What are your thoughts on being a dad in a mums world? (Book research)(9 Posts)
I'm writing a book about my recent experience of Shared Parental Leave and I'd love to hear from other dads who have done it, or are stay at home dads. I'm interested in:
- how is it different for dads?
- how were you treated by the mums?
- what do you do when the change facilities are in the women’s toilets?
- why are men in movies such awful parents (Star Wars, Back to the Future – where the heck is the dad in Toy Story?)
- was it a positive experience?
- did a mum ever shout at you to get out of ‘her’ parking space, only to realise you have a baby in the back seat?
Anything like that. Drop me a line...
I've worked part time since my daughter was 5mths old about six months ago (including being at home for a shared parental leave for my second child & about 6mths when both of us working was too much).
I've never really had an particularly horrific experiences, but I've grown used to being patronised by the occasional woman. Often older women rather than mums of young kids. I've still yet to work out how to respond when someone suggests what I'm doing is "brave." The incidences have got fewer as the kids get older. Perhaps the sight of a dad with a toddler is less novel than one with a baby.
The incidences of baby changes only in women's toilets are getting fewer (as has my need for them thankfully). I've done everything from going into women's toilets if I can find a supportive woman to check they're empty first & changed babies on the floor of floor of pub toilets. I know which I prefer.
I've found some lovely friends in playgroups & walked away from the odd one I didn't enjoy. I honestly think most mums have been positive & comfortable talking to me as a dad. I don't know whether living in a fairly middle class area helps.
Honestly the group I've felt least comfortable in was a dad's group on a weekend. My life seemed very out of time with people with proper careers. I think that's how I felt most affected. It can be very lonely being a stay at home dad & I occasionally feel I'm left out of the more social (non kid) aspects, but I think there may be some mums who feel that way too.
I'd recommend being a stay at home dad to anyone. Don't believe the movies (or the adverts which are far more infuriating). We're not all crap dads & most mums will welcome you.
Hi. If you want any of my personal experience I'm happy to answer questions privately.
I'm actually a single parent dad with a 5 year old boy . I won full custody in May 2015 and doing so cost me my relationship with my new partner.
As my post above. I won full custody of my son after he was removed from his mum's care,that's when I stepped in to get my son legally in my care forever.
Most women who I've spoken too think at parks or at kids play centres at weekend's think I'm a dad who's split up from my partner and having my son at weekend's . When I explain that I'm a full time single dad just about everyone give me praise and think I'm amazing taking on a so called "a mum's job"
I do find it very lonely as I don't socialize much at all. I've even gone as far as joining a dating site, I've been on a few dates and the only problem I've had is when a date finds out I'm a single parent dad they are put off straight away. I'm glad there honest but it does hurt as it feels like I'm going to be single forever.
All in all in everyday life I get a lot of respect from other parents and i get lots of praise for being a good parent
Thanks DaddaGreen and Bruvs247 - yes, your comments reflect some of my own experience. I found most mums very supportive and sometimes patronising (you'd never walk up to your female boss and say 'Gosh - i think it's great you're doing a mans job). Society sure has some changing to do.
Bruvs247 - they are rare as hens teeth but there are a handful of playgroups for dads. If you are london based, the one in Wimbledon is very friendly...
Im a nrp but When my dd is with me its just the two of us so I experience some of this ( close friends as SAHDs too ).
I'm not that bothered about films tbh. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Single dad. Finding Nemo widower, Despicable Me adoptive father....
One experience that sticks in my mind. Took dd to an activity. It was full so went to reception to book a different activity. A mum with a crying child ambles up and I think 'ah, she's got a ticket for the activity that was full, child not happy, I'm first in line at desk so no doubt she is going offer me ticket.'
She turned to the mum behind me, who she clearly didn't know, and offered her the ticket. I was speachless.
You also come across the odd man hater who just gives you the evils because you're male and encroaching on their 'safe space'.
I used to ask school about coming on day trips / helping out. Nada. Was told they were over subscribed etc. Then one day got an invite, and wouldn't you know it, it was all men / dads. They must have planned it out. That was the one trip of the year dads got a look in.
Single man with child is also a bit of a threat to husbands.
I lived next door to a couple with two dds near my dd's age. Brilliant I thought. Then one week he went away on business. I was round there a few times so my dd could play. Was all fine, the mum was very nice but certainly didn't have any designs on her as she was obese.
Husband returns, hears Ive been round whilst he's away and that was the end of that.
Im sure single mums experience smillar suspicions from spouses.
I work shifts so while not a sahd I did all the primary child care. My wife works 5 days a week 9-5 while I only did two days so was available 5 in a row. I did most of the bath time and bed time stories etc. I had two daughters under 4 and they would be with me everywhere I went. I loved it and if it wasn't for the money would have happily given up work to do it full time. They are now 16 and 13.
I don't know if it is because I live in a quite middleclass area but every pram club or library reading group it went to treated me like a fart in a lift.
Very cliquey. There may well be groups that are welcoming but that wasnt my experience. School gate and parties were the same. I just learned to get on with it. The odd mum that did talk to me were the ones that were non U and shunned as well . they seemed really nice.
Baby changing rooms only in the ladies loos at the local swimming pool were interesting and trying to use public loos for all three of us when you are a dad with girls is an eye opener. Quite often disabled loos aren't available. All three of us couldn't fit into one cubicle so it would have to be one stood out side with the door open while I dealt with the one on the loo. Urinals, as we all know, are often close to or adjacent to the cubicles and having men stood with their old fellas out three feet from your child when you are occupied facing the other way is something I don't recommend any parent.
All in all though I wouldn't have missed it for the world and am closer to my daughters than any man I know with girls so am really grateful for it.
My kids are teenagers now, but my wife and I have always split the childcare 50/50. I run my own business, so I was able to make this choice. It has been a privilege and an adventure, and I don't regret any of it. Sorry to report that I haven't ever found myself at a disadvantage, and that other mums have all been friendly and supportive. I never had any problems with toilets either.
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