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A nuclear family consists of a mum and a dad and children. I am a part of a nuclear family. What society has grown up with, is that the mum wears the pants and been the main parent. Fathers are pushed further and further away from their children. But fathers are parents too? Society already depicts the gender gap between men and women. In the parenting role this is significant. Do mums and dads differ in their parenting styles simply based on their gender? Do mums and dads have the ability to access the SAME areas based on their genders? This topic is similar to equality. More preferable, women are seen as slashed and disadvantages, but in this case men are denied.
This awakening has become more valid in my life having a six month old. I am a father. I was left shocked and embarrassed after being kicked out of a parent’s room in a shopping centre in Perth, WA.
As I said I am a father of a six-month-old, my wife works everyday so I take care of the children. I took my little girl into a public parents’ room to change her nappy, a group of mothers physically blocked myself from the change tables and ordered that I left the room. I tried to explain that I needed to change my baby’s nappy.
The aggressive lady looked at me, started laughing and said “disgusting to see a fully-grown man in a parents’ room with a little girl”, She kept saying I was a “dirty old man”.
I tried to explain, but the women weren’t grudging. They firmly told me to leave. I was forced to take my daughter into the male toilets and change her on the sink bench.
When I walked out of the room a mother stood up for me because I was threatened with being reported as a paedophile by the abusive mother.
I left shocked and confused, I wasn’t breaking the rules I wasn’t making a disturbance, I was just simply changing my daughter’s nappy.
Once it hit my social media, other fathers spoke of their experiences with the same type of behaviour with mothers who believe any man around children must be up to no good.
These types of experiences are very rare and are not the norm of mothers and fathers in the parent’s room but it is an indicator of the hate and fear some mothers have for males who are around kids.
I am not writing this to complain or sook, I am making this put this issue out.
Sterotypically, women are the ones that look after the children and the men go and work. In my family, this isn’t the case. We are still a normal family. This example that happened to me is, is perfect to show how not accepted men are to play the ‘parent’ role involving children. Fathers are parents too, they can still look after their own kids without being a paedophile.
I understand how there can be men who use the parent room not for parenting purposes. A change can be made. The parents’ rooms can still remain for both mums and dads, with one change. The breastfeeding area should be completely out of bound and secure. Only mums should be able to access these areas. It’s not sexist. It makes sense. There’s no reason for men to use the breastfeeding area. Dads only need to access the toddler toilet, nappy changing station and play area. If this change were made, then it would be much easier for security to spot any paedophiles because no men are meant to be in that area.
I think it’s really horrible that we have to take these measures to provide a safe place for mother’s to tend to their babies, and the fact that I and other fathers fell uncomfortable and unwelcome in parent rooms.
I was helping out at the Ronald McDonald house the other week, I was interacting with all the sick children and their parents. I came across this cute little 5 year old. Her name was Isabella ad she had Lucemia. We create this very close bond. I the go to say where is your mummy. There you go I’m writing an article of dominance in mothers in parenting but I make the mistake myself. I know it’s hard, I know it’s a habit but the small chances will make the big change. I then go and correct my self and say where are your parents. Isabella goes to say my dad is over there.
I get chatting to her father, Isabella’s mother couldn’t handle the stress of having a 5 year old with cancer, so she left. Layton, Isabella’s father was a singe dad staying at the Ronald McDonald house looking after his daughter. He told me that he always gets people saying ‘Where’s her mother’ or “Do you need help’. He hates it, he is physically capable of looking after her alone. Just because I am a ‘dad’ I can’t handle her by my self?
Society brings this upon us, we assume men are incapable of handling a child. Dads need support just as much as mums do, we need to treat parents equally and not based on their gender. This means being welcoming to dads who are sharing the space to change a nappy, or taking their children to dance lessons, or to the bathroom, or just to the park.
Overall, I won’t let this experience stop me from carrying out my fatherly duties. I’ still going to keep taking my daughter to the parent’s room and trying my hardest to be a good dad, Males are there to look after their kids too, it’s not just the mum’s duty .I hope other dads will keep their chin up and not worry about those comments and looks, just keep doing what you’re doing and stay involved with your kids.
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