Top 20 Things Dads Wish Mums Knew

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During pregnancy, birth and beyond, the world focuses on mum. I assume this is because of the physical nature of childbearing, giving birth and more often than not, mum taking on the majority of the childcare. I fully understand why this happens, but fail to comprehend why this is so often at the expense of supporting dad.

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Mum’s AND Dad’s both need support and encouragement. When this simple equation is missed, it means that often dads get the short end of the stick and people can easily overlook what’s going on with dad. Times have changed. And these outdated practices and beliefs need to change too.

I recently came across an article titled, ‘Top 6 Things Mums Wish Dads Knew.’ Firstly it made me wonder who they asked to get some of those responses and secondly, it highlighted the many similarities between mums and dads. Because we are one and the same – parents. Thirdly it made me question what things dads wished mums knew. We decided to ask The Dad Network and as expected there were some common themes. So, from fantastic, real & honest dads, here are the top things dads wish mums knew.

      1. “The baby is not yours, it is ours.”
      2. “That it’s nice to be thanked once in a while for providing for the family. I tell my missus I’m proud of her and that she’s doing a fantastic job of bringing up our 2 girls, but I’ve not been thanked once in 2 & 1/2 years for my role.”
      3. That we wish we could have had more time off when our children were 1st born to spend with them rather than having to go back to work so quickly
      4. “That our way of parenting is just as good, even if we do things a little differently to how they would.”
      5. “That we wish that women’s media posts don’t tar all men with the same brush.”
      6. “That were not useless and ignorant as we’re made out to be.
      7. “That we hate being made out to be the second parent. We are not. We are both equal”
      8. “We are not mind readers; if you want us to do something you need to ask. If we’ve been out all day and have a list of 37 tasks already there’s a chance we may forget things sometimes, reminding is ok, making us feel bad is not ok.”
      9. “That we respect the job they do more than they realise and expect that in return.”
      10. “That we need verbal encouragement just as much as they do.”
      11. “I wish mums knew how thankful we fathers are that they had given birth to our child/children and how sexy and attractive they are. They always have been but even more so now that they are a mother.”
      12. “During childbirth and breastfeeding, etc dads just feel helpless. They see their loved one in utter agony, midwives and doctors rushing about and the only thing they can do is say “breath”. And it’s no different during breastfeeding, as you want to help and support but in truth there is little you can do to take over and you feel helpless no matter how much you try and contribute.”
      13. Sex is not currency.”
      14. “We know this is rough for them, but we’re also struggling with the tremendous changes that are happening in our own way; there is no other time in our lives that we feel as vulnerable, helpless, overlooked, or unappreciated.”
      15. Watch out for signs of depression, men suffer with depression, anxiety, mental health issues and PND too.”
      16. “Our relationship is going to need more deliberate, conscious effort than it ever has before. And we are both responsible for that.”
      17. “That I miss my kids when I’m at work and appreciate all that she does with them.”
      18. “Despite how much I work it honestly kills me to not be at home spending more time with them, that I wish I was home every night for a traditional supper and to tuck them into bed every single night!”
      19. “We are exhausted too.”
      20. “Dads feel too.”

The mums shared their thoughts and now the dads have shared theirs. There are many similarities  and as far as I can see one small change could make all the difference. It seems communication is key. If we can speak openly and honestly without judgment, if we listen to each other and try to really hear what the another person is saying then parenting will be a much easier job for both mums and dads. We are all parents and all finding our feet on the new path of parenting. No one is the perfect parent and we are all learning on the job. We all like encouragement, we all need to feel loved and most importantly we all want to be the best parents we can be to the children we love.

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6 Comments

  1. Great article and totally get everything you are saying, particularly point number 15. After a very traumatic second birth which resulted in my little boy being sent off to the neo natal unit for 10 days, my husband totally fell apart. Over a period of 6 weeks, my husband had a complete breakdown and spent 10 weeks in a psychiatric unit being treated for severe depression and psychosis. Men are totally overlooked and the trauma of birth, sleep deprivation and feeling overwhelmed by everything can affect men as much as women. Unfortunately, in my experience, men do not open up as much as women. The support men often require post birth simply does not exist.

    • Rachel Craig on

      I hope he is now on the mend. Stress, traumatic experience and lack of sleep can take it’s toll. Hopefully your husband got the help and medical care he was needing. Maybe in time we will all become more aware and supportive in such times. In the past maybe with large families there was the nurturing which was required. Nowadays Health Care may have improved in some ways, it may well be the Social Support which is lacking, maybe due to nuclear families, smaller family units, busy lifestyles, pressures and targets within employment etc.

      Maybe in the future there will be more Parenting groups, maybe some specifically for those who have had babies that required care within a neonatal unit etc.

  2. Brilliant. My wife was reading this out to me earlier when I was driving and I was nodding furiously. Working shifts I especially agree with no.18!

  3. Rachel Craig on

    Good article. My brother was very supportive of his partner and children, he worked full time and shift work. He I thought was a “New Man” before the term was used, now the term is outdated, he is a Grandfather. I am glad that Culture has changed and there is more Acceptance and Respect for Dads. Parents are important for children, though obviously Parents need to Communicate in their Shared Care role/s. Nowadays often both parents may work whils Grandparents or others provide Child Care.

    I believe my brother put himself under great pressure in supporting his partner, Caring for her and their children. Whilst he also worked full time and shift work. Depression hit him on occasions :- I supported him as best I could. Thee families both genuinely cared for the couple and children. Maybe the fact that my Dad died when we were children was part of the reason why my brother put so much into his role of Fatherhood. Luckily now he has regular contact with his Grandson, as Gran collects him from school due to both his parents being in full time employment. Karma maybe.

    I agree that Dads should be Recognised for their Role though what about other relatives who are supportive :- Such as Granparents, Aunts, Uncles, Great Aunts, Great Uncles and then friens etc and Godparents. Families vary in what support they have, though Acknowledgemnent, Appreciation etc is Respectful. I found a contrast with colleagues, many had good support from their children’s Grandparents, some mentioned this and how helpful it was. Whilst others did not seem to mention Granparents yet other colleagues would say they knew that they had such support as had seen the children with their Granparents at Nursery group etc. I suppose maybe it is expectations and attitude. I think previous Generations were more Respectful of others by Expressing Gratitude etc.

    Great blog. Best Wishes.

  4. This is a fantastic post. It makes me a little upset that this is the way some dads think. They shouldn’t feel like this. I guess mum’s sort of (in the nicest way possible) neglect the baby daddy’s feeling for a little while, after the new baby is born. I do agree with all the points, in particular the way women seem to think all men, and fathers are the same. That’s an awful way to think. Also..I didn’t actually know men could suffer with PND! I guess that’s just me being naive.
    All in all, brilliant post and very important to everyone, especially mums to read.
    Happy Christmas! xx

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