Monday, 20 June 2011

Showing Up

The other day I saw some parents with a toddler in a shop. The toddler was crying in a pushchair, and the dad looked down and said, "No. Go to sleep now." I immediately thought, "Oh, isn't that nice to see a good father these days", which is sad for two reasons:

1. Why does it seem that everyone's dad is either not present, or shit?

2. The guy wasn't actually doing anything to suggest he's a particularly good father, except for communicating with his child. If I saw a mother doing the exact same thing I would think nothing of it.

It seems to me that in terms of parenting, men are given much more credit simply for showing up. We don't grant mothers this lenience, if anything we judge their attempts. The role of the father is becoming increasingly passive as mothers and society adapt to life without them, so the few that take an active role stand out.

Oh, and Happy Fathers Day.

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