I was reading this article last week about how we’ve got to stop minimising dads’ contribution to parenting and family life – and it really got me thinking. It’s so true. How many times do we hear stuff like “Oh is your other half babysitting tonight?” (no, he’s looking after his own child(ren) and that’s called parenting not babysitting) or “Did your dad dress you today?” (usually said when a baby/toddler is wearing some awful combo of clothing)? I’ve even found myself saying this kind of thing, and I’m totally down with equality in the home and having an equal share in parenting. It’s so weird – like it’s just ingrained in us that parenting is a woman’s job, she’s the best at it, and any contribution from a man is “help” and probably a bit crap, because well they haven’t had as much practice as the woman, have they?
“Oh you’re so lucky that dads are so hands-on these days!” I’ve heard older people (usually women) say. Wellll, kind of. I mean, I get that it’s GOOD that fathers are more hands-on (and by hands-on, I guess we’re talking about just splitting the work and responsibility 50/50 with their partner) but it’s not really luck, it’s society progressing to a more level-playing field and more men realising that equality makes sense, and actually benefits them too.
In our home, Mr P and I split stuff right down the middle – housework, DIY, childcare – just last week, I took a day off work to look after the six-year-old when her school closed to be a polling station, and then on Saturday, when I had a work conference, Mr P looked after her for the day. There wasn’t even a conversation about it, no “Ooh, is it OK if you look after her that day?” It was just us looking at our diaries and working out, between us, what made most sense.
But where things aren’t really equal – I think – is that mums seem to have a LOT more attention and gratitude aimed their way on Mother’s Day, compared to dads on Father’s Day. Is it because mums carry their babies, give birth to their babies, have their bodies ravaged by hormones and, on the whole, take more time off work than dads? Possibly. Also, it could be down to the same reasons that we hear/say all the stuff about dads helping out – perhaps deep down, we still feel that parenting is the mum’s job, so we celebrate her more than we celebrate the dads.
Regardless of my feelings towards this, and even though Mr P’s input is a given, I feel hugely grateful for it. So Father’s Day is a nice time to celebrate that. It’s next week (you knew that, right?) but there’s still time to buy a lovely gift for your dad (or for your partner, if like me, your kid(s) are still too young to buy something themselves). I noticed when browsing Amara’s Father’s Day gift section the other day that there are loads of items that I’d quite like for myself. So, in a clever disguising-selfishness-as-generosity way, I’ve put together a mini gift guide of luxury items you could buy your partner for Father’s Day, but get a huge amount of pleasure from yourself.
1. Black Croc Playing Cards // 2. Tom Dixon Large Orientalist Scented Candle // 3. Homemade Gin Kit //4. Ralph Lauren bathrobe // 5. Set of 4 Aurelia Champagne Saucers // 6. Henry London watch // 7. iPad pouch // 8. Tom Dixon Cube Tape Dispenser //9. Tom Dixon Orientalist Hand Balm // 10. William Yeoward Cocktail Shaker
This post has been commissioned by Amara and as always, all views are my own. For details of how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page.