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are fathers equal to mothers?

(231 Posts)
tittytittyhanghang Mon 28-Jan-13 22:33:12

Regarding parenting babies/toddlers. I thought they were? If a mother and father are no longer together they surely it is important and right for that child to maintain an equal relationship with both parents (given that both parents love the child and want as deep and loving relationship with the child as possible). Bars breastfeeding then, i dont understand how mothers are somehow superior to fathers and a baby/toddler 'needs' to be around the mother at all times, (I actually find this argument deeply insulting to mothers who have went back to work and left their babies in the care of childminders etc) whereas it would only need to be around the father a couple of hours a week. AIBU to think this is more to do with the mothers insecurities and that in fact a baby would be cope fine spending more than a couple of hours/overight with the father.

This probably is a thread about a good few threads i've read on mn, so flme me if you feel the need but im a bit irked (and shocked) that the likes of this can be said - 'That aside don't talk about your rights as you don't have any, she as the childs mother & primary carer calls the shots so the sooner you get your head round that the better you'll get along.' and hardly anyone challenges it.

McNewPants2013 Mon 28-Jan-13 22:36:56

My husband and I are equals to our children.

If we ever split up, we will still be equal

DamnBamboo Mon 28-Jan-13 22:37:43


hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 28-Jan-13 22:38:54

My father was more of a mother than my mum ever was.

badguider Mon 28-Jan-13 22:39:30

I do think they can be equal but I also think they often are not.

If the mother has taken time off work for the first months of the baby's life then it takes some time and hard work for the father to 'make up' that time so that the child is equally attached to both parents.

ReallyTired Mon 28-Jan-13 22:41:21

Fathers can't breastfeed. They can do everything else though.

A breastfed baby only wants its mummy when its hungry. I imagine that most children develop a closer attachment to their primary carer. However that primary carer can be either the father or the mother.

If a couple splits up then access needs to be decided on what is best for the child. A child is not trophy to be fought over.

For a breastfeed baby over night access is completely out of the question. However there is no reason that a three year old cannot spend a few days with dad.

StuntGirl Mon 28-Jan-13 22:42:04

YANBU. They should be.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 28-Jan-13 22:44:25

So im not on my own in thinking this? Or are we in the minority, because honestly thats how it feels.

McNewPants2013 Mon 28-Jan-13 22:45:32

Fathers can't breastfeed

Yes they can, it takes alot of work but it is possible

elizaregina Mon 28-Jan-13 22:47:20

Yes but a baby doesnt actually have to BF, or exclusivley BF though.
Dad can give bottles.
If a couple have split up - very soon after the baby is born or during the pregnacy it " could" be discussed that the baby be FF to give the dad opportunity to also have baby over night or expressed of course.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 28-Jan-13 22:47:36

RT, thats why i said bars breastfed dc, i understand the logistics don't work! But other than that, I can't get my head around this fact that so many babies/toddlers wont cope overnight/more than a few hours away from their mum, whilst in the care of their father, considering the amount of babies who go to chilminders/nurseries, which leads me to suspect it has less to do with how the dc feels, and more how the mother feels.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 28-Jan-13 22:47:47

If they both provide equal care and equal support then of course they are equal parents

elizaregina Mon 28-Jan-13 22:49:20

Why bar BF babies?
Babies dont need to be BF. They can have expressed or FF in bottles.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 28-Jan-13 22:49:46

Although for the fathers sake, if breastfeeding, i would certainly expect to try expressed milk to allow the dc to spend more time with the father.

2blessed2bstressed Mon 28-Jan-13 22:51:48

YANBU. They should be equal. I guess I'm another one who's surprised at the number of posts on various threads regarding parents who have separated that say mum is more important, dcs shouldn't spend overnights with their dad...that it would be "upsetting" for dcs to be away from mum...etc.
I'm speaking as someone who would love her ds's to be able to spend time with their dad, but he was taken from us nearly nine years ago.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 28-Jan-13 22:52:01

Sorry cross post eliza. I'll probably get flamed for this but im all for breastfeeding but not at the expense of the nrp (usually father) not getting to spend sufficent amount of time with dc. I would think that a compromise should be made whether that be expressed or mixed bf/ff.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Jan-13 22:53:27

It's a funny old world really.

