Instead, maybe society has created man to be relatively worthless in the home raising the kids. I say this after reading a few articles this morning, starting with this one, “Mr. Mom, The Bumbling (Yet Elusive) Dad, Has Apparently Died”. I understand that back in the day the men were out making money and all that crap so they weren’t raising the babies. Although, I hear story after story about those same men coming home after work and grabbing some Scotch and their pipe while reading the paper or something…not interacting with their kids.
I think we can all agree that times have changed and that more men are involved today in things that were once thought to be “a woman’s job”, whether that is cooking or cleaning or raising babies. Why is it though, that there are still so many deadbeat dads, or dads that are around but not all that involved with their kids? I still blame society but for different reasons than what maybe caused the lack of male participation in the past. My belief is that just as certain parts of our system are not set up to respect, acknowledge, and interact with women, the same is true for men.
An example I’ve witnessed of men not being included is the entire having-a-baby process. From the time we found out we were pregnant to today, there have been way too many times where I, the father am not acknowledged in the process. It’s like they know (well, they think they know) that I’m not going to be involved with Annie and Sammy so why would they even waste their breath with me? If a father-to-be or father shows up to the appointments they should be included in the conversation and acknowledged for being present.
It is my opinion that our system is not set up to embrace the men that do show up which probably discourages those who are present. If I feel like I am not being respected why would I go? I overcame all that but I can see how a lot of men, especially the guys that are in their late teens or early twenties get freaked out or pissed off when they suddenly feel people encroaching on their family and feeling pushed out. As insignificant as it may sound, I think we would have far better (and far happier) family units if society treated mommy and daddy-to-be as a family unit, not just all about mommy and baby.
As a boy grows up and he sees a lack of involvement from his father, this is often passed on to the next generation and gets reinforced by society and the systems in place. When a father shows up with his kid at the park and all the other kids are there with the mothers, the father is sometimes looked at as strange. If you see a dad pushing the Bob stroller around town in the middle of the day on Tuesday you wonder if he got an inheritance or how much money his wife makes.
If we could each start making a slight shift in how we look at things and choose to be supportive rather than non-inclusive, I believe we would start seeing more men involved and active in the family unit. The most important reason for this is to protect our future. We need to raise little boys differently than how we have been. We need to raise them to be hard working, honest, ethical, compassionate, patient, understanding, and show them that it’s okay to cry and hug. If we don’t do this we are depriving them of their quality of life.
Am I off base here? What’s your experience?