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Or just a bit po-faced to find this phrase infuriating!

(30 Posts)
Pontouf Mon 02-Sep-13 13:30:08

"Isn't he great with the kids?" when said in reference to my husband.

I know this has probably been done to death but I've heard it three times recently (all by young women) and it makes me want to scream!

Don't misunderstand me, my husband is a perfectly adequate father and loves our children very very much - but so fucking what? Looking after his own children and engaging with them, playing with them, is surely the bare minimum of what any parent should do. Not once has anyone been in conversation with DH and looked over, seen me interacting with my kids and said "Aah, isn't Pontouf great with the kids?" Because of course they fucking wouldn't. Nobody ever says in passing that a mother is good with their own kids. Why should it be worthy of comment that my husband is a competent parent purely because he is a bloke? And why should it only be noteworthy if a woman is a crap parent?

<goes off to mutter in a corner>

MurderOfGoths Mon 02-Sep-13 13:33:42

It's daft isn't it. A mother is just expected to be good (and heavily critcised if she isn't perfect) but a dad is treated like some kind of god for just being good with his own kids.

CailinDana Mon 02-Sep-13 13:34:13

Yanbu. My friend who has had a string of shit relationships keeps commenting on how "good" my dh I mention him doing something very basic like cooking dinner. I find it quite sad.

KoalaFace Mon 02-Sep-13 13:34:27

I agree actually! YANBU.

It makes me stabby when people say a dad is "babysitting" his DCs.

WentOnABearHunt Mon 02-Sep-13 13:34:59

i can understand were you are coming from. I personally hate being asked who looks after my kids while i am at work/who will look after my baby when i return to work following maternity leave (like childcare is some kind of mystery to some people) because I bet no man in the history of ever gets questioned so frequently (or at all!!) about who is looking after the kids....

IceBeing Mon 02-Sep-13 13:36:55

I constantly get told I am 'lucky' that my DH was willing to be a SAHP.

It makes me want to go around the whole jeffing building telling all the men they are lucky their wives were willing to look after their offspring.


kissmyshineymetalass Mon 02-Sep-13 13:38:37

Yeah it pisses me off as well when people say oh he's so good taking the kids out isn't he hmm and when people find out I've got 6 kids the only thing they ask me is if they've all got the same father,when people find out DP got 6 kids they act like he's a fucking hero, really makes me angry

Pontouf Mon 02-Sep-13 13:38:41

Quite bearhunt. Not a single person asked my DH if he'd be going part time after we had our kids despite the fact that I earn about 30% more than him. I got asked on a weekly basis while on mat leave.

As it goes we both work full time and intend to continue, although my DH works from home fairly regularly to cut down on child are costs.

MurderOfGoths Mon 02-Sep-13 13:39:35

It's fairly insulting to the men as well, like the default is that they will be crap parents.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Mon 02-Sep-13 13:40:04

YANNNBU! It is sexism pure and simple regardless of who says it.

Twitterqueen Mon 02-Sep-13 13:40:41

You are so NBU

I got it all the time when I was working FT and ex-H was at home unemployed but building an extension. Isn't he fantastic, isn't he marvellous etc etc.

Also he let 18 month old sleep for 3 hours + during the day, so she would never go to bed before 10am, by which time I was on my knees....

DropYourSword Mon 02-Sep-13 13:40:54

There are plenty of times I've said the same of female friends and commented what a wonderful mother they are. It's just meant to be a nice compliment so I think there's plenty of other things to get more reasonably upset about!

MurielHeslopp Mon 02-Sep-13 13:41:07

EVERY time my DH takes our 3 young DDs out he get's comments like
''Oh you've got your hands full there!'' or sympathetic looks.
Whereas when I take them out I get the impression I'm considered more of a nuisance getting in others' way with my hoard of children.

moustachio Mon 02-Sep-13 13:45:33

My mum quite often says to me I'm a good mum smile more people do comment DP is a good Dad. I don't think he feels its sexist. He understands that people of our parents generation are slightly less inclined to help with childcare, so to them 50% responsibility on his part is admirable.

Also, lots of my friends who are young parents like us have children with no father figure in their lives. There are less people who have a mother than abandons them... So its not that bizaare of a comment

MagratGarlik Mon 02-Sep-13 13:46:51

When I returned back to work after DS1, both DP and I moved to 80% contracts (4 days per week). I got told more than once that I was "lucky" to have a partner who was so "supportive of my career". Funnily enough, no one made the same comment to him, even though my work hours had reduced equally to his.

DearPrudence Mon 02-Sep-13 13:48:24

Not po-faced at all, actually. YANBU.

Whenever I go on a business trip that lasts 3-4 days, people always ask me how DH will manage with our son. The same people never ask how I will manage when DH goes away, which happens quite frequently. Gets my bloody goat, it does.

missmargot Mon 02-Sep-13 14:02:31

This reminds me of being at my cousin's birthday party as a child. My father has always attracted those sorts of comments for being 'great with the kids' and at this particular party one woman asked my aunt where she had hired him from. She couldn't believe he was playing with the children without being paid!

HazleNutt Mon 02-Sep-13 14:04:29

I'm going back to work in a month, DH will be a SAHD. DS will be 3,5 months (we're not in the UK, that's all the leave I get).
'Oh..but you will have help, right? A nanny?' - I bet the same people would not only not ask the question about a SAHM, but they would think she's lazy using a babysitter.

Beastofburden Mon 02-Sep-13 14:08:26

just trying to think what the equivalent might be the other way round.

I do the tax, all the finances, service the car. I just arranged a man-with-van decluttering and we needed spanners so I zoomed down the road to borrow my neighbour's toolbox. She has better spanners than I do. Man with van was stunned. People often make a big deal of any or all of these areas, whereas if DH did them it would be taken for granted.

Similarly, people refer to my "highflying career" when in fact I earn the same as my DH.

DS, OTOH, earns many brownie points with his GF for being able to cook and has no intention of turning those down wink

DoudousDoor Mon 02-Sep-13 14:18:30


Although here (France), when talking about children at work the dads are asked as much as the mums about the childcare they're using. And we all have lovely conversations about our children (all under 4 year olds) at lunchtime etc. with the dads being just as involved as the mums. 'Tis lovely.

It's also expected here that DH will do some of the evening pickups. Although I think that's mainly so I don't leave work "early" (7pm) every evening smile

nickelbabe Mon 02-Sep-13 14:20:37

i have said about mums that they're great with their kids before.

but agree, in general society, it does seem that men are still praised highly for dad stuff

MurderOfGoths Mon 02-Sep-13 14:22:04

beast I know DH has occasionally got comments about how lucky he is that I'm so good about him playing computer games. I play more often than he does!!!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 02-Sep-13 14:22:35

Oh yes, my dp is apparently a 'hands-on dad', according to my own father.

Beastofburden Mon 02-Sep-13 14:34:02

murder- the clue is in your nickname! ( i hope....)

MurderOfGoths Mon 02-Sep-13 14:38:45

Haha, well I don't play any goth murdering games if that's what you are asking? It's a play on murder of crows.

Back to the OP. Not long after DS was born we went to visit family and DH was doing all the walking about/soothing DS, my uncle made a comment about how good he was, but in a tone of voice that made it sound like DH had just discovered how to turn lead into gold or something equally wondrous. It was odd. Especially as my uncle had 4 kids of his own and had had to do a lot of the childcare. Still no idea why men being good with kids was such a shock to him.

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