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Blogger Amy Downes reckons love is being a great working dad and Valentine’s Day is the time to celebrate it.
Working mums are superhuman. In fact, if you ask me, all mums are. But the truth is, many of us couldn’t do it without the working dads who are by our side.
You’ll have seen the stats. We’re doing long hours in the office to make up for leaving early for the school run; we’re doing unpaid hours of housework; and we endure high levels of stress with the ‘mental load’ of organising it all.
But what about our partners? What about the men who are smashing stereotypes in their home by spending more and more time with their kids? They don’t seem to get quite as much recognition.
As Valentine’s is approaching (you hadn’t forgotten… had you?), I thought I’d take a moment to recognise the things my other half has done to help my career and why that’s been important for building an equal responsibility to childcare in our home.
Four years ago, we found out I was pregnant with our first child and then, a few short weeks later, that I was being made redundant from my job.
It was a scary time; but could have been far worse had he not stepped in to support me. He provided a home, he paid the bills and he looked after everything on the financial side.
So, thank you to all the Dads who take on the mental load of being the breadwinner and minding the finances. It’s one gender stereotype I don’t intend on changing in this household.
When I decided to take some time away to clear my head and figure out my next step. He supported my decision and gave me the space I needed to get myself back on track.
So, thank you to all the Dads who have been patient with their partner during tough times.
After I returned, I made the decision to look for a part-time, temporary role to ‘tide me over’ until the baby arrived. He respected my reasons for doing this and didn’t ever pressure me into looking for more work or earning more money.
So, thank you to all the Dads who have cut their partner some slack.
Six months later, after I’d given birth to our eldest son, I told him I wanted to take a year away from work to be with our son. He knew that was the right thing for both me and Harry and he took it in his stride.
So, thank you, to all the Dads who are completely selfless when it comes to honouring their partner’s wishes.
A year after that, when I was suffering from Post Natal Depression, he withstood all my mood swings and tantrums. He knew I was going through something I couldn’t control and helped me get through it.
So, thank you to all the Dads who’ve looked after their child’s mother when her mental health has been suffering.
And finally, a little over 12 months ago, when I made the decision to commit to becoming a freelancer long-term, he asked what I needed him to do to help me with that.
So, thank you, to all the Dads who have put their partner first.
Who have understood that her career is just as important to her as yours is to you.
Who have got home at the end of the day, absolutely knackered and taken the reins with the kids so she can go and get those last emails sent.
This Valentine’s Day, thank you for all that you do.
We know that you too are feeling the stress, the pressure, of going to work every day and coming home to take care of your family.
You may feel like it goes unnoticed sometimes (when we’re nagging about the washing up and moaning that all the housework comes down to us), but we do realise just how important you are.
You’re super humans too!
You can read more of Amy’s thoughts on flexible working and parenthood on her blog www.mumfullofdreams.com