Monday, October 22, 2012

How I know that men do not like nurturing babies!

My FM station has been a mother lode of new ideas for my posts recently.
A few weeks ago one of the RJ’s had been suffering from lack of sleep. It had been going on for a few days and she asked listeners whether they suffered from the same, and if so, what their causes were? Partying, computers, TV, YouTube, gaming, immediately sprang to my mind, as the chief culprits for modern day sleep deprivation. But what amazed me was that most callers and sms messages, cited babies and small children as the main cause. I did not see that coming, but still accepted it for what it was. However as I continued listening, what astonished me was that the calls (and messages) were predominantly from men.
Men were calling in and complaining about midnight walks with crying infants, and night time feeds!! How crazy is it that the most common reason for men not getting a good night’s rest was children? What happened to drinking and partying with friends? Darts, bowling, football matches on telly, I would have understood.  But babies?
It is simply amazing how expectations from men on child rearing have been ratcheting up over the years. Pictures of handsome men pushing strollers or carrying an infant in a papoose are so prolific that we take them for granted. There are others with attractive Dads reading bedtime stories or getting up early to make a breakfast for their equally good looking triplets.
Talk about subliminal conditioning.
That got me to thinking about how much ground (and liberties) we men have given up in the last few decades. Women have been subverting the media to their own agenda, and men have been blissfully skipping along. This trend has been building for a long time now and no one has caught on. Now I fear it’s too late. It is the classic case of starting by asking for an inch and then sequestering a yard.
Just think how great it was for men a couple of generations ago. There were no expectations to stay up at night, feed the child or entertain an infant. In fact, no man worth his salt would be caught changing nappies or feeding a bawling infant. Even if one felt an unaccountable urge to do so, one would have to swear the household to secrecy and hope that your friends never found out. Today the situation is the reverse.
To admit to feeling embarrassed about publicly feeding an infant (your spouse’s expressed and bottled milk) could be grounds for separation on irreconcilable differences. Nowadays, for a man to confess that child nurturing is not something that he deeply and spiritually enjoys, would result in expensive joint therapy sessions. Before the man even finishes the sentence, he would find himself lying on a psychiatrist’s couch, with his distressed wife weeping inconsolably over the sympathetic shoulder of a Dr. Freud.
I want to ask what the joy is, in this?
I am a father of two and honestly never enjoyed changing nappies, cleaning puke, and having my child burp phlegm on to my shirt. I cannot bring myself to think that anyone (even women) enjoy this. It is a job that needs to be done - that is it. The only conceivable reason why a man would pretend to like this is to try and score with other women, whose estrogen levels soar when they see a nurturing male.
So if it keeps going this way, where will this trend end? A few years from now maybe men will be expected to get pregnant, give childbirth and suckle the young, through genetic manipulation. Technologically, I am sure that this is imminent. But I find it difficult to reconcile the image of a bald, heavily muscled and tattooed man - breast feeding!
To the women
So to all young women - let me 'plead' on behalf of the coming generations of men. Trust me when I say that I have nothing to gain by this. My children have passed that stage, though I do shudder at the prospect my son faces. I beseech you in the name of whatever it is you deem holy - do not take away even this last bastion of manhood from us.

I know what you are going to say. That women had it bad for generations, life was unequal to the sexes, and that the load and responsibilities should be shared. But we did not ask you to join the workforce, we did not say - go get a career. "You" wanted it! You now wear trousers, smoke cigarettes, curse like sailors, and drink along with men. You have the ability to work and earn alongside men, have careers, join the army, and become pilots. You wanted it - so you got it! After haranguing entire societies for decades you won these choices. You got what you wanted and then what did you do? You turned around and said that since you are too busy doing what you wanted, men have to chip in and do what they do not want.
In this spirit of openness, let me tell you something else. Something most men (especially with infants in the house) do not like admitting to, as it can upset his wife and make his day a guilt ridden living hell. Men do not like to handle babies and infants. I am not saying that we do not like to play with them when they are laughing and gurgling, just that we prefer to pass them on as soon as their faces crunch into an imminent bawl. Being peed on, or drooled over is neither cute nor endearing, and being puked on by an over-fed baby is definitely a no-no. Let me also assure you, that there is absolutely no bonding happening at two a.m. in the morning, between a bleary-eyed man changing a soiled smelly nappy and an infant. The thoughts going through a man's head, after he has been holding a bottle to an infant’s lips for half an hour followed by another fifteen minutes of frantic pacing to burp the baby, cannot be printed.
I know what you are thinking. You do not believe me - do you?
Then explain why over the last few decades (in every Country) without exception; where the expectations from husbands to be nurturing fathers has been going up, the population growth rates have been plummeting - and in countries where traditional parenting roles are followed, they remain at healthy constants? Hah!


Anonymous said...

Hi Zubs, Agree with one likes to do this stuff...let's just all keep maids! Vini

Zodspeaks said...

Now you are being sarcastic Vini ha ha... Actually what makes me wonder (and doubt), is that most people find this a deeply enriching experience!!