How roles have reversed women fought for equality for so long and now the reality is that many women are returning to work while the men are being stay at home dads – doing all the motherly tasks while the wife brings home the bacon. This article is an extracts from a working mother and how it feels to be the bread winner rather than the mummy.
- A new study shows a tenfold increase in father-led households in a decade and a 25 per cent rise in homes where parents share childcare equally.
- In London the trend is more pronounced because female breadwinners – of which there are an increasing number here – and male carers are two sides of the same coin. The main two reasons cited for men taking on childcare are financial: the mother’s higher earning power and male unemployment.
- A further factor is the rocketing cost of childcare – again more acute in London – which is likely to be exacerbated by the baby boom that has already created unseemly bunfights for nursery places in the capital’s “nappy valleys”.
- Some parents, simply want to look after our own children more than we want to be rich.
- The men spoke of feeling deprived as parents by being at work all week, and the importance of the father-child bond. Being poorer was a small price to pay to be hands-on dads.
- But of course there is a cost. Previous generations talked about the impossibility of “having it all” as they pulled their hair out juggling 60-hour weeks in top jobs with several nannies and often unhappy children
- My own peers seem to see a more fluid, less achingly aspirational life where work does not deliver happiness or even riches most of the time.
- In our fight for women’s rights, we may have overlooked the obvious: those of men.
- After all, what woman doesn’t know how disempowering parenthood can be: stuck at home with just a toddler and a Peppa Pig DVD for company, caught in the relentless cycle of feeding, wiping, tidying and nappy-changing.
- They complain that the Groovy Tots class is still dominated by mums who invariably seem to know each other and they feel excluded from the rounds of coffee mornings that tend to spring from alliances forged in post-childbirth groups.
- But men are learning to balance emasculation with the harsh economics of life in London today – high mortgages, expensive childcare, less work – and the priceless benefits of being a presentee parent.
- Men also get to create their own distinct form of parenting, away from the stricter rules of motherhood: sitting in quiet pubs with their laptops and half a cider while the baby snoozes, playing the Clash at top volume and teaching their daughters how to pogo, buying three pumpkins in varying sizes to keep them quiet while daddy scrolls through his iPhone.
- Mums, meanwhile, are the new dads: at work all day, paying off the mortgage and under pressure to keep the family’s finances stable. Is this the end result of women’s liberation, the logical conclusion of educating us, employing us and promoting us?
- Men may find it hard to cope with the feminisation that accompanies home life, but it is just as hard as a mother to accept I will not be the one who drops Robin off at nursery when she starts next year, or picks her up when she’s sick.