'mothering instinct'; 'mummy knows best'; 'only a mummy can fix it'; 'daddy should be working'; 'mummy shouldn't go back to work "early"';
'can you trust dad with the baby?'
Dads taking on the role of a full-time parent is shaking up a lot of the things people are use to. Some people don't just expect mums to be the only person responsible for the baby, they also think it's better than the dad being in charge. They think it's neglectful for mum to return to work 'early', and that the dad needs to keep up his role as breadwinner for the family (awkward stereotype for me since the wife earns way more than I do).
Nowadays, it's rare to come across these views openly, but a lot of people think them privately. Around 22% of people in the UK still think that mum makes the best parent, with most of those thinking that mums just make 'more natural' parents, or that dads just don't fit into the role of full-time parent well... But I haven't met a single dad yet who hasn't been overrun by goose-bumps and nurturing instinct for their little trolls. Nor have I seen a single reason why dads make worse parents than mums...
It's not easy. Especially if your an native English speaker with poor language skills. Not hard like having a baby, that's mainly exhausting with lots of easy cool stuff at the end. It's more hard like learning to ski when you're in your 20s/30s...
My wife and I have very different attitudes to sunlight. I like it. She hates it. Unfortunately, being a winter baby, the Little Bear seems to be following his mother's opinion. Every time he gets exposed to light outside during the day (even in the shade) his little eye squint up and he'll start waving his tiny hands around in protest.
Unlike during his first month or two, now when it's bedtime it's still light outside, and even with only a small crack of light coming through the curtains, he still complains and only sleeps with a melodramatic pose: his arm covering his eyes with his nose pointing upwards in protest. He can only cope going outside for more than a few minutes if we put a hand over his eyes or pull the hood fully over the pushchair. Even then, his normally happy face looks quite grumpy from the rays.
Some people have said that we should 'just get him use to it' which sounds pretty cruel. 'Here little guy who only discovered his foot last week, I'll expose you to prolonged discomfort you can't escape from so that you can toughen up for the world...'. A slippery slope.
I would highly recommend sunnies for any winter babies.
During the whole thing, he barely moved at all, unless to whimper that he was hungry (every 30 minutes unfortunately for his mum). And he certainly didn't interact with anything around him, save the occasional stare into people's eyes.
In stark contrast, he now aptly grabs his toes while folding up into an agile yoga position, explaining to us that his feet are the most exciting thing since the discovery of his fingers only weeks earlier. By explaining, I mean rambling, squeaking and occasionally blowing raspberries: so copying his parents...
I'm Dave, dad of Little Bear. Also known as 'Pappa' to the little man as we try and bring out his Swedish roots