Do dads deserve some “Me time”?
Here’s the problem I face with so many of my posts: I want to advocate for fathers, but the vast majority of my followers are women - so it’s hard not seem like I’m pandering to my audience.
What I can honestly say is that everything I post is what I truly believe…even when it gets me into trouble (like that time I spoke about how the “Dads Don’t Babysit” campaign is stupid).
With all that being said, let’s take a look at the question in the title. I think it’s a question that has been on my mind for the last few weeks because I am feeling like 2018 was much more exhausting than previous years - and I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like that.
Hands up everyone who is DONE with 2018!
I’m fortunate enough that, for the first time in a decade, I have quite a bit of leave over the festive period. I’m hoping to use this time to recharge my batteries - but am I allowed to do that, and do I deserve it?
When thinking about this, can I ask you not to fall into the trap of thinking that all fathers are the lazy parents? I think the partners to dads really need to look critically at their lives - are they burnt out at work, do they have a good social life, would some self-care time actually make them better partners and dads?
Talking for myself, I know the answer to the last question. When I have some space to focus on my friends (as opposed to our friends - there is a difference) and on things that are important to me as an individual, I am a much more focused and engaged partner and parent.
But - and here’s the part that might seem like pandering, but REALLY isn’t - dads really need to know that they deserve that time. Fellas, if you expect your partner to give you some time to yourself, you better be damn sure you deserve it. I’m not usually an advocate for tit-for-tat parenting (the “I changed 3 nappies yesterday and you’ve only done one today” kind of thinking), but this is a good time to take stock of who does what in your household:
Are there things that you said you would do that you haven’t done?
Are there things that your partner is doing that would actually be easier for you to do?
Does your partner have some “me-time”?
Will the me-time make you more energised, or will it actually drain you?
I guess the last question you should ask yourself is whether you actually need “space” from your family. I know some guys who are totally reinvigorated by loads of good, quality time with his partner and kids - and if that is you, fantastic!
But if that isn’t you, don’t feel like if you need to get away occasionally that you love your family any less…as long as you are doing it because you know you need it to be a better dad.
Good luck, and have a wonderfully relaxed festive season.