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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019
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Opinion: An apology on Father’s Day (or oops! I did it again!)

Mums, let us take a vow to truly appreciate every father’s parenting style.

Orla Breeze

MUMS! WE NEED to apologise. I mean proper, heads hanging-in-shame apologise. For we have done our men a great disservice. Yes, I know. This is hard to acknowledge and even harder to accept. How could we super-capable, all-knowing parenting virtuosos ever need to apologise for anything? But I’m afraid that we do. Allow me to illustrate:

Hubby: Surprise! I’ve booked you into your favourite spa for a two-hour treatment.

You: You have? Honey, you’re the best.

Hubby: Well you deserve a break. I’ll take care of little Johnny. Don’t you worry about a thing. We’ll have ourselves some father-son bonding time. Won’t we Johnny?

You: Well ok then, if you’re sure. I’ll just grab my bag and… oh you’re not going to feed him on the floor, are you?

Hubby: Eh, yes?

You: Could you just put him in the high chair instead? It’s what he’s used to, you know?

Hubby: I just thought it would be fun for us to pretend we’re having a picnic.

You: Firmly shaking head

Hubby: No? Ok then. High chair it is.

You: Thanks sweetheart. It just makes things easier if we both stick to the usual routine.

Hubby: Right, sure, of course. So, see you later then?

You: Yeah, I’m going right this minute…. eemmm, you are going to put a bib on him, right?

Hubby: Wasn’t going to but…

You: I know, I know. It seems trivial but honestly, it really makes things easier if…

Hubby: …we both stick to the usual routine. I get it.

You: Thanks. Ok, I’m really going this time. Oh my God! You can’t feed him that! He doesn’t have enough teeth!

Hubby: Seriously? I think he has plenty of teeth. He’ll be fine. Go – enjoy yourself.

You: No, no he won’t. Believe me, I know these things. Stick to the routine, yeah?

Hubby: Starts heading towards the door

You: Where are you going?

Hubby: Who me? Oh I’m just going to the pub for a couple of hours.

You: The pub!? What about my spa session?

Hubby: Well, it just makes things easier if we both stick to the usual routine, you know? Door slams

And therein lies the problem. According to marriage experts, one of the main reasons men end up resenting their wives is because we don’t give them the chance to be the kind of father they want to be. Ouch! How often have we played out that little scene in our own families? How often have we complained that they don’t pitch in enough whilst happily telling them how to parent when they do?

But there are things that Dad can teach the kids that we just can’t. Take my husband, for example. He doesn’t put limits on their abilities or worry that they’re not ready to try something new. Our kids are far more confident in themselves because of him. They eat foods I would never have dreamed of feeding them because of him. Where I thought, “no way!” he thought “why not?”

So mums, let us take a vow to truly appreciate every father’s parenting style – not just because it will make our men happy but because it will make truly appreciate the kind of parenting that only a father can bring. As soon as we release the need for everything to be done our way, we begin to see that Dad is as capable as we are of taking care of the kids. In his way.

And with that realisation, we are free to go have that spa session without worrying about what’s happening back home. Wouldn’t that be the best day ever? Him at home with the kids, you having a hot stone massage. Oh wait, I’m doing it again. Maybe just ask him how he’d like to spend his special day. Happy Father’s Day dads!

Orla Breeze is a writer, columnist, mother of three and a passionate defender of a parent’s right to be happy! Actual proper laugh-out-loud happy. 100 per cent of the time. Ok so maybe that’s a little unrealistic. How about 80 per cent? Anyone? Anyone? Find out more about her philosophy on her website: www.orlabreeze.com or follow her on Twitter @breezyo

Column: Fathers, appreciate time with your kids before they grow up

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Orla Breeze

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