Catch 22 for Fathers 

noun
a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

I’ve been reading lots of articles lately in which fathers are being criticised for their actions. Mostly it’s the stuff that ALL fathers are usually blamed for. Not paying attention to their spouse, not taking on a share of baby or child care duties, not helping around the house with chores, the list gets rather long after a while. This irks me a lot as I know not all fathers are like this. That generalisation we seem to give things paints us all with the same colour. 

I’m amongst the group of fathers  who actually participate in helping with children. Always taken the kids shopping with me, changed nappies and bathed the kids from day one. Never had a moment when I didn’t get involved even with my depression acting up without my understanding. The idea of not being there to help out has never crossed my mind. So I do find it irritating to be classified as a useless father simply because someone views us all that way. It makes as much sense as saying all men are useless in the home. 

Over the last couple of weeks there has been a big debate on social media about men in parent rooms. It came about after an article hit the news about a father being verbally abused for feeding his daughter in the parents change room. An example of the article is here. Now as a father this got my blood boiling. When did being a father caring for your child become something considered unsavoury? I’ve even had to find alternate places to change nappies on a few occasions because the baby change tables were located in the women’s rest rooms as there was no parent’s room. 

Now I’m not going on a parent equality rant here but I think I have narrowed down why there is such a disparaging view of male parents. On some of the feeds that had variations of this article one them also had articles about children being molested by men. It’s this small percentage of (insert long list of obscenities) that get the most attention in social media. This then begins the sweeping generalisation of all men being dirt. As always the bad news travels faster and wider than good news.

In the past a father’s roles was very limited when it came to children, that has slowly changed over the years. In some families the roles are reversed and fathers take on the mothering role. If you see a father doing his part for his family give him a smile, thumbs up, nod or all of the above to show that you recognize what they’re doing.

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