I often get told how lucky I am to have such a supportive partner who's such a good dad to the children. And I agree, I am lucky. We're actually a partnership. I do all the night wakes because I have the boobs but he's better in the mornings so he normally gets the kids' breakfast sorted and brings me tea while I'm still waking up. I'm more organised so I keep on top of all the things we're doing. He does more of the cooking because he's better at it and likes it more than I do. We both do our fair share of cleaning and tidying. We both work hard to give each other time to ourselves because we both appreciate how important it is. It works for us and I am grateful that it is the way it is.
But the thing is, it should be the norm. I shouldn't be lucky to have a partner who actually parents his kids and contributes to the household. Obviously depending on who's working and who's not someone will be likely be picking up more of the childcare but it shouldn't be necessary to nag a dad to change a nappy or make a snack or actually play with their children.
I can guarantee that men are not told they're lucky to have a partner or wife who does all those things. And I guess that's why it frustrates me. It's another example of how our roles within the family are still defined by gender. And it works both ways. It's not just about dads stepping up, it's about all of us changing how we view dads and our expectations of them. I've definitely been guilty of thinking I'm the more capable parent because I'm the mum so I also need to move away from that.
In our household things are about to change quite significantly. I'll be going back to work soon and Kevin will be on parental leave. Obviously it's not going to be quite as it might have been pre Covid-19 but I'm interested to see how Skye reacts. Right now she thinks Mummy 'cleans Max's bottom'. As funny as that is, it will also be good for her to see me working and Daddy being the one who looks after her more.
It's not going to be easy because if I'm honest I would rather extend my maternity leave to have more time with the kids but for many reasons, it's the right decision for our family to do it this way. And one of the reasons that makes it important to me is for our children see that Mummy and Daddy are equals and that their expectations of how a household and a partnership works are based on that.