Published On: Thu, Jul 26th, 2012

Who is the best parent, Mum or Dad?

We went to Geddfest this Sunday, great family atmosphere, a wide range of music and yummy cider!

I was struck by the attentive Dad sitting close tending to his daughter. He was constantly feeding this little tot, making sure she had her drink, slapping on the sun cream, adjusting her hat and so on. I was going to say to the Mum what a great job he had done, but stopped as I wondered why? Do I congratulate every Mum for doing a great job? Would I be patronising him to say this, when that was what he was meant to do? Does my noticing mean other Dads don’t do a great job? I ended up feeling sexist and kept my mouth shut.
Yes, OK, Dad can’t breastfeed little one, but everything else he can do, once babe has arrived. The modern man is more tuned in to shared parenting and not leaving it all to Mum. Even though, I think we gravitate to certain roles within the parenting job brief. Of course some parents don’t have the luxury of sharing the role and they certainly don’t do half a job.

Hormonally the Mother is driven to attend to the childs every need. Her ear is tuned to the cry, depth of vision narrowed to the vicinity of the child, and there is a deep down internal tug that makes it nearly impossible to ignore the demands for attention.
But you modern Dads rock, with your practical help and parenting, and well done Mums for giving Dads the space and confidence to try and succeed in every day practical parenting. My Father tells me he would have been mocked for pushing a pram, so we should celebrate that life has changed so much.

And to the Dad on Sunday, well done! We all deserve praise for a job well done, whatever we do and who ever we are.

Clare Szurek, mother to 3 and owner of mocha-mama, the cafe for expectant and new parents in Kettering.

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