Helping Fathers Get Involved

The UK has decided to overhaul a variety of policies with the goal of getting fathers more involved in parenting. A laudable goal, and much needed. When I was pregnant, I was deluged with information about how to care for babies, while my male partner was offered nothing. Worse yet, I was told that it was essential to do things which would in fact impede his participation– like holding newborn baby against my bare skin as much as humanly possible. I had a caesarean and my partner wasn’t allowed to stay with me for the first two nights in hospital. So my introduction to parenting (a deeply unpleasant one) was being on my own with a baby after major abdominal surgery (and no, the staff were not much help). Looks like these policies are being changed. But what’s not being changed? Fathers still only get 2 weeks’ paternity leave, compared to mothers’ 52. (I know that sounds like a blissful fantasy to US readers, but it’s still obviously very unequal and definitely perpetuates the idea that parenting is women’s work.)

Thanks, HA!