This week, someone posted in our Facebook group a photograph that they’d taken of an article in this week’s Closer Magazine (don’t judge, everyone likes a bit of trash now and again).
The article was about Declan Donnelly (you remember, from PJ & Duncan) who has recently become a father to baby Isla.
In fact rather than describe it, here it is:
Yes, you read that correctly.
“It seems like Declan Donnelly is a natural at fatherhood, as he was spotted pushing the pram on a family day out”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE!
Pushing a pram?
Can men even do that?!
As you can imagine, this lead to a little bit of eye rolling among the mums and dads of the group, and for good reason.
I am definitely not a ‘natural’ at motherhood. I’m not shit, but I’m not a natural, whatever the description of that would be.
I think a natural mother would probably be able to get the kids dressed (in clean, maybe even ironed clothes), fed a nutritious breakfast and out of the door on time without forgetting the packed lunch or the book or the permission slip for the school photos. There would be no under-breath-swears or shouting. Just floaty natural-ness.
They’d keep a tidy home of course, remember to buy vegetables and cook them up into delicious home cooked meal that their offspring would happily eat, and they would do pinteresty educational stuff instead of putting on the telly.
They would never let their children lose their shit in public and they definitely would not lose their shit in public.
And of course a natural mother would ditch the baby weight and, crucially, dry their hair in time for the school run.
To be considered a natural dad, apparently you just have to work out how to push a fucking pram.
The ridiculous disparity infuriates me. Media outlets are seemingly more likely to report mothers as ‘flaunting their post baby body’ whilst pushing a pram, than applaud them for being a natural.
And at the same time, it’s hugely insulting to men.
How low is the bar for fatherhood (as set by Closer Magazine and other trashy media of its ilk) that pushing a pram qualifies one as a natural at fatherhood? Does changing a nappy qualify a man for dad of the year?
What a world.
Of course it’s rubbish, and just hugely dismissive of the vast majority of fathers who I have no doubt can manage to do a lot more than just push a bloody pram.
I don’t know, maybe manage to clean and feed and play with their children or even (shock horror) take on an equal share of the child-rearing responsibilities.
My husband does bed time pretty much every night, after he comes home from work.
Bath, teeth, PJs, bedtime stories; the works. He generally does the night waking (I wear ear plugs so I don’t hear which is my excuse and I’m sticking to it). He is more than capable of taking the children out for the day or looking after them for a weekend when I’m not about. It’s almost like he’s their dad or something.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice that Declan Donnelly is enjoying being a dad. I don’t know him or much about him, but I wish him and his wife well in the whole parenthood thing.
But I do wish the media would stop being sexist pricks and telling us all to have such low expectations of fathers.