One issue has been causing me headaches for a while: why does the society not accept that men are indeed capable of taking care of kids – and taking care of them very well at that?
We have a very good friend back in the states, a young man in his early twenties. He’s been babysitting Lily when she wasn’t even 2 years old so we could have an adult date out before baby no. two had her big day. Whenever we came visit, he spent time with Lily, playing with her and watching her shows with her. Last year when we were back for a visit, he even took care of both girls all day long while we were out on a group date. When we came home we found them laying in a pillow fort on the floor in front of the TV, one girl being cuddled up in each of his arms, and the dog at his feet.His dream is to become a pre-school teacher. When he talked about his goal with his advisor in college, he laughed at him and told him he would never find a job working in a pre-school, because he’s a guy.
Why is it that a guy can be a psychologist, therapist, or a coach but not a primary care-giver? An increasing number of children are growing up without ever having a proper male figure in their lives. I strongly belief that it is important that children, both boys and girls, have male and female role models in their lives (not necessarily as a traditional family, since I equally support family rights for same-sex couples).
We have had to face prejudice from different areas of our environment about having Richard be the one who is primarily raising the girls. There are voices who would prefer them being in day-care of pre-school for 10 hours every day rather than spending most of their day with their dad. Back in the States, Richard did rarely dare to take Lily out by himself, fearing she’d have a melt-down when leaving the mall or a playground and being arrested (which is not unheard of!).
Why does society expect that women are the natural care-givers while men have to be the ones to go out and earn the family living? Why are men not allowed to take care of children, whether they are their own or in a professional environment such as nannies, day-care employees, and pre-school teachers? Why is it considered unnatural or sick if men enjoy playing and spending time with babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers? There is diversity out there, which also includes diversity in human nature and interests; this should be embraced rather than shunned!
And yes, I am gladly writing a recommendation for this wonderful young man on a quest to break the mold and work with little children.