As my wife’s year of maternity leave came to an end we sat down to contemplate who would look after our child when she went back to work 3 days a week.
My suggestion of boarding school was voted out by committee and after some back and forth over child minder vs nursery we opted for the former. The only question now was how many days we needed? My wife was going back doctoring three days a week, and with me being self-employed, a day of DDC (Daddy Day Care) was definitely an option. With my wife’s reduced income, pressure was on me more than ever to pay the shackling mortgage and bills each month, 3 days with the childminder would be financially more viable. After much deliberation and knowing I wouldn’t get this chance again I thought ‘sod it’ and made the commitment.
It was the single best decision I’ve ever made, and now every Wednesday I get to hang out with my best mate.
The only problem is, I thought there would be more of us (dads that day care that is). The reality is we’re still a rare breed and in the minority at playgroups and swimming lessons.
Cornwall has a greater percentage of home working freelancers than anywhere else in the UK but even here in Kernow it’s rare to find a dad that does weekday care of their kids. I’m sure there are more of us than ever before but this particular wolf pack is spread thinly. The bottom line is, it’s hard to find other dads with similar age kids outside our normal networks.
This isn’t to say hanging out with mums is not fun. It is. Whether it’s at a parents and babies fitness class with Elizabeth at fired up fitness or a more relaxing coffee and cake, mums are always swift to lend a hand if it’s needed or have a good old parenting chinwag. Don’t get me wrong, this is lovely. I’m up for a heart to heart about the best cream for nipple sores, or a deep and meaningful about Gina Ford and if her book is indeed the baby bible or best burned (as our midwife instructed us to do).
I’m really, really up for all that parenting chat (honest) … but mostly I’d rather be hanging out with my fellow dads and seeing who can dress their kid in the most embarrassing outfit.
Where is the toddler surfing club? (where one dad hauls a train of pushchairs down the beach while the dads surf nearby). Where are the long distance, baby carrying, coast path walking groups? And when is someone going to open climbing wall, soft play area and cafe in same building?
So male Tot’s About readers, if you’re keen to hang out with the dads that day care and have a great time while doing it then join our newly formed Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/cornwallddc