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to be enraged by the term "deputy parent"

(25 Posts)
mrsmalcolmreynolds Tue 17-Nov-15 21:30:11

Where to start really?

The fact that it implies a hierarchy of parenting with the assumption that if you're not physically present as much as someone else you're not doing it right?

The implication that if you work in a demanding job you've somehow abdicated some of your parental responsibilities?

The implied acceptance that there are some jobs that simply cannot be adapted to combine with meaningful parenthood (whatever that might be for a particular family )?

That I strongly suspect it is a phrase used much more often in relation to women than men even though it supposedly describes what very many men actually experience (OH doing all the day to day stuff).

BrendaandEddie Tue 17-Nov-15 21:33:43

no one says this

miaowroar Tue 17-Nov-15 21:34:23

I've not heard it before. What context is it used in?

Do you get a badge? (sorry, not helpful)

lunar1 Tue 17-Nov-15 21:34:39

Who says this?

LineyReborn Tue 17-Nov-15 21:35:03

Where did you hear it?

JeffsanArsehole Tue 17-Nov-15 21:35:23

Also never heard this phrase

And I've heard everything

Pico2 Tue 17-Nov-15 21:35:22

I've never heard this. But I do seem to be 'default parent' in our family. Which would make DH 'deputy parent'. That is the reality of our family and I'm pretty happy with how it works for us.

McSmoke Tue 17-Nov-15 21:35:41

What? Where is this phrase used?

laffymeal Tue 17-Nov-15 21:37:02

It's not a phrase anyone ever uses so why pretend to be so enraged about something you probably invented yourself.

Andcake Tue 17-Nov-15 21:39:23

I think I read it in an article today in the evening standard about women at meryll lynch who recently made it to md level.
All the women interviewed said they weren't deputy parents. My dp is a sahd and I am definitely not deputy...

mrsmalcolmreynolds Tue 17-Nov-15 21:39:26

I think some high - powered type who runs a "women in the world" conference used it a few weeks ago and since then I've seen it a number of times, including just now in the Evening Standard in an article about women being promoted at an investment bank.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Tue 17-Nov-15 21:40:51

laffy see above I am neither pretending to be enraged nor did I invent it.

laffymeal Tue 17-Nov-15 21:44:05

God knows how you can be bothered to get "enraged" by some stupid meeja invented term.

TimeToMuskUp Tue 17-Nov-15 21:44:30

Like Pico I tend to be THE LAW in our house and DH is fun Daddy who lets them cause havoc. It's not because I won't relinquish control or that I'm better, just that we play to our skills. I'm a control freak, he couldn't give a shit, so he'd definitely be deputy parent. And not be upset by that. Works well for us.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Tue 17-Nov-15 21:46:49

laffy oh I dunno, perhaps because I find its connotations damaging and offensive?

Bogburglar99 Tue 17-Nov-15 21:46:46

Here is Evening Standard link.

www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/are-you-a-deputy-parent-why-successful-career-women-need-a-partner-whos-the-boss-at-home-a3088016.html

Summary: it's a lot easier to pursue a high flying paid career if you have someone else taking lead responsibility for children and domestic matters.

Hold the front page. I think men worked that out, oh, several generations ago?

DH and I work part time and share childcare equally so goodness knows what that makes us smile

mrsmalcolmreynolds Tue 17-Nov-15 21:48:58

To clarify, I have absolutely no problem with division of parenting responsibilities in whatever way suits a family best. It's the suggestion that one parent is somehow less of a parent solely because they may work more that I have a problem with.

29redshoes Tue 17-Nov-15 22:03:41

Oh yes, I read that article on the tube on the way home and was a bit hmm at "deputy parent". In the grand scheme of things though I don't think it's THAT bad, I see what they meant even though it's a bit clumsy.

bluebolt Tue 17-Nov-15 22:09:12

I have heard "primary carer" used quite a lot recently, which again relegates other parent as secondary.

ScrambledEggAndToast Tue 17-Nov-15 22:22:34

Never heard this before in my life hmmhmmAbsent parent, yes. Deputy parent, no.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Tue 17-Nov-15 22:23:06

bluebolt I agree primary carer is used a lot. For some reason it doesn't bother me, maybe because it seems like more of a statement of fact?

Bog absolutely men worked that out a long time ago, but no - one tagged them with a phrase that implied they weren't being a "full" parent, which is one of the things that annoys me.

To be fair, enraged was probably a strong term. "Pissed off" is probably closer to the mark but I posted in the first flush of irritation. grin

dodobookends Tue 17-Nov-15 22:24:40

Where are the articles about the successful men who have made it to md level, and who have been interviewed about their childcare arrangements?

mrsmalcolmreynolds Tue 17-Nov-15 23:11:16

dodo indeed!

I'm not against publicity for women who are successful in fields where that's been difficult traditionally - in fact it's important I think. However I do get annoyed that every single article of this sort that I can remember reading not only brings up childcare but brings it up without challenging the assumption that the default is that women deal with childcare.

Ditto articles about flexible working etc. hardly ever consider that this might affect men.

PenelopeChipShop Wed 18-Nov-15 07:26:01

OP I completely understand why it's annoying - I saw that article too and my first thought was, again, why does it have to be about successful WOMEN - if they've got to the top of their fields then let's knock them for not being 'proper' parents.

HOWEVER to say that you can work all hours and still be a totally hands-on parent is not true imo - something gets lost, either family life overall or that person's personal relationship with that child.

My DH has a stupid-hours job in the city - out before our DS is awake, back when he's asleep, every week day. Weekends he's often on the blackberry or if not then 'too tired' to play with him. To say that his relationship with his son has been unaffected by his work life is complete and utter bollocks. You can't do it all. And if he didn't have me making it possible for him to do that he wouldn't have the career he has. (I do work too btw but - shock horror - actually do work and childcare on the same day.)

So I kind of get the point they're making with that term but it is incredibly annoying.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Wed 18-Nov-15 18:11:30

Penelope I agree that it's not possible to work all hours and be a hands on parent in the way that is possible if you don't WOH as much - as I said up thread I don't have a problem with terms like primary carer which reflect that reality. This term deputy parent though just seems to imply that if you do less of the day to day stuff you are necessarily less of a parent which annoys me a lot.

FWIW I work 80% hours but with a long commute, DH works full time but ten minutes from home. We are roughly 50/50 in terms of hands on time with our DC.

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