What makes a dad so special in the greater scheme of life that he can't spend a couple of minutes, a couple of times a day, helping his partner change their baby's nappy? And I emphasise "their" baby.
I actually couldn't believe it when NRL star Mitchell Moses said he had changed the nappy of his 11-month daughter just once in her life. "I can't do it," the Parramatta Eels player said on Triple M's Saturday Scrum last weekend.
"I did one when she was born, because the nurse pretty much came in and made me do it, so I felt like I had to, but that was the only time," Mitchell admitted. "Like I said, my missus is over everything, she's very good. I'm very lucky to have her."
Talk about old-school, Neanderthal-minded thinking. And please pass me a bucket while I heave over one of the least endearing and patronising terms ever: "my missus".
Look, this isn't a slam against just Mr Moses — who really is one of the good guys in the rugby league fraternity — but it made me think about the whole nappy changing situation and how, no question, it should be a shared job when there are two parents in a child's life.
This is what irritates me about the god-like status afforded to some blokes. What, are some men too special to wipe, rinse and put on? If fathers in demanding jobs, who also spend hours away from home, have the time to do one of the most important, bonding, smelly but actually satisfying jobs when it comes to their kids, what kind of "men-children" are we encouraging by letting others escape nappy duty?
No more excuses
For the past couple of decades, we've all been championing the family unit as a whole. We've embraced the idea that all tasks and child-rearing efforts should be shared experiences. But it seems that message may not have gotten through to some "partners". And in this case, yes, I am talking about men. We have to stop deifying blokes and excusing them from relatively simple yet incredibly important parental duties as only then will we have an even family playing field.
While I can't believe there are men silly enough to publicly admit they're not doing something that is at the core of bringing up a baby, hopefully we can spur them on to not be so afraid of poo and wee-wee. Parenting (between the two who chose to do it) should be a shared experience — not just the fun and relatively easy part of creating a baby, but all the hard yards to follow.
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