Thursday, 8 August 2013

The dominance of dads...

Dads are great. I love my dad, and I am really enjoying my relationship with him as I grow older. Talking to him as I prepare to become a parent has been really helpful and enriching. It is odd though, as I travel ever deeper into parenthood, that I am beginning to resent the word 'dad'. I shouldn't really, but on Saturday R and I went to look at the birth unit we hope to have our daughter at in (whisper it) around three weeks time. It was a gorgeous centre, very patient focused, more like a spa than a hospital, and culturally sensitive in almost every regard. The one regard that seemed to be overlooked was the fact that even though R and I were holding hands and talking about our baby, the woman showing us round continued to talk consistently about 'mum and dad'. 'Dads will be able to...' etc. I'm now used to the odd inevitable slip of the tongue in antenatal classes, but it is always followed by an apologetic glance and then the reinforcement of the words 'parent' and 'birth partner', which reassures me that I have been acknowledged.

At this birth centre though I may as well have been invisible. We were only a small group, maybe five couples, and we were inevitably the only same sex couple. However, it seemed truly odd that a centre that prides itself on person centred care and cultural diversity should ignore me and R completely in so many ways. I have no doubt that as and when we arrive there ready to give birth, the midwives will be brilliant, and I am glad we have chosen the centre. But, surely it could be made more welcoming to the 'others' like me?

Alongside this, all magazines have 'daddy' pages, which I actually find really useful to read. They offer really handy tips about supporting someone who's just given birth. But once, just once, wouldn't it be nice if there was another mother on one of those pages too?

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