Men like my father are still a rare breed – but it’s time to change that


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I’ve been primary carer for our two children their whole lives, thinking quietly to myself that I was the smart one whilst my wife pursued a glittering academic career. 16 years onwards, blessed with high-achieving kids, academically AND¬† sporting-wise, I’ve become an extremely¬† NON-paid chauffeur slash chef slash cleaner slash tutor slash everything-else. There was an eleven year gap before I got my one and only chance in all that time to spend 24 hours away from home duties.
And for those 16 years, I have constantly been on the receiving end of derogatory comments about the “easy life” I’ve lead, about all the “spare time” I have, and the belief that I haven’t had a “real job” in years, mostly from idiot siblings and old friends who think they’re being funny but wouldn’t dream of saying things like that to their stay-at-home wives. And then there are those other men who generally look down their collective noses and perceive me to be of lesser standing. They have no idea that I used to get ridiculous money working 40 hour weeks sitting in a comfortable chair in an air-conditioned office, and chose to swap it for 120 hour weeks of unpaid volunteer work.
It’s not really any wonder that men don’t want to change the current status quo – most of us aren’t tough enough, or smart enough, to cope.
And I’m sure it’s been incredibly rewarding to see my fine young people grow and blossom to make their mark on the world – I get told all the time how polite, and smart, and caring they are – and once I’ve slept for 12 years and recovered, I might get a chance to see for myself.

Men like my father are still a rare breed – but it’s time to change that.

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