In December last year, my wife gave birth to our first child. I could tell you what a wonderful rewarding experience it is (and it is), but I’m not going to.
Instead I want to talk about the joy of low expectations that society places upon you as a father. I never realised that being a “good dad” was so easy. Pushing a pram up the street I have beaming old ladies tell me how wonderful it is that men are involved with the children, and that their husband would never have been seen pushing a pram. Change a nappy at my grandparents place and I hear about how fantastic it is that I help out.
It’s not just my grandparent’s generation that have this attitude. It is also clear from those in my parents or even my some of my own generation that they regard a father willing to help out with the general child raising chores an exception rather than the rule. I’ve worked with very proud Dads who would always talk of what their multiple children were up to, but admitted to having changed around three nappies in their lives. Its not that they weren’t interested in their children, it was merely that they didn’t help with the less pleasant chores.
Of course I don’t do as much as my wife does with the baby, I work and she doesn’t now. Still when I’m home I try to take a fair share of the child care chores. I don’t consider this exceptional but obviously it is. So all I can say to the generations of lazy bastards out there is, thanks for making it so easy to look like a good dad.