Good news. The sisterhood is booming. There’s less and less competition and more and more acceptance and support. This warms my cockles and gives me warm fuzzy feelings in my tummy. Unfortunately, our goodwill is not stretching far enough. Some mamas are leaving our boy-shaped partners out in the cold and being, well, douchebags.
Newsflash to those douchebag mamas being mean to our men – in this world of millennial parenting, Dads are here to stay. Playgroups, coffee mornings, play dates and all other child-centric activities are no longer restricted to those of us with the boobs. The moobs are moving in – they are here with their banter and baby-carriers and you can either get on board or jog on sister.
Yesterday my husband took The Small to playgroup. I dressed her, brushed her teeth and did her hair while he got dressed. He left with her and I had two hours to get all the mum-shit done (Vanity Fair doesn’t read itself you know). When he got back, the house was clean, the laundry was done, I was dressed and my hair was brushed. He, on the other hand, was pissed. Really pissed.
Remarkably fathers looking after their Smalls during daytime hours still appears to be a baffling and occasionally threatening concept for some mamas. While The Small was eating Playdoh at playgroup, a mama turned around to my husband and said,
‘You can tell her father’s looking after her! Look at her hair! It’s the lazy, half-up option!’
I mean, what the actual fuck? Apart from anything else, I did her mother-funking hair and frankly, she rocks a topknot. Secondly, how dare she?! Why do some people believe that when you’re discussing kids, all the usual rules of politeness don’t apply? And why are we still so mean to Dads?
As women we have rightly spent decades lamenting that lack of equal childcare opportunities. We wanted to go back to work, we wanted time off to have babies, we wanted our husbands to have time off to help us look after babies, we don’t want to be discriminated against because we want babies, we want to earn as much as men (even though we’ve had babies) and I don’t disagree with any of this but ladies, quite simply, let’s not be douchebags.
When the boys want something too – a chance to spend time with their Smalls, a chance to give their wives a break, a morning off work to eat Playdoh with their daughter – let’s be a bit nicer to them. Not all fathers are feckless babysitters, clumsily attaching nappies back to front. Most of them are actually pretty damn capable and even if they’re not that used to watching Smalls on their own, the last thing they need is obnoxious comments from self-satisfied, douchbag, mamas.
So let’s extend the sisterhood to embrace the boys, okay? It’s not hard. Just don’t be a douchebag.