I guess it is natural for people to assume that a mother is mothering her child. It is the “natural” (which do not see so much natural) expectation that a woman is fulfilling her obligation as a carer to her child. The father, on the other hand, is on a temporary shift duty to mind the child. There is nothing so diminishing to the role of the father, and also so discriminatory to the role of women in society. Women are more than just mothers. Do not get me wrong, the role is superb and very important. But they can be so much more. Expecting only this out of them is limiting. On the other hand, the role of parenting is not exclusive to women. Fathers receive these prompts all the time, thus removing some of the responsability that is associated with having children. This is untrue.
Fathers should fully participate in the care of their children and share equal responsability for their upbringing. Their time with kids is as affected by other daily chores as that of the mother, and the role of parenting is not an aside for dads. It is a central duty. So when you meet a father with his child, and feel the urge to ask a question, word it like this, “daddy time?”. It is so much more appropriate.
Steve Libreri is a social worker and parent coach within Willingness. He offers parent coaching and social work sessions. He can be contacted on email@example.com.
You can visit his profile on: http://willingness.com.mt/team/steve-libreri/