HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

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.


  • Kat O+
    July 3
    1:04 pm

    This is so true. Good, early training also helps. My hubby knows it’s his job to change dirty nappies, run baths and feed the baby. But I had to show him how to do those things a few times before he was comfy enough to own those tasks. If I’d let him get away with the excuse of not knowing how to do them (What? Was I born with a nappy changing gene? I think not.) we would never have gotten to this point. Also, I had to be less critical of his mistakes! So I can see how a strained relationship will struggle to cope with a baby. We had some intense rows in the first few months.

    And my gosh, I wish I can talk to my ovaries the way you talk to yours! *grin*


  • Cathie
    July 3
    1:37 pm

    As a new mom, I’m overprotective of my baby, to the extent that I know that my husband gets pissed over it. I know I’m excluding him, but I honestly can’t stop myself. I know other women who prefer to do everything themselves for their babies too, so I know I’m not the only one.


  • Shannon Stacey
    July 3
    2:19 pm

    My husband works—his own company—and I’m a stay at home mom, but when he’s home with them, he’s WITH them, if you know what I mean. He’s involved enough that if he’s late, they’re pacing in front of the door. When they were each babies, he’d pack up the diaper bag and head for the day—breakfast, the dump, Home Depot.

    But the bulk of actual care falls to me, naturally. He, of course, never got the diaper tapes fastened right. *g*

    And his biggest pet peeve—dads who say they’re “babysitting” or, if he’s at a restauarant with the boys, somebody asking him “babysitting, today?”


  • Nikki
    July 3
    2:29 pm

    11 years ago after my son was born, I was very ill because of complications that were caused by his birth. I had was on bed rest and had 3 surgeries in the first 6 months of my son’s life. I could not take care of him. My husband had be the one to take care of my son. He took off months of work(Thank God he had a job with which he could do that) He stepped up to the plate and is a wonderful father.

    I am a stay at home Mom(another thing I am grateful for) so in the evening, my husband is in charge of baths and books at night. On the weekends he changes all the diapers. He has the hardest job because after working all day he comes home unwinds a little then he takes care of the kids for me.

    I am thankful everyday for him. It’s hard work now, but when my kids are grown I feel like they will have a special bond with their Daddy.

    When people have kids to save relationships it is beyond sad. It is a bad decision. I feel bad for these people because they don’t realize this until it is too late.

    The kids are always the ones to suffer, whether they stay together or split. Whatever happened to a time where we put kids first?


  • Jane
    July 3
    9:00 pm

    Ned is consultant who works at home and cares for the girl. So I guess he spends alot of time with her. He does have the patience of a saint (which is why we are still married) and I often think that the Girl is way better off with him at home than me.


  • Shannon Stacey
    July 3
    9:47 pm

    Oh, and a lot of 23 year old, first time mothers of 3-month-olds won’t feel secure in their relationships with their husbands. Many will feel insane, exhausted, still scared shitless, and very unattractive. Not all, but alot.

    First year of the first baby’s life—make zero relationship decisions (outside of drastic occurences, of course.)


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment