I read an article a few days ago which picked up on the recurring debate as to whether or not women can “have it all” – a career, family, friends, own interests and activities etc. As I read the article I wondered why this discussion almost never pertains to men. At the heart of this issue, in my opinion, is that men are still not perceived by society and perhaps themselves as primary or equal partner carers for their children. It is still relatively uncommon for a man with young children to be a primary carer and fathers are typically in full-time employment in their childrens' pre-school years.
Several years ago as a fledgling Dad I was bemused to have several people seem surprised that I was out alone with my baby, without his Mum. “Babysitting this morning are you?” was a question I was asked on several occasions. "Parenting", I would reply. I would also receive praise from well intentioned strangers for performing the most basic of parenting tasks - feedback which a mother would never receive as it is considered by society to be her role.