Yup, its true, we've all done it. And yet frequently, us Dads get furious, incandescent with rage when society does that thing that completely fucking ignores Dads.
Well I say (up to a point), we only have ourselves to blame. Many of us will have been raised by Dads that were the 'bread winners'. Came home, ate their tea, gave us a look if we were being naughty. But mainly only did nice stuff once a year or not at all. My Dad was always there for a hug, but rarely fed me, changed me, chastised me, or anything. We bonded over trips to Sutton HMV once I was a teenager. But it was different. All too often us Dads use this as an excuse for our equally disengaged behaviour. Well that's a lame excuse. We're grown ups, and we make our own choices.
When we found out about our first daughter Maeve's difficulties at the 20 week scan, we were ushered into the (what became all too familiar) room with a leather sofa, leaflets and tissues. The nurse that did the scan followed us in and hugged my wife. Before I had a chance to, and then left the room. I mean HELLO?!? From that moment I decided, as an adult can, that I wasn't going to put up with that shit. At all scans and appointments since I am (probably annoyingly) pointed if the GP/Doc/midwife etc talks to Becca and not to me.
A few weeks after Maeve died aged 18 months, I was at home losing the plot (like you do). Becca wisely suggested we go to the GP, our surgery was really good about that stuff. By the time we got there I was kind of blank and catatonic. I don't remember much but we were took into a small room by the kind receptionist, who then hugged Becca. And left. Yup, an appointment that was for me.
So Dads, back to being on message, in order for this to stop happening, we need to engage. Embarrassingly often on Instagram I hear the words "I wish my other half was engaged as a Dad like you are Nick". I'm flattered I guess, but I hate hearing that. What the fuck are you guys doing?!
I accept that all the wonderful Mums out there have a bond with a child like no other. Its unique, its physical, emotional, spiritual, incredible. However us guys can get a taste of that if only we'd realise that all you have to do is SAY you want that too. Then actually do it. Be the bad guy sometimes, change that nappy when the baby is having a meltdown, let your other half have a break. Take the baby out, let your other half have a big deep bath. Be the first one to reach for the baby when it falls. I know a lot of you guys will be shouting and cursing at me "I DO THAT YOU TOSSER!" but far more of you don't. I see it in play parks, cafes, streets, shops, soft play. Some of the local parent and toddler groups aren't called Mums and Chums for nothing. Ain't no guys there, EVER.
Break the mold, prove that we deserve to be heard above the noise of our sisters doing it for themselves, lets gets together brothers. Without shame, without fear, without embarrassment, but with love, care and a desire to be Dads. You don't have to be some horrible cheesy perfect teethed Dad rolling about in the grass (google image search 'dads' - I dare you), just engage, and don't accept the norm.
Love you, guys. Yeah, yeah, euuuuw.