- Ryan Choy
The Parental Divide
If only the roles of a parent were really supposed to be so clear and defined, parenting would be a walk in the park - it isn't.
Convention and society tells you that fathers bring home the dough, and mothers care for the baby. There is more than enough literature that shows how difficult it is to be a stay at home mum and now, more than ever, I salute them - it is truly not an easy job.
As far as men go, the logic is simple - the baby’s not gonna remember me doing these things anyway so I’m going to just work and provide for my family.
This is the divide.
Men don’t talk about diaper changes, a baby teething, how late they’re sleeping or how much milk they’re drinking and whether it might be time to increase it. They don’t talk about how he’s developing or when his vaccines are due. They don’t typically shower the baby, change them, feed them or read up about how things can perhaps be better for his sleep so he doesn’t wake your wife in the wee hours.
So the minute you bring that up, the immediate thought is - why are you even doing this, or are you sure it’s so tiring, or wow that baby must be problematic. My friends, the decision to be a hands-on father is therefore a choice that nobody will thank you for or understand - except your wife and marriage. I’ll tell you why.
It’s not easy being a stay at home mum. The amount of time you have to yourself is almost zero. When you’re at work, you can take a break, get a drink, get a nap, have a smoke or just chill. Now that I work from home, I can tell you that there’s no pause button when you’re a parent. The decision to be hands on isn’t for your kid. It’s for your wife. So she has time to rest, so she has time to do the things she wants. So she has time to stay fit, look good and maybe be a wife every now and then instead of being a mother; so she can be HAPPY.
Being a hands on dad is tough af and that decision is made so your marriage doesn’t stagnate. It’s a selfless one so if you're a hands on dad and still putting in the hours at work, I salute you. The amount of sacrifice is immense.
To the other dads, take a good hard look at your wife if you have time today; has she aged? Is she the woman you married?
Hands on dads, I feel you dawg. Stay strong brothers.