I’m just wondering where the “Dad guilt” is at?
I just looked up the hashtag #dadguilt and it had 160 posts on instagram. So I searched #mumguilt and it had 11,342. Then I remembered other parts of the world spell Mum like “Mom.” #momguilt had 32,086 posts. PEOPLE! Mums’ have hashtagged their guilt 43,428 times to Dads’ 160! WHAT-THE-ACTUAL $#@%!
I know there are so many more mothers documenting parenthood than fathers. But there are still so many Dad voices out there too and I’ve never seen a Dad talk about “Dad Guilt” on my feed. I think I see “Mum guilt” documented daily!
Is it that Dads just aren’t feeling guilty for choices or mishaps in parenting?
Are Mums condemning themselves more?
Are we overlooking the feelings of Dads?
Are Mum’s more worried about what people think of their parenting?
Are Dad’s feeling like they can’t speak up?
What I do know is that mothers are still being judged and shamed more for their parenting than most (cis-male, heterosexual) Dads.
That western society still expects more from Mums’ parenting, and Mums are feeling that pressure.
That Dads too often are treated like a “helper” than a parent eg, “is Dad babysitting tonight?” That cis-men are struggling more to share how they are feeling and feel stigma for speaking up compared to cis-women (As seen documented in mental health studies over and over.)
I’m sure we all feel guilty from time to time with parenting, but we need let go of “Mum guilt.” Mums shouldn’t be shamed or feeling guilty for the same things we wouldn’t think twice about Dads doing. And we also need to welcome Dads’ voices more in conversations of parenting…like sometimes feeling guilty!
Feeling guilty is a crappy emotion but if I’m ever feeling it, I’ll be using #parentguilt from now on. It’s a small start.
PS- I know that this was written in quite a heteronormative, cis way. I want to welcome voices also from those that are parenting in rainbow families to this conversation too x
[visual description: 4 photos. Photo 1 is Liam with our 3 kids. They are sitting on a bench seat at a table in a cafe.All are smiling toward camera. Last 3 photos are screenshots of the hashtags I talked about.]