I have been thinking a lot lately about the role of the modern dad and how he fits into our society.
I don't know exactly how to put my thoughts into words, as there is so much swirling around my head on this topic and I also don't want to offend anyone who may read this.
But I feel like it's an important issue and one that I would like to speak out about.
For the past however many decades, men went to work, the women stayed at home and looked after the babies. As women in western society, we have fought hard to gain more freedoms and change what is considered the social norms. Even though there is still a long way to go here, we are lucky to be living in a country where women can work if they want to, get an education, or stay at home and house keep and look after our babies. We have choices now, which is wonderful.
I feel like also, things are starting to shift for men. I am starting to hear a lot more now about stay at home dads, couples who share work and raising children more equally and dads who work all of the time, but really wish that they could be at home with their family.
My husband, Dan, is one of those dads who works from home a lot of time, so is therefore effectively a stay at home dad, as we both share work time and looking after Alfred from home.
Dan has been actively involved in Alfred's life, from the moment he was born. He is enthusiastic about everything that Alfred does and wants to immerse himself completely into raising him the best that he can. He wants to be at the playgroups, the first time at the zoo, the first time at the splash park. He wants to be there to see him interact with other children. You name it, he wants to be there.
So imagine his dismay, as we gradually realized over the last year, that there doesn't seem to be a place for him to be welcome to enjoy those things. It may be location dependent, as elsewhere people may be be having different experiences, but for us, it has not been that welcoming.
Playgroups have signs that say "parent and baby", but really they mean "mum and baby", as Dan is treated like a weirdo for being there, not by everyone I would like to add, but there is definitely a certain vibe going on,
All of the invites to events are (most of the time) to me and not him and when I decided to bring him along, as I don't want him to miss anything, he often gets ignored. Everyone comes up to chat to me, but he often gets left to the side.
There are no dad group equivalents, so whereas I can meet up with other mums when I am on my own with Alfred for the day, Dan cannot do the same.
It must feel pretty lonely, for dads that are there for the day to day stuff.
It has got me wondering where the place is for modern dads, who are actively there for their children? Where are their support networks? Dads are important too and I would love to see a change in this area.
This post isn't meant to come across as moany, but it is something that is close to my heart and has been bothering me for a while.
What are your experiences of this with your husband/as a dad? Are you a dad and feeling left out? Or have you had the opposite experience to this?