Women have been fighting for years to change other women's stereotypical view of men and to help their DDs/other women to learn to expect more in terms of equal parenting.

Unlike when my 81yr old Dad was a young parent, more men are taking active hands on roles in their children's lives...starting right from being present at the birth, taking paternity leave, taking over night feeds (where possible), changing nappies, bathing etc...etc..

In other words...finally men are stepping up to the plate because they're no longer expected to breeze in from work to dinner on the table and happy, smiley kids in the PJs kissing them goodnight.

Yet (and here's the thing) no matter how equal some men are in their parenting, there are still far too many women who see a Father's role as inferior to the Mother's, especially if the parents split up.

And a lot of these women are not in their 80's...far from it.

A good parent is a good parent, regardless of their sex.

gordyslovesheep Mon 28-Jan-13 22:54:06

yes - to my children anyway - the adore their father and he them - whatever happened between us as adults (he left me for somebody else) I never lost sight of that - he was a shit husband but he is a good dad

elizaregina Mon 28-Jan-13 22:55:20

yes but he would be feeding from the breast via a bottle just not with the breast nipple.

ReallyTired Mon 28-Jan-13 22:57:34

I think it would be absolutely unreasonable to expect a mother to give up exclusive breastfeeding of a baby under one just so that Dad can have access over night. I suppose that Dad could bottlefeed expressed milk assuming the baby is prepared to take a bottle.

", i dont understand how mothers are somehow superior to fathers and a baby/toddler 'needs' to be around the mother at all times, (I actually find this argument deeply insulting to mothers who have went back to work and left their babies in the care of childminders etc) whereas it would only need to be around the father a couple of hours a week. "

Leaving a baby at nursery is hellish for the first few months. Babies at nursery often do scream horribly for the first few months. Seperation anxiety can be utterly horrific in babies. When I left my baby in a nursery at eight months I used to cry on the way to work because I knew she was crying.

Leaving a baby overnight is different to leaving a child at day nursery for ten hours. Many working mothers try to keep the amount of time the baby spends in childcare as short as possible.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Mon 28-Jan-13 22:57:54

In our house, yes. There is nothing that one of us cannot do with/for DD that the other can. We each do equal childcare round our shifts and manage our days off together well too (tag teaming it).

If we god forbid ever split we will do a week on / week off system.

I.know families where the mother hasnt even ever left their dc with their own dad for a night out or a class or work. Their own father has never took them out on their own or had to do any lone one-on-one care.

Pleasesleep Mon 28-Jan-13 22:57:56

Mm but Eliza, being BF is quantifiably better than being FF. so surely it's not better for the dc to spend over nights with dad if they then have to be FF?
Also, isn't it better for a child to form a strong bond with one person I.e have a primary career? I'm sure I've read that somewhere...n
Overnights aren't necessary for a good relationship anyway, but I agree dad should get regular time with baby/ dc

McNewPants2013 Mon 28-Jan-13 22:59:32

Worra very well said.

elizaregina Mon 28-Jan-13 23:01:46

yes but does the mother have to give up the breast feeding?
Cant she express for the night?

if they " both" wanted the baby BF.

What if dad was fine with FF too?

The woman surely cant use BF agaisnt him?

Isnt it a decsion they " both" make? To BF or not - and if they both say yes - BF then she can express.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 28-Jan-13 23:02:01

If a man wants his XP to formula feed rather than breastfeed just so that he can have more contact with the child, that makes him a selfish prick whose contact should be kept to the minimum possible, because it demonstrates that he is more interested in his 'rights' - and in making life difficult and upsetting for his XP - than in the child's wellbeing. A decent man who wants to be a good father, despite not wanting to pursue a couple-relationship with a baby's mother, will put the child's wellbeing and the mother's wellbeing ahead of his own and agree to regular short spells of contact, building up gradually as the child becomes less dependent on the breast. When it comes to newborns, the father is less important - unfortunately, because there are still so many men who consider themselves inherently more important than women in every way, this is why a lot of relationships go wrong and break up when there's a baby in the house.

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