To think the bar is set low on parenting for men?
Babysitting101 · 06/09/2022 08:29
It's something I keep noticing. If a man does even the bare minimum for his child people think he's incredible. I saw one deadbeat dad referred to as a 'legend' on Facebook today for 'taking on' his daughter for 12 months whilst her mother was unable to meet her needs, he was also told that 'not many men would do what you did'
By the way, this is a man who fobbed his daughter off on his mother at every opportunity as he was living in her house. He's also a man who seldom bothers with his other small child as he has a capable and committed mother so his 'support' isn't needed the way it is with his daughter.
Still - the mere fact he remained under the same roof as his daughter for approx 12 months meant he achieved legendary status.
Another case that sprung to mind recently is my own. I had an appointment to attend during which my OH had our three children. The person I had the appointment with gushed about how wonderful he is for babysitting... yep, babysitting.
AIBU to think the parenting bar is set so low for men? Why is this a thing?
Am I being unreasonable?AIBU
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Ihaveanoldiphone · 07/09/2022 01:12
Yes, the bar is so low it’s a tavern in Hades.
in my community is actually still too much to expect men to do anything other than paid work. Yup. I’m actually a shit wife because I ‘make’ my Dh do stuff.
so you can imagine my mil dying when she’d see her son doing the women’s work at home, and my own mother mocking my husband for doing nappies as she’d be too embarrassed to let my brother do his own kids nappies (while other chapter). Anyway we are getting there with the mental load but I do prefer to control some aspects such as the children but he’s not the type to try weaponised incompetence with me so I’m not complaining. It depends on what you’re prepared to put up with and yes depends on the man too but sometimes I think with the culture me and Dh grew up in he would more than happily do bare minimum if i gave him permission too.
Fucket · 07/09/2022 06:36
It just goes to show how many women are willing to procreate with feckless men. How many of them have grown up with absent or neglectful fathers, that even just a crumb of affection towards a child, or sharing.a domestic task for even 5 minutes from these males blows their minds.
The man in front of them is truly a god among men.
CoverYourselfInChocolateGlory · 07/09/2022 06:57
I'm fortunate that this isn't really my experience - DH is the primary carer while I work, and I don't really hear this from friends or acquaintances apart from one or two comments from the older generation. I'm not saying it doesn't happen - I 100% believe you all, but hopefully it's a sign that there is a bit of progress! Maybe it's just that people are a bit intimidated by me and wouldn't dare...
Miffee · 07/09/2022 07:06
What shocked me when my friends had kids with their partners (I had mine very young) wasn't the childcare as much as the responsibility. My DH took full (joint) responsibility for our DCs, we made all decisions together with both of us having veto power. This, more than child care (which my DH also took full responsibility for), was what my friends used to comment on. One friend even asked me how I got him to do this, I couldn't answer. He would no more let me make all the decisions and tell him what we were doing than I would have let him.
I do wonder if our young age when we became parents was part of it. We were both so utterly clueless so working together was the only option.
ILikeHotWaterBottles · 07/09/2022 07:15
Oh yes. My own partner actually tried to defend his friend when I called him.a sperm donor. But that's all he is to me, he's not worthy of the title father. He doesn't see his kids, even when he lived near them he didn't and then he moved 4 hours away. I think he does now pay for them, but he didn't before because he couldn't be arsed working. He is now trying to sort himself out and fair play to him, he does actually have one child living with him now, but they are 18! Until he's done 18 actual years of parenting with her and the rest, he's not a dad and I refuse to call him that.
Rainbowqueeen · 07/09/2022 07:31
Bar is definitely in hell.
The question is what can we do about it? The first things I can think of is be aware. I know that I am far more aware than I used to be. There was a thread on here a few months ago about a mum wanting to go away for a weekend with her girlfriends and lots of responses saying “the kids will be fine, a weekend of Tv and takeaway with dad won’t hurt them” Once upon a time I might have agreed with that. Now I think why? Why can’t the dad cook a proper meal and entertain the DC by taking them to the park and engaging with them. Why don’t we expect that?
The parent who gets to do the “slack” parenting of takeaway and tv should be the parent who does the lions share of parenting. Not the one who does less.
Now I find myself noticing it more I find myself commenting more. I agree it’s a societal thing that will take time to change. And to be honest I don’t think a lot of men want it to change. I think they’re happy doing the bare minimum and being praised to the heavens.
BigSandyBalls2015 · 07/09/2022 07:37
Sad to hear this is still the case in 2022 … I had my twins 20 years ago. Went back to work part time when they were 9 months. DH did four long days at work so he could have one day off with them.
