When I think back to how my father participated, (or not), in raising us, I give him the excuse that men back then thought that it was the woman's job to take care of the kids. However, my husband tells me that his dad did participate. So even back then there were fathers that shared in the raising of the children, other than being the disciplinarian.
My husband was a very hands-on dad when we were raising our children, twenty or so years ago! He did everything from changing diapers, midnight feedings, cleaning up puke to reading stories, singing bed-time songs and playing with them. So, when it comes to my son-in-law and the way he views his part in the parenting of my first grandchild, I get a little cranky.
Oh, he changes diapers and feeds the baby. But he acts like it's a duty, a job to be accomplished. He says he's "taking care of the baby". No, SIL, you are participating in the parenting of your child. I told my daughter today that her husband should take the night feedings when he's off the next day. She said "he doesn't like it". What? WTF? I'm sorry sonny, but this is what you signed up for. You're a father now. No longer is it all about you and what you like, don't like or feel like doing. Geez Louise!
Let me ask you, young mothers. What's your take on this? Is your husband a hands-on dad? Does he look at taking care of your children as a duty or a blessing?
I love my SIL and he loves my daughter tremendously. He didn't have the most loving parents growing up, so I understand there were virtually no role models on how to love and care for his child. But, he's an adult, he made this choice and he is the father now. It's time to do for your son what your parents didn't do for you. Break the cycle. Participate. Love him. Care for him. Be your wife's partner in raising him.
I'd love to hear what you think. And, do you have any book suggestions on what it means to be a hands-on-dad?