I read an article once about this guy who would borrow a baby to take to these hippie outdoorsy events that Nairobians love to love for the sake of adding onto their photo collections. So the guy’s plan was to entice the hot mamas in attendance with the foolproof swoon-inspiring concept of hot dude with baby.
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To be fair, seeing a good-looking, hopefully well-built man carrying a cute chubby toddler can make a woman’s ovaries explode. You know what’s better looking than Bien-aime? Bien-aime holding the baby he and I will have, fingers crossed. However, the double standard in this story would be that if a woman was to do the same-take a baby to an event-she might as well carry a placard saying she’s a Category 6 hurricane. All the men would evacuate.
When it comes to babies, and children in general, there exists very different standards as to how the two genders relate to the topic. A woman taking care of a baby is normal and elicits at most a shrug. A man taking care of his daughter deserves a viral video, especially if he’s doing something as mundane as braiding her hair.
After years of watching Telemundo and other gag-worthy films on TV, SlayQueen gets married, pops two crib midgets and realizes most awfully that DH does not help out with the babies like Alejandro did. DH is ‘dear husband’ by the way. And why should DH help with the babies, when all along society and (insert other blame-deserving parties here) has made it look like a father should not in the least bit be physically concerned with his babies’ welfare post-conception?
If I hear another man say they take care of their kids as if he deserves a medal, I will most surely have to punch someone. Recently, I attended a meeting I should probably not have attended. And in it was this guy who talked about ‘babysitting’ and to my disbelief, he was talking about his own children. You do not babysit children that you made. You raise them. You parent them. Like women have for the countless generations without expecting accolades.
It is not something to be celebrated for when you take your children to school, when you attend their school events, when you help them with their homework. This is the standard for any parent. Expecting to be honored for changing Junior’s diaper is almost as delusional as expecting your landlord to make you his MCM for paying your rent.
It is definitely time to raise the standards for the men in our lives, and the boys we are raising, and to teach our girls. That when a man lays with you and makes a baby, you both have responsibility towards the child.
While he may not have breasts to nurture the baby for the first few months of his life, he should surely be able to parent the baby for a few hours while mama takes a well-deserved break after being up all night feeding.
Girls, you deserve a man who attends your antenatal clinics with you. You did not get pregnant on your own and he will not die if he misses one day of work to take you to hospital. You deserve a man who goes through the sleepless nights with your as your little one battles colic. You most certainly deserve a man who changes diapers and knows his way around his children without thinking he is doing you a favour.