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Father & Child Magazine Issue #29

The Daddy vote; Outlook for Monday; Escape from abuse; D(ad) break; Potty time

Contents

  • The Daddy Vote: General elections-they happen every three years. So where do the political parties stand on families, and the fathers role in it, this time around?
  • Outlook for Monday: Practical advice to help families survive (and even enjoy) the toughest of winters.
  • Escape From Abuse: How big a problem is it in “Godzone”, and how do we recognize the signs of abuse? Brendon Smith takes a closer look.
  • D(ad) Break:How are fathers portrayed in advertising? Have things improved at all over the years? Hugh Joughin tunes in, in an attempt to answer the questions.
  • Potty Time

Editorial

Family/Life balance

Whenever I go past my local kindergarten around pick-up time (3-3.30 weekdays), I am amazed by how many children are being picked up by their dads. My children’s school is no different; perhaps 20-30% of parents eagerly awaited by their youngsters are men.

Those are the times when I think what a great and positive change parental relationships have undergone that parenting is now such teamwork.

Other times I am disheartened by the refusal of policy makers to acknowledge this change. Our well-meaning prime minister once again made promises to sort out the difficulties ‘mothers’ face when trying to combine raising children and paid work.

The cynical part of me would like to respond: “what’s the big deal? Ask the fathers; they’ve been doing it for half a century.” Of course, that fathers have started asking their employers for time off to attend school camp or care for a sick child is a fairly new thing – but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened in the past. It just means you found more acceptable excuses.

For the scores of self-employed men running an owner-operator business, there was no boss to report to anyway, and you had to make a judgement call whether this particular job can wait another week.

Tradesmen have never been amongst the most punctual people, and you can probably blame their families for a good part of this. Others regularly worked overtime to have time-in-lieu when needed.

And then there is the shiftworkers, who never seem to sleep. Juggling family and work? As a guy you just find your own solutions but don’t bother your employer with your private life.

That’s why Helen’s statements feel like a bit of a kick in the guts. In singling out ‘mothers’ in her speeches she perpetrates those very stereotypes that feminism has tried to deconstruct, and she shows remarkable ignorance about how families operate these days.

Parents cooperate about childcare, and very often even after separation. Any solutions for the so-called ‘work/life balance’ has to take this model into account. Otherwise men will continue to be too scared of losing their job if they ask for time off for their children.

Harald Breiding-Buss

Next: The Daddy Vote

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