Monday, 3 March 2014

Being Daddy

I remember in my early 20s, when I was just getting into my PhD and loving the work. I went home for Christmas break, and my Dad was saying that there is nothing in life that compares to parenting. I said rather flippantly that I didn't think I would be a mother. My Dad tried to explain the joys, and I replied:

"It's alright for you, you get to be a Dad."

To his credit, he got it straight away and stopped talking.

20 years on, one civil partnership, 6 rounds of IUI and 5 rounds of IVF later, I do sort of get to be the Daddy to our two boys. It definitely feels like that Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday. I leave the house 6:30/7, and return at 6/6:30. I love the Daddy swoop when I come home! Cuddles, a few games, books at bedtime, and it's a wrap. NICE. It is very easy for me not to shout on these days ;-).

We are so lucky to have been born at a time where it's fairly straight-forward for (middle-class) lesbians to have children. Living in Brighton, we aren't even remarkable. One of the things I enjoy is that there are no social scripts for who should do what, so we are forced to think through lots of stuff without a default. We would not necessarily have predicted that Sian would stay home so much more than I do, but it definitely works best that way.

I also like having insight into mothering AND fathering. I definitely get the mother guilt, and the constant feeling of responsibility. In a typically mother way, I often text Sian messages in the middle of the day with things like, "Don't forget to pay for H trip." (This does not seem to annoy her; I am indeed blessed.)

But I have a bit of an inkling about Daddy guilt too. When surveyed, the number one answer to what makes a good Dad is still "breadwinner." It's a weight. I feel that too.

No comments:

Post a Comment