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AIBU to be irritated by childcare double standard?

(27 Posts)
wenchystrumpet Fri 07-Aug-15 23:14:10

A hard working man can rely on others (a partner, their mum, a nanny, daycare) to look after their child for 12 hours a day, even on weekends. As long as they are a kind, loving dad in the few hours they are at home (usually doing work stuff or relaxing, but willingly doing some childcare) they are an amaaazing dad.

A woman can use daycare (very high quality, child loves it) for said child four mornings a week, to work on establishing the skills she needs for a new career, and gets 'gosh, that's a long time she's in there' (from MIL, all the time) and DP making allegedly hilarious joke 'why don't you put her in 24/7, then you'll have heaps of time haha'. FFS.

This post is not about complaining about family making comments (clearly they deserve only to be ignored) it's about why is this even an issue?

Why does society think being a good mother should be 24/7 (unless a family is in poverty in which case working may be acceptable, and staying with kids becomes unnaceptable), yet being a good father is just about being a loving parent in between your other responsibilities and interests?

pinkdelight Fri 07-Aug-15 23:23:26

Dunno. I use full-time childcare and work a lot at weekends while my genuinely amazing DH looks after the DC. 'Society', whatever constitutes it in your case, can fuck off with any judgment. Who cares? Really, I mean if you know it's a double standard doesn't it give you pleasure to rub their noses in it? Fuck em. Live your life.

NothingUpMySleeve Fri 07-Aug-15 23:28:07

Unless MIL is offering her services to do the childcare instead SIBU.

In the grand scheme of things 4 mornings a week is very little, my personal opinion is that life should work that both parents could work a maximum of 3 1/2 days a week, so everyone spends plenty of time with their children. Currently the rest of the world is not set up to work with that, so we have to juggle the other options as best we can. There are worse things in life than decent quality daycare.

BackforGood Fri 07-Aug-15 23:38:57

but that's not 'childcare double standard', that's your MiL's odd opinion, surely ? confused

OutOfWine Fri 07-Aug-15 23:40:11

It saddens me on here when you see people saying 'I'm not a natural mother' or 'I'm not cut out to be a mother' when they would cope perfectly well with the commonly held view of what it means to be a father. But they just find being a SAHM a bit too much, and that really ought to be OK!

Want2bSupermum Fri 07-Aug-15 23:46:00

When they are paying my mortgage they can have an opinion. Until then I don't want to hear it. Went back to work at 15 and 12 weeks and had a much easier time professionally and domestically compared to my friends who took 6-12 months off.

Lightbulbon Fri 07-Aug-15 23:51:00

Yes we live in a patriarchy!

MrsToddsShortcut Fri 07-Aug-15 23:54:36

I have some sympathy for this actually. I am a lone parent and my male friend is also a lone parent.

I spent half an hour at a party once, listening to my (other) friends parents (who've known me most of my life) tell me how amazing my male friend was for looking after the children, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning etc all while working and looking after his children.

It's not that I need the affirmation or begrudge him the respect (he's a fantastic parent) but it was the assumption that I'm a woman, so of course I just get on and do it, but he is some kind of superhuman!

I guess it's a hangover from outdated views, but it does grate slightly.

wenchystrumpet Fri 07-Aug-15 23:57:14

You're right, BackforGood, that it is one person's odd opinion. However it's a reflection of popular (not universal obviously) community attitudes, similar to how women get asked 'who is looking after the little one' if seen in public without child, when men don't.

Again, it's not about the fact people make comments, it's the fact that these comments reveal social mores which need to change.

I'd prefer if women having their own lives (sans children at certain times) was already a social non-issue.

Like how a woman wearing trousers to work would be a non-issue now, wheras it would have been comment-worthy back in the day.

Again, there would have been many open minded people back then who were fine about the trouser-women. But those who were anti-trouser did make comments, and felt it was OK for them to do so. Presumably this was irritating to trouser-wearing-women.

I feel like women who aren't uber-mummies are the trouser-wearing-women of today. Happy doing their own thing, but wouldn't it be pleasant if people stopped remarking on it?

wenchystrumpet Fri 07-Aug-15 23:59:10

Out of Wine, yes me too!

OutsSelf Fri 07-Aug-15 23:59:49

Ooo this is one of my hobby horses, because people breathlessly congratulate me about how brilliant my DP is doing about60% of the childcare while I earn all the effing money. I smile and say, why yes he is, compared to other husbands. If you compare him to other wives though, his range is middling to poor...

Colandular Sat 08-Aug-15 00:05:46

I went back to work when DS was 2. I had a fantastic childminder and did the both as a single parent. I left a job up the city and downsized my wants/life to accommodate my child. I worked 10 till 4 so i could do a bit of both.

I knew i could no longer put the hours it. Its a fact of life.

Im sure if a man was a sole carer he would have to do the same. Not sure what trouser woman has to do with anything? I havent worn a skirt since I was 18.

Im so happy to be a woman.

Colandular Sat 08-Aug-15 00:06:04

hours in, not it!

Colandular Sat 08-Aug-15 00:07:28

I get to spend so much more time with my beautiful children.

Colandular Sat 08-Aug-15 00:08:11

autocorrect again... child! I only have one grin

wenchystrumpet Sat 08-Aug-15 00:16:11

super mummy is super

PiperChapstick Sat 08-Aug-15 00:22:25

YANBU. Gets on my tits this sort of thing. Ditto when people ask if DH is 'babysitting' hmm im a bit of a tosser so I always say "no he's looking after his daughter"

I think it's remnants from generations gone by where there were more traditional roles. I'm hoping that by the time DD has children equality in the parents is the norm

ems1910 Sat 08-Aug-15 00:35:19

Piper if you are a tosser then so am I as that would be my response too! Babysitting? Um no.

CalleighDoodle Sat 08-Aug-15 01:23:51

Your example isnt the same though, is it?

In your example the man uses childcare while he works long hours to provide for his family, and is an doting father when not at work. The childcare is essential. The woman in your example uses childcare but isnt at work. So the childcare is not essential.

Balanced12 Sat 08-Aug-15 06:41:24

Calleigh that strikes of you are not at work where is child. Children do not need to be attached 24/7 it is healthy to have child and work free time which isn't sleep.

On a side note when I achieve this I'll let you knowwink

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Sat 08-Aug-15 06:47:45

I find the day to day stuff is ok. People tend to think dh has the same responsibility for the kids that I do. Except maybe organising the kids, that's my "job."

What pisses me off is that both of us occasionally have to go away for work.
When it's him going away nothing is mentioned. When it's me going away people always ask how dh will cope on his own with the kids.

simplesusan Sat 08-Aug-15 06:51:18

Yep once at a bbq my dh was watching dd2 who was a baby at the time.
I can't tell you how many people told me how great he was for doing it.

I on the other hand was entertaining our 2 other pre school dcs.
Nobody commented on my parenting skills with our 2 dcs.

Spartans Sat 08-Aug-15 06:51:34


I worked for shit of quite a few people. Even at work, I used to ask them if they also made the same comments to men in the office.

Sil was a sahm and used to complain people were surprised when she said she wasn't going back to work and it made her feel shit, while slagging off working mums.

Personally I think it's one of the most unfeminist things someone can say. slagging off someone for being a sahm or a wohm makes you twat, imo.

Spartans Sat 08-Aug-15 06:52:26

I worked, GOT shit OFF quite a few people

Spartans Sat 08-Aug-15 06:53:45

Oh yeah and MIL told me I was lucky that dh was such a hands on dad.

My response was 'well he did help make them'

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