Reflections of a Modern Dad
My Dad, A Revolutionary Dad. A Dad Ahead Of His Time.
My Dad grew up in a generation when the definition of the man of the house was a Dad who’s sole purpose was to go out and work from 9 until 5 to put food on the table. For many reasons but largely due to the image portrayed by the media of a stereotypical Dad many men in those days simply did not feel comfortable or feel the need to have an active part in the most practical side of parenting (i.e. changing nappies or caring for their children for long periods.) Particularly when their children were under school age.
My Dad who sadly passed away in 2014 worked extremely hard for his whole life mainly in manual jobs outdoors. He was a very practical man, good with his hands and proficient in any DIY task to the point of being a professional.
He obviously saw his main role in life as a parent to provide for us kids come rain or shine however he also had a very sensitive side. He wore his heart on his sleeve and was never afraid to shed a tear or two. When my parents divorced at the age of 8, and my Dad moved to his own home, he started to take extreme pride in cleaning the house, cooking me meals and taking care of the garden.
All of these chores would have been classed as strictly ‘women only’ jobs in the generation that he grew up in, but he obviously took a great sense of achievement and pride in cooking me meals and keeping the house clean and presentable.
When I reflect on this now, I believe that my Dad would have relished the chance at being accepted as a ‘Modern Dad’. It makes me feel extremely lucky to have become a Dad myself in an era where being a modern Dad is more acceptable and we can strive towards breaking down the barriers that previous generations have laid before us.
Since starting this blog I have come across and connected with loads of modern Dads, some are ‘Stay at home’ parent’s others are men that work full time but relish sharing the experiences that they are having in helping to bring up their children.
It is frustrating to see that unfortunately at times we are still in the dark ages when it comes to the way that Dads are represented in the media and in general. I came across an infuriating situation recently at a motorway service station when the disabled toilet which had a baby change in was out of service and the only option to change our little girl was in the Ladies toilets; where does that leave me?
How am I supposed to change my little girl’s nappy when the only option is a Ladies toilet? What should I do make a make-shift changing table in KFC from napkins and do it there?!
I appreciate that it would be inappropriate to have changing stations in Men’s toilets but the lack of unisex changing facilities at a major motorway service station is unacceptable. Nonsensical situations like that are not fair and to me they reflect the impression that society still largely has that women are the ones responsible for changing nappies. I am sort of using this scenario as a way to illustrate this but it is a fact that a lot of parenting-related branding is still aimed at ‘Mum’ instead of ‘parent’.
Well I want to scream from the rooftops that I am a Modern Dad, I am a capable parent, a loving husband and yes as well as hanging shelves and painting walls I can change nappies and mix formula. I want to do my Dad proud in flying the flag for Modern Dads and doing the very best job I can of bringing up our little girl just as he did in bringing me up.
I consider my Dad as a revolutionary Dad, a Dad ahead of his time and a Dad ahead of the game