Last night I spent a joyful (and rare) evening down the pub with three of my closest friends. We talked about many things but as we are all parents the chat turned to our experiences as Dads. I thought I would share some of this conversation as I found it interesting and I would love to know your opinions on the same subjects.
If there was a change in rules about paternity/maternity leave would you split the time 50/50 with your wife? – Two of us were in favour of 6 months each, one opted for 2.5 days each per week and the fourth was happy for his wife to have all the leave. I have no idea if we are typical of average Dad across the UK but I imagine the idea of more flexible leave would be popular.
Was the day you first child born the ‘best day of your life’? – We had consensus on this answer: No it certainly was not. Any day where you are grateful you got through without losing someone you love can never be called a good day. We could happily name plenty of other days that were pretty amazing though.
Baby names – Zero consensus. We couldn’t agree on the best way to pick names, who should do it or even the hardest part of the process. Just don’t ask us.
How have you changed since you became a Dad? – I found this really hard as initially I could only thing of how I have changed for the worse. My temper constantly bubbles under the surface and my patience with people who annoy me is paper thin. Maybe by being patient with George I have nothing left for other people but I doubt it. I think the others found this equally hard and we could all pick things about ourselves that weren’t very positive. I feel I have more empathy with other parents than I used to; in the past if I saw someone losing it in public and screaming at their kids I might have silently judged. Now I understand why even if I don’t agree with what they are doing.
Stay at home Mums – One of my friends was keen for his wife to stay home with the kids even though he felt this was an ‘old fashioned’ view. For most of us the decision came down to money so ideology pretty much goes out of the window.
Other conversation starters that were rejected included:
- In The Night Garden: Is it?
- Cloudbabies: Are they?
- Lance Armstrong: Did he?
- The Six Nations: Will they?
- The French: Should they?
Please post your opinions, personal experiences or questions in the box below.