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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.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 23:57:21

I just noticed I put evolve instead of involve, it made me giggle.

5madthings Wed 30-Jan-13 23:10:34

sock don't worry I didn't think you were saying that smile

And I think we agree that a man that abandons his pregnant wife or doesnt treat the mother of his child with respect and kindness is a bit of a turn off tbh!

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 23:01:29

Can I just jump in and say I was not saying its ok for any adult to co sleep with a child that is not there's because I don't think it is.

And I agree no way would I evolve myself with a bloke who ditched his pregnant or new mum partner, its far to easy to have the same thing done to you.

elizaregina Wed 30-Jan-13 22:32:37

same here, wouldnt that also be so much more endearing and attractive - assuming it was an amicable split....than a man trying to give someone a nervous break down through un reasonable demands.

5madthings Wed 30-Jan-13 21:57:29

Exactly Eliza and even if it was an amicable split I still wouldn't be with a man that didn't treat the mother of his child with respect and kindness. I would expect him to put the babies needs first and work on building a relationship with his baby.

Wallison Wed 30-Jan-13 21:53:06

eliza, if that situation (crying baby, impossible to settle etc) did arise, then the OW should get out of the bed and sleep on the sofa. No way should anybody share a bed with a child that isn't theirs.

elizaregina Wed 30-Jan-13 21:37:46

If a woman was standing by a man trying to demand a new baby off its distraught mother that they cuckholded - I wouldnt trust them to do anything properly.

5madthings Wed 30-Jan-13 21:32:26

Nothing is to stop them but maybe if they knew the increased SIDS risk that would make them stop and think? You would bloody hope so.

I can't see myself getting together with a man with a newborn as I would question where his priorities lay, I want a man who would put his child first and I wouldn't want yo encroach on the mum and her relationship with her newborn either!

elizaregina Wed 30-Jan-13 21:24:38

5mads I agree they shouldnt sleep with a baby; but what is to stop them?

You can imagine even if they started with the best intentions not too - baby cries wont get settled etc....really really horrifically tired in the middle of the night beyond anything....just bring the baby in the bed.

Personally if I got together with a man with a NB which I dont think I would ever do, I wouldnt want to upset the mum and encroach on her NB baby in any way shape or form.

5madthings Wed 30-Jan-13 21:21:09

wallison I totally agree but some have said its OK! I don't agree at all but if you don't agree morally/appropriateness etc then the SIDS risk is a bloody good reason not to do it!

MariusEarlobe Wed 30-Jan-13 21:18:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wallison Wed 30-Jan-13 21:13:32

Erm, quite apart from the risk of SIDS (which I agree is an important consideration of course), surely it's just fucking supremely inappropriate for a husband's new girlfriend (or a mother's new boyfriend) to sleep in the same bed as their partner's baby? Ffs. I cannot believe that any parent of either gender would think this the right thing to do.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 21:11:03

On most of the info I found about co sleeping they said keep the baby on the side of mum that is away from whom ever she is sharing a bed with,round about way of saying not in the middle.

Apparently most chaps tend to sleep differently to a mother of a tiny I'm guessing its heavier as opposed to the one ear open thing

5madthings Wed 30-Jan-13 21:01:57

Thankssock I wasn't sure so they shouldn't co-slerp with just dad or with dad and new girlfriend then!

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 21:00:33

5mad, baby's who co sleep with just dad and not mum have a higher SIDS risk than those co sleeping with the mum.something to do with the mothers difference in sleeping with tinys around.

I apsolutly can not remember where I saw that but I expect it will pop into my head at 4am when I'm trying to sleep

Daddelion Wed 30-Jan-13 15:54:07


I'd thought the truth would have been somewhere in the middle.

Emilythornesbff Wed 30-Jan-13 15:44:28

No, it's all made up by emittered women who want to control their ex partners. wink

Daddelion Wed 30-Jan-13 15:41:26

'Nearly always, when a mother is resisting eg overnight contact for a small baby, it is because the man has not shown himself capable of putting his own interests second to anyone else's so she is worried about the wellbeing of the infant in the father's care'

Is there any evidence for this or is it anecdotal?

SolidGoldBrass Wed 30-Jan-13 15:37:31

CSLewis: throughout human history, women who have been able to share the hard grind of infant care with others have done so. Wet nurses, nannies, grandmothers, elderly aunties, older siblings, servants have all been involved in looking after small children. This insistence that mothers must devote their lives to the care of small infants 24/7 is about keeping women subordinate and dependent.