He took them to baby groups, shops, cafes etc and the comments and incredulation that he was doing this ALONE was off the scale.
DisneyMillie · 07/09/2022 08:18
My ex-h moved his new family abroad for a better job (bearing in mind he already had a good 6 figure salary so didn’t “need to”) and practically is worshipped even by my mother for coming over and visiting our dd approx once a month (at a time that suits when he needs to be over for work anyway) and paying appropriate maintenance.
Don’t get me wrong he loves our daughter but I get a hard time for even doing part time work as “you don’t have as much time for the children / to keep on top of the house” - if I’d upped and moved as he did I’d be crucified by the same people that think he’s amazing for bothering to still be in her life.
5128gap · 07/09/2022 08:25
Its almost always women heaping praise on these men.
Partly its still got novelty value for some women, so a bit like if your dog made you a bacon sandwich.
Then there's the women who've learned that men tend to need praise and positive reinforcement if they want their continued contribution.
There are also some women who like to preserve the idea that childcare is a unique ability found only in women, and so any man 'having a go' will mess it up a bit, (in a really cute way, naturally) but its sweet that he's trying, bless him.
Goosygandy · 07/09/2022 12:53
Topgub · 06/09/2022 13:21
Maybe you should take some of your own advice?
You're being very critical and belittling of me right now. (For no objective reason that I can fathom from this thread)
Seems you only want to support the sister hood when it suits you.
I cope fine with being disagreed with, I actively enjoy it. Its called debate. I dont care if people agree or don't or even if they listen to my opinion.
None of that is actually relevant to the op.
I suggest you stick to it rather than personally attacking me.
Stop being so disingenuous. You know exactly what you were doing when you said some people can't cope with being disagreed with. Nothing I have said is remotely belittling. It's just pushing back at you.
Supporting the sisterhood doesn't mean agreeing with every woman that wants to put other people down. But you know that of course.
Playing the victim isn't a good look because you don't like people disagreeing with you.
TheHideAndSeekingHill · 07/09/2022 14:25
It might be women PERFORMING the actions that show how low the bar is set, but it is certainly men who are mainly contributing to setting that bar low.
Literally tens of thousands of dads (at least) don't pay towards their kids. Tonnes don't see their kids at all, even many of those who live with their kids do the bare minimum. My own dad had friends who wouldn't be seen dead pushing a pram or carrying their own child. Many younger dads I know now try to wriggle out of doing anything for their kids, with probably only about a third who I'd truly say act as equal parents.
So as a PP said no wonder some women comment: "a bit like if your dog made you a bacon sandwich".
Blaming women for "setting a low bar" on this is such shit. Men have run society for just about ever and have had - and continue to mostly have - a huge interest in dodging the boring, unglamorous jobs. If men wanted to change where the bar is set, they could en masse improve and start being equal parents.
Goldbar · 07/09/2022 17:40
Topgub · 07/09/2022 16:54
Why would they change when they dont have to?
Because they want to be decent human beings and not take advantage of those who they claim to love and care about?
Having to harangue your partner to pull their weight is often just another chore to add to the load. Women with shitty partners are not to blame if actually it's easier often just to do it than to have the argument again. They're dealing with their reality.
TheHideAndSeekingHill · 07/09/2022 17:48
Topgub · 07/09/2022 16:54
Why would they change when they dont have to?
Maybe they are changing, slowly. E.g. my mum is absolutely amazed that my DH can cook and does cook at least half the time, she was amazed that my ex could as well. A generation ago it wasn't even half expected that men could and would cook for the family, in my generation (30s) I barely know any families where the husband doesn't cook.
I know that's not about parenting per se but it's an example of how things are changing.
But I think the point really is, men can change their behaviour a lot easier than women can force them to change it. If MN teaches you anything it's that it's hard to change a partner once you have them.
5128gap · 07/09/2022 18:29
Topgub · 07/09/2022 18:11
That doesn't really answer the question
There are lots of 'decent" men who still do the bare minimum
Women tolerate it. Women enforce it.
Why would men push for change?
I suppose in an ideal world it would be nice to think that caring for their child is something they might choose to do rather than having it forced on them by women as an unwelcome chore.
If not actually for pleasure (it can be dull) then at least from an especial feeling of obligation arising from the fact that are their own child, not a bin that needs emptying or a toilet that needs cleaning.
I suppose the hope is that decent men might feel their child deserves more from them than the bare minimum.
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