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I was listening to my usual radio station earlier today, and the topic today was about the role of men as parents. Apparently, less than 15% of men in this country take an active part in raising their kids. The most popular excuse given by the men who called in, was that they were the breadwinners, and therefore had little time to spend with their kids. One bloke did call in who was a house-husband, and he said that he’d taken the decision to leave work because he didn’t want to miss his kids growing up.
In Miriam Stoppard’s column this week, was a letter from a 23 year old woman, with a three month old child, complaining that her partner doesn’t help out with the baby at all. She also seemed to be worried that the baby’s arrival, far from bringing them closer together, actually seems to have driven them further apart.
I’ve never really understood people who have children in the hopes that it will make their relationships stronger. From looking around me, it seems to me that children are more likely to place a greater strain on a relationship, than bring couples together.
If the relationship was in danger before the birth of a child, then coupled with new financial worries, post natal depresssion, and sleepless nights, what chance have they got? Not to mention the fact that most women’s libido’s wane after childbirth, therefore leaving the men to either turn to DIY, retain blue balls, or have an affair.
One of my best friends and her partner had their first baby last year. Their relationship was in a bad place before she got pregant, and when the baby arrived, it seemed to go from bad to worse. Whenever I speak to her now, she seems beyond stressed. The irony is, all her life, all she’d ever wanted to be was a mother. I asked her a couple of weeks ago, if she was going to have anymore children. I was surprised when she told me in no uncertain terms that she definitely wouldn’t have any more.
I’m hoping I don’t feel the same way, if my ovaries ever decide to get off their arse, and do the job they’re supposed to.