If there’s one thing guaranteed to make a parent feel stressed, it’s when their offspring accidentally hits another child on the head. This is exactly what happened at the swimming pool the other day when Izzy, my youngest daughter lost control of a ride-on toy boat she was using and, bump, collided with a small boy in the pool. As the responsible adult overseeing my child’s behaviour, I felt the need to apologise and give the boat to someone else, all the while my stress levels were going through the roof.
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 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.
I have long been curious about the amount of purchasing power that dads have. How much do they spend on their kids and how much influence do they have on consumer purchases within the home? Conventional wisdom would suggest a dad’s influence was quite low but a new report called the Dadindex suggests otherwise.