
Of course, what nobody knew was that my husband tried to stay in the room, but was kicked out. Only breastfeeding moms were staying there and the administration prided itself, rightly so, on privacy and security. The advice about telling him to help me infuriated me, since it’s almost like saying he just provided his sperm and that’s where his responsibility ended.
This sort of comment is repeated way too often and it pisses me off every time I hear it. Why? Because it implies that when a couple has a child, the mom is in charge of taking care of him and raising him, while the dad’s role is to provide some “help” when needed. Wrong. Parenting is a team effort. Regardless if the parents are together or not. Dad doesn’t help, he fulfills his duty: he “dads”.
Until we destroy this archaic notion that Mom’s role is to stay at home raising the kids, and the dad’s is to “bring home the bacon”, we are doomed to hear this type of “advice” and keep passing down the belief that only mothers have the responsibility of molding the future generation.
Break the chain. It takes two to tango. It takes two to raise.
Let’s get it right.