Jacinta Tynan should stick with reading from an autocue and forget about ‘writing’ articles. I guess I shouldn’t expect much from an ex Today Tonight presenter.
A recent article creditting Tynan as the author (but considering the state of journalism these days who really knows) that was publishing on essentialbaby.com.au talks about conflict as a result of having a baby. I was expecting an article on a variety of reasons for conflict within a partnership as a direct results of bringing a child into the relationship. Instead, I see generalisations branded as research* and reinforcing the usual ‘man does this/woman does this’ BS.
Now, I accept that there are some truths in gender stereotypes. But just remember that the words ‘many’ or even ‘majority’ do not represent the whole picture.
I find it particularly frustrating when women moan about men being “all the same” but then proceed to publish articles that practically encourage the poor, useless male stereotype. Sure, many men might take a back seat when it comes to parenting and expect their partner to do more than their fair share but there are also lots of men who do a great job supporting their partner.
Tynan’s article talks about men expecting little to no change in their ‘me time’ after having a child. I know that many women underestimate the changes to their lifestyle after having a baby. I’ll honestly raise my hand and admit I was one of those women. For me, it was the 6 month mark when Baby C didn’t just sleep in pram when we went out. Newborn babies seem so easy compared to 6 month olds and beyond.
I also know that many laid-back and relaxed women become control freaks when they become mothers. It might be the out-of-control experience of labour that tips them over the edge, but all of a sudden they have to supervise every feed, bath and nappy-change. And if you don’t do it her way then you’re doing it wrong. No wonder some dad’s just throw their hands in the air and say ‘well, you do it yourself then!’.
There are lots of reasons for conflict after baby, lack of sleep makes people snappy, but not all of them comply with the rules of gender stereotyping.
I wish the Australian media would spend more time writing articles that challenge gender assumptions and less time publishing stuff they think we want to hear. And I don’t mean articles holding up the one stay at home dad in all of Sydney to the lofty heights of stardom. Because families with any stay at home parent are thin on the ground these days. But lots of dads work from home one day a week to look after their child. Other dads work permanent part time, contract or weekend/night shifts so they can do the school run.
The more articles that start normalising (rather than applauding) a family situation outside of the regular, the less selfish-childish men or martyred, bone-weary women we will have to put up with.
*The Relationship section of the Essential Baby Forum does not constitute research.
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