So, instead of Stay at home dad, what I really wanted to write as a heading, was…

GENDER DIFFERENCES, FEWER THAN YOU THINK… 

Why? I hear you ask all at once….. 

Well, for the last 4 months, May, June, July and August, I’ve been a “stay at home dad”… and, to be honest, it is the single most challenging yet rewarding job I have ever, repeat, EVER done in my entire life. 

Although I may stray into talking about me every so often, and I can, it’s my blog post, I actually want to make a few points about GENDER BIAS…. 

Yes, we are “wired differently” physiologically, but for an era that has long since passed… 

The things which separate us from most animals, are tools. We have tools which help almost anyone, do almost anything… 

The only relevant gender differences in the western world, are PREGNANCY, CHILDBIRTH and BREASTFEEDING… Feel free to weigh in here… 

The gender differences we experience in our day to day existences are “generally” borne of “conditioning” towards that gender bias, which starts from the moment we, who have the luxury to, choose our babies clothes … 

 

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We can tackle the gender pay gap issue, with a position which, generally considered, holds no financial reward. In fact, it is more often seen as a compromise of sorts, very rarely valued as a CHOICE, and more often than not, “traditionally” seen as the lesser role in the households division of labour…. That position is that of the housewife…. 

The family dynamic has changed,

…both drastically and dramatically, over the years, as has the meaning of the word “traditional”.  

The occupancy rates in households, due to sky-high, inflation-busting rents and unattainable mortgages, coupled with poor education and lower job prospects, is generally higher, with three, and sometimes four generations of families staying under the same roof. This, in turn, means that the division of labour is not, and more importantly should not be gender-based, or gender-biased…. 

(If I appear to stray off the subject, it is probably because I have a big head, with vast areas to fill with… sometimes vague, but always relevant information… so, stay with me, please…) 

The bit about me… 

I started my four months like this… 

MORNING 1. Kids wake up, 3yr old and 1yr old, at about 05:18 am. I wake up. Change 1yr olds nappy. Check 3yr old had a dry-night. Brush their teeth, get them downstairs.  

MORNING 2. Repeat morning 1, but quietly… 

DAY 1. Mum off to work by 7 am. Breakfast served by 7:30 am. RELAX TIL LUNCHTIME…..Nooooooo!!!! 

DAY 2. Repeat day 1, but after breakfast, wash dishes, prepare mid-morning snacks, clean up after snacks, pray for naps, prepare lunch…. 

I could go on. I could go on, for 120 more days. 120 more days of learning something new every day. 120 more days of learning how to do things better than the day before.  

120 more days of “Stay at home dad” realising that…

It is the most underrated, thankless, repetitive, mind-numbing, adult-company seeking, children’s TV brainwashing, don’t you dare turn your back for a second, I’d rather be a UFC referee, I want mummy, he hit me, I had an accident, it’s ok daddy don’t cry, I made you some tea in a plastic cup, and here’s some polystyrene cake, and my brother has taken off his nappy, and I tried to clean up the mess, I made you a card, I want to go see my cousin, I want hugs, I’m not tired, I love you daddy, you’re my best friend, but not today mummy’s my best friend, but I’m still your princess, we actually love but don’t know how to tell you, kind of jobs you could ever imagine…. 

The assumption that you can just walk into this job and boss it from day-one, is exactly that. Ridiculous. Yet it is gender-bias that makes us “men” think that “housewives” have it easy. Yes I’m generalising, but with good reason. 

None of what I mentioned above, has anything to do with gender.

I, therefore, cannot and should not assume that someone else would be able to do it better than I did. Learn faster maybe? Yes, but it is a continuously moving set of goal posts, in a game which does become second nature. You adjust your skills and tactics accordingly, but the game never ends. 

Now, back to that assumption. When person X says they can do a job as well as person Y, are they talking about what they see on the surface? Or did they put in the equivalent “120 days” of learning?  

Stop taking yourself for granted. Stop taking others for granted. You are not better or worse than anyone. You have different skill and abilities that you can apply in different places, for different reasons.  

The people who invented and created the things you use today are not better than you, just applied what they know differently. 

Don’t belittle others, and don’t let yourself be belittled.  

As complicated as any job title may sound, it isn’t usually beyond the scope of education. 

As simple as any job title may sound, it is usually beyond the scope of a closed mind… 

Have your say…