However, this isn't to say that separated fathers should be able to have their DC whenever they like, just because they say so and consider they have 'rights'. Nearly always, when a mother is resisting eg overnight contact for a small baby, it is because the man has not shown himself capable of putting his own interests second to anyone else's so she is worried about the wellbeing of the infant in the father's care. A really good father would be able to put the child first and wait for a while, and build up contact slowly. One who spent his time, when he was still the mother's partner, abusing her and/or doing fuck all in the way of domestic work or childcare is likely to be asserting his 'rights' for reasons that are nothing to do with the welfare of the child. It will be either to punish the mother or to pose as Dad Of The Year in front of his new partner.

Astr0naut Wed 30-Jan-13 15:00:11

Women have had to work while their children are small for centuries. And even if they didn't, in teh days before washing machines, supermarkets etc, how much qulaity time did they actually spend with their children?It's only a select few that were able to give up work when they had children, because their husbands earned enough to support them. Neither of my grandmothers were able to stop working - and they weren't exactly career women. One was a seamstress, the other worked in a factory. They relied on other family members to look after their children.

Personally, I prefer working to looking after under 5s all day. I love my kids, but god, it can be boring and frustrating. I think I'm a better parent for not spending all day with them - they get my full attention when I'm home. I don't even feel guilty anymore; if dh doesn't feel guilty for working, then why should I?

CSLewis Wed 30-Jan-13 14:42:29

There seem to be a number of assumptions underlying the OP and many others on here; mainly that 'equality' means 'sameness'; that being a mother is no different from being a father; that 'parenting' is the same whether being done by the mother or father.

I disagree with all these assumptions. That does not mean that I don't think that mothers and fathers have equally important roles to play in the upbringing of their children: it does mean that I think those roles are different, because men and women are different. And I think that a child's mother is uniquely suited to being the primary carer of her child. This website is not called "Person-Net" for a reason.

I know I'm going to be accused of being gender-deterministic, or of vilifying mothers who return to work and leave their babies with professional childminders. This is not my intention at all; however, I do believe that it minimises the importance of the maternal bond - and therefore of women - to state that if a baby's physical needs are being met by a competent, or even caring, child-care professional, then this is qualitatively the same as that baby being cared for by its mother, or father, or other personally, consistently 'attached' adult.

I think a whole generation of women have believed the lie that they are not equal to men unless they are financially independent; that they have little value, or right to respect, unless they are contributing to the economy directly via the workforce.

In order to be happy with their new role as "same-as-men",women have then had to be convinced that their babies are just as well-off in child-care as with them. Does anyone on here really believe that? That a child-care professional is as good as a mother? And if they don't believe that, how has it happened that women end up in a position where they are forced to sacrifice their child's welfare for the sake of their own financial independence?

That was a rhetorical question; I really don't believe that a mother would deliberately make a choice she thought was detrimental to her child if there were other alternatives available; but the whole set-up of society now makes it very difficult to support a family, let alone own a home, unless both parents are working. And if both parents work, their children are in child-care. And in order to justify that 'necessity', women need to convince themselves that qualitatively their children are no worse off than if they were at home, being cared for by a parent (preferably, according to a few thousand years of evolution, their mother). And by accepting that bit of double-think, they devalue and do themselves out of the most important job any human being has ever had to do in the history of the world: raising the next generation of humankind. And our government is perpetuating that double-think by constantly pressuring women to return to work so that they can also provide a job for whoever will be looking after their children.

Apologies for the rant. Apologies to all whose I've just offended. Not my intention.

jellybeans Wed 30-Jan-13 12:01:38

Great post 2aminthemorning

Crinkle77 Wed 30-Jan-13 11:52:38

I have to agree with the OP. It is not fair that a father may only get to see their child one weekend in two. Although I do recognise that there are some fathers who should not see their children for whatever reason and that there have to be boundaries in place so the child has a good routine but it does seem unfair that if the father pays maintenance and has been a good dad that they hardly get to see them.

5madthings Wed 30-Jan-13 11:45:54

Eliza there is a very good reason for a fathers girlfriend/partner not to co-sleep because it is a SIDS risk!

I think dads are OK to co-sleep on their own but the new partner should not as she is not the child's mother.

Astr0naut Wed 30-Jan-13 11:42:59

It's a tricky one.

As the mother doing the birth/bf/off work for 9 months thing, I was definitely the one who worked hardest in the beginning, although Dh did all he could.

Now the kids are older, I would say we parent equally, and I would never say that either of us id best for the children, although there do seem to be differences in the ways the children approach us and we them.

I come home from work and immediately nteract with kids; dh bustles about in the kitchen, then goes and gets changed.

Dh can read a paper; I get jumped on.

Neither kid gets jealous when the other is with him; all hell breaks loose if I cuddle one (dcs are 3 and 14 months)

I understand instantly what kids what; dh takes ages, cue much hysteria.

I'm still the first out of bed in the middle of the night, most of the time.

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