I can’t pretend otherwise, it took me a long time to come around to the idea of both International Women’s Day and International Men’s Day. I found them to be slightly vague concepts and at times the debates they have created have been off-putting.
I had no interest in gymnastics until two years ago. Sure, I took my kids to a gymnastics club, but parents were not allowed to watch the sessions, so I had no idea what my kids were up to. It looked nice, but it was simply another sport I was vaguely aware of.
There’s no doubt in my mind the UK’s Shared Parental Leave (SPL) system could be improved. Nonetheless, for some couples it works very well.
Earlier this summer I published this article, written by dad Hamish Reid. He had taken SPL previously and with his wife expecting another child, was gearing up to go on leave again. It was enlightening hearing about Hamish’s positive experiences, but what of his wife Vanessa? I asked if she would be kind enough to write something explaining what she thought of having Hamish around in the early months following the birth of their latest addition. Here’s what Vanessa had to say (and please do also read this article from Nicola Gilroy who explains how SPL benefited her family).
I shouldn’t be writing this blog post. I had to have an argument with myself about the fact it would bring further attention to Piers Morgan and his high-profile comments about Daniel Craig using a baby carrier. I should know better, but I simply can’t help myself.
I sometimes look at my life and have to remind myself my experience of fatherhood is very different to many other menfolk. Put bluntly, my existence has gone off in a completely different direction compared to my male peers who work full-time.