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My husband, the working dad

(127 Posts)
TravellingToad Tue 28-Jul-15 21:41:52

Would I be unreasonable to start referring to all fathers who work as "working dads"?

I'm a business women, earn 6 figures, manage employees and have 2 children. Yet I just get reduced to "working mum". My husband who also works has NEVER been called a working dad.

It irritates me a lot, possibly unreasonably but I bristle every time someone says it purely because it just seems like another phrase that doesn't get applied equally across the sexes. To my ear it sounds like "women driver" or in a daily mail article "Grandma, 65, killed" whereas they would say "Man, 65, killed"

Does this get on anyone elses goat?

drinkscabinet Tue 28-Jul-15 21:43:18

I like it! I may well start using the term myself tomorrow at work grin

StealthPolarBear Tue 28-Jul-15 21:44:15

Yes. Mil asked me about a friend of dd's earlier "does her mummy work?".She'd never think to ask that about the dads, of course they do! She'd be horrified if I said anything but it's exactly this sort of thing that drives .e mad

TravellingToad Tue 28-Jul-15 21:52:12

oh good, I was a little worried people would say "oh come on, you're being REALLY sensitive"

It's only been recently that i've become irritated by it, since noticing the huge biased to which the term "working" is applied only to mums

WorkingBling Tue 28-Jul-15 21:56:18

I hadn't thought about it... And now I will be raging every time I hear it! grin

Whenever I realise these little quirks it infuriates me. Partly because hey are annoying and partly because they are so ingrained I hadn't always noticed them before.

My similar pet peeve is when women at work are asked, "who is looking after your children". I now regularly say, "funny how no one asks men that" but it does make people think I am ridiculously aggressive.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 28-Jul-15 21:57:57

Next time I see my male colleagues who have children I'll ask them how they cope as "working dads" and who is looking after their children. grin

TravellingToad Tue 28-Jul-15 22:33:46

Yes! The who is looking after the children thing. I actually added that to my OP then deleted it as I thought I was whining too much! Every time I pop to the shops people (who know us) say "oh where are the boys today?" On a weekend. And these people know I'm married. Is it too hard to guess they're at home with their dad?

DH reports he has never once been asked this.

I agree that it is SO hard to challenge without being seen as aggressive. I don't know what the answer is there sadly.

Roseformeplease Tue 28-Jul-15 22:47:32

Similarly, I asked a class what major sporting event was running. They, correctly, identified it as " The Women's Football World Cup".

Why is the men's just called The World Cup? I pointed this out and we made a huge list of similar terms.

Working mother just adds to that list.

YonicScrewdriver Wed 29-Jul-15 00:43:39

Agree, OP.

AlpacaMyBags Wed 29-Jul-15 01:57:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cecyhall Wed 29-Jul-15 06:59:05

It puts me in mind of when a woman goes out and is asked if dad is 'babysitting'. I've never heard a woman be referred to as babysitting her own children.

Nolim Wed 29-Jul-15 07:11:48

I agree op. At the end of mat leave a common question was are you returning to work? How many days? My dh was never asked that.

JTOrange Wed 29-Jul-15 07:17:36

Every time I pop to the shops people (who know us) say "oh where are the boys today?" On a weekend. And these people know I'm married.

This happens to me as well! Then I feel I have to reassure them that I haven't left the kids on their own, that they're being looked after, yada, yada. Bet that never happens to DH angry

Athenaviolet Wed 29-Jul-15 07:26:11

Yes this kind of attitude really pisses me off too.

Just the phrase 'working mother'- it's so loaded!

Language is so key to changing the patriarchal hegemony in society.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 29-Jul-15 07:28:26

I agree too. I was pleasantly surprised a while ago to hear Andy Murray describe Martina Navratilova as one of the all time greatest tennis players without adding the word female, this is how it should be yet it jumped out on me because we normally have to be labelled as female or women in such descriptions.

The asking "does your mummy work?" question is a bit of a minefield though, I had a SAH woman get very defensive when I asked what she did, in the same way I might if I meet a man. So if I meet a woman in a child-based setting, I am now more likely to ask if she works rather than what she does.

blondegirl73 Wed 29-Jul-15 07:31:44

I agree with everything here. I also hate the term full-time mum. I am a full-time mum, I just happen to have a job. I don't stop being a mother when I get on the train to work.

JassyRadlett Wed 29-Jul-15 07:36:40

Totally agree. One I've had from equally senior male colleagues is 'I don't know how you do it', with ref to having a small child and doing a busy/pressured job.

Which I could just about tolerate as being well-meaning if they didn't have kids the same age as mine.

I have on occasion smiled blandly and said I'm lucky to have a partner who does his share.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 29-Jul-15 07:41:06

@manwhohasitall is hilarious.

Next time I'm asked I'm going to be a part-time mum. hmm grin

NoTechnologicalBreakdown Wed 29-Jul-15 07:48:18

A very good point op. Of course they are working dads, and of course it's irrelevant because, well, kids and family just aren't relevant are they.

It is more than past time that we got shot of the idea that the economic sphere has nothing to do with people, it is causing sooooo many problems. Most people have kids at some point in their lives, we could do with losing the idea that they don't or that it's shameful as well.

The environmental problems we have are economic problems primarily, not simply overpopulation. But I digress...

MadAngryGnome Wed 29-Jul-15 07:55:45

Yes, totally with you. The health visitor who runs my parents' group keeps referring to 'career women' like they are some kind of peculiar breed. I have to bite my tongue not to point out that this is ridiculous and why are we not talking about the 'career men' too?

TravellingToad Wed 29-Jul-15 09:16:06

loving the manwhohasitall twitter account!! quite sad though just at how much is said and we don't really notice/challenge as it is SO ingrained!

skrumle Wed 29-Jul-15 09:48:14

thank you for the manwhohasitall pointer - smiled wryly at the first few then full on laughed at:
Interested in almonds? It's the one thing busy dads can't live without. Why not team up with other local dads & eat almonds together?

BitOutOfPractice Wed 29-Jul-15 09:56:07

I am divorced and share parenting with my exH. I get asked ALL THE TIME where the kids are if I'm out and about alone. I usually answer "with their other, equally competant parent" and give them this face hmm

BitOutOfPractice Wed 29-Jul-15 09:58:57

That @manwhohasitall is really great!

grimbletart Wed 29-Jul-15 13:09:40

When I used to get the "where are the children?" question I used to say I left them chained to the table leg for safety grin

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