Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fathers and the pain of labour

There was a nice conversations recently about men and their involvement in their babies' lives over at Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony, inspired by Armagnac's pain at having to leave his recent-born babe at home to go to work:
The pain is like having an oxy-torch going inside your intestines. The smiling moments are like snowballs made from white chocolate ice cream.
It's a wonderful thing, is this blogging thing. I read Armanganc's original post a little while ago, and found many nodding along to him (myself included). Then, I find another conversation at another blog (Cast Iron Balcony) sparked by what he said. And the conversation keeps flowing.

Yes, we do want time out from work to spend with our children (though we may not all agree on how long), helping to raise them equally with our partners (or the children's other parents, if the case may be). For some of us, time spent at work is not necessarily the most fulfilling things in our lives – usually just a necessity. Especially when it is time spent away from our children. The trick is finding the balance.

This topic does resonate with lots of people – more and more men what to spend more time actively involved with their children. I wonder when the conversation will turn into a roar that will be heard down the corridors of parliament?

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6 Comments:

At February 20, 2007 3:48 pm, Blogger unique_stephen said...

I'm taking 22 weeks off to look after baby starting in 2 weeks. See you in August.

 
At February 20, 2007 4:04 pm, Blogger GoAwayPlease said...

Good onya Steve - littler Ade will be a better man for it.

re 'corridors of parliament' not too soon I fear, since parliamentarians must be the men who see their children the LEAST.
In the public eye this has been documented by children of R.J.Hawke, Billy McMahon's daughter has gone a bit feral recently, and very recently Billy Snedden children have gone feral on page 3.

IOt's peculiar the The Public pounce on poor Julia Gillard when she has the sense to say children cannot be opn her personal agenda at the same time as children; and where is Scott-Despoja now? home minding the baby of course.

 
At February 20, 2007 4:13 pm, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

Wow! That is so excellent!! Congratulations.

Will you also take a break from blogging? I'll miss you if you do. It may be the thing that keeps you sane... And think of the stories you can tell.

(yes, I can read yet another story about the yoghurt tipped over, the first steps, the first everything.) More stories and voices from fathers, that's what I say.

All the best, Steve.

goawayplease: on parliamentarians seeing their kids least – I know of someone who resoundingly agrees, and says it hurts!. But he's gone, hasn't he.

Funny how we hear more about the women who struggle with the juggle.

 
At February 22, 2007 1:47 pm, Blogger JS said...

I'm all for it: until men start taking lots of time off to take care of their kids, it won't really be acceptable for women to do so too.

my husband works in a job where it's just assumed that 8am meetings at short notice, late evenings, international travel (yes, I'm envious) also at short notice, is OK. the result is that I can't even think about taking on a "real job" without making our lives a living hell and consigning our 3-year-old to fulltime (8-6) childcare; so I don't; I freelance, scrounge, do boring things that can be done from home.

it's a pity it's so often seen as a women's issue, to the point where if a man does take time off it makes the papers the same way a "woman pilot" or "woman surgeon" used to. if you read The Female Eunuch, the last passage is actually about liberating men as well as women.

 
At February 22, 2007 3:08 pm, Blogger unique_stephen said...

Mark et al, I'll be sure to keep up my blogging addiction. You can be assured that you will get your fill of dad at home stories. Alex (my wife) earns much more than me so from a simple economic stand point we are better off that she is the career woman. Working at a uni with shite pay but good conditions there would be little point of it unless I took advantage of the conditions - i.e 22 weeks parental leave.
I'm relatively senior in the uni (level 9 out of 10) so it is a bit of a stir.

JS - I think that if a job culturally is such that it requires an employees partner to bow out of the workforce that it also pay him/her a parenting wage (thus avoiding the extra tax of just paying the employee more)

 
At February 22, 2007 8:59 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Unique Stephen!

It'll be a wonderful time. You see the world so differently.


Cast Iron

 

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