For as long as I can remember I’ve heard how men don’t do housework, men don’t help with the kids, men just go to work, get home and that’s all. I have heard women just want to be equal in the house, especially as more and more women work full time and then come home to do the cooking, housework and childcare.
What happens when the roles reverse?
My husband is a full time carer to my son. He does all the cooking, the cleaning and generally all the school runs. I did work full time but now work part time as our baby needs a lot of attention due to her complex needs. My husband still does 90% of the house work.
Our sons love playing with dolls, they love cleaning, they both want to be chefs when they are older, and have lots of children; whereas our eldest daughter wants to work in an office, go on holidays and maybe have a child.
My husband is in all the mum groups on Facebook, as he is the primary care giver.
On these sites he has been told or messaged:
- He doesn’t have an opinion as he is a dad
- He doesn’t know how hard it really is to raise children as he is a dad
- He shouldn’t be looking after the children as he is the dad
Along with other statements as long as my arm
There will also be posts asking for people’s opinions and he gets shot down left right and centre, yet if a mum says exactly the same thing a couple of comments down, she gets ‘likes’ and admiration for speaking out and putting a different perspective on things.
I have been questioned why I am happy for the father of my children to look after my children, on a certain forum someone even suggested he maybe a peadophile for wanting to stay at home with the children! No he is not a peadophile just to set that straight! Yet would my husband be asked the same questions if the roles were reversed, would he have it suggested that I maybe a peadophile for wanting to stay at home with the children?
I understand that a lot of people praise him for doing simple parenting duties like taking the kids to the park, and if I did the same then I wouldn’t get praise, I would just be expected to do it. How is it fair that people (mainly women) bring my husband down and cause him to feel like an outcast, just because he is a dad, yet 5 minutes later rip apart their partners for never helping? How can we cry out for equality when it comes to housework and childcare and yet when it happens we don’t respect the man for doing exactly what we are wanting them to do?
Thankfully our friends and family know us well, they understand I am more career driven, I love my children to pieces but work is important to me, it is part of my identity. My husband on the other hand although got high up in his career he would much rather, cook and do craft with the children. Our friends understand our set up and treat him like a parent.
There will always be sexism in parenting until it stops being Mums vs Dads and we realise that we are all parents, whether the Dad goes to work and the Mum stays home, whether the Mum goes to work and the Dad stays home or whether you both work.