AMBA, Australia, Australian Multiple Birth Association, Brisbane, Brisbane Multiple Birth Association, Dad, Daddy, Facebook, Inspiration, Madness, Mr.Dad, Multiple Parent, Multiverse, Orangutan, Parenting, Role Model, Truth, Twins
It’s another glorious Saturday morning and today I had our Multiple Birth Clubs EPIN (Expectant Parents Information Night),…..well day in this case. For those who aren’t aware, these Multiple Birth Parents meetings are a way of gathering information on the ‘little things’ you need to know about becoming a Multiverse Parent. Everything from what twin/triplet prams will fit through doors to what car will take three baby seats a cross the back through to how do you feed two if not three or four babies at once.
The concept is to prepare, and be, a central information hub for the new Multiverse parents without scaring the crap out of them,…easier said than done sometimes. The volume of information is almost overwhelming as there is no one ‘right way’ of doing things. Every child is different, every parent is different every age group, financial circumstances, your location, your community, your family support network (if you are lucky to have one), your local AMABA club, the list goes on. It also depends on if these are your first kids, like us, or if they are number 2 & 3 or some cases 4 & 5 or more.
Volunteering my time a few hours every few months is an easy thing to do and it also allows me some time to meet other inspirational dads. To clarify the word inspirational, I mean the Dads who are just naturally involved in the whole process. If they don’t know what to do, they ask or check out what other Dads have done to make things easier for not only the wife and kids, but himself as well.
Just like the saying, ‘To turn a house into a home’ these guys are the ones that you can say ‘To turn a male into a Dad’ is so very true. It is a learned thing, nobody gets a manual at the hospital saying ‘Hey Dad, you need to try X, Y, Z and don’t piss off the wife in the process.’
So what makes an inspirational Dad?
How come some Dads are considered ‘better’ than others?
Where can these Dads get the information, support and inspiration they need?
We all know there are a 1001 groups on Facebook, Pintrest, blogs, and other social media circles for the Mums, but what about the Dads? Without a doubt, us mere males tend to defer, whether we think we do or not, to the ladies when it comes to raising the kids and here are the key reasons why:
1] In most, not all, cases Mum gets the maternity leave
2] Again, in most cases, Mum is breast feeding
3] Dad is back at work ASAP and sometimes this involves travel or FIFO/DIDO rosters.
4] This is ‘the way things were’ when we were brought up as males.
5] Generational change is glacial sometimes…..
All these main points, and a whole lot more I have not mentioned, literally take a Dad’s time away from his kids. He doesn’t see the little milestones and sometimes even misses the big ones, not though deliberate neglect, but more through him trying to do what he thinks is right and best for his family.
Putting food on the table, paying the mortgage, the bills, additional costs with extra mouths to feed without burning himself out, with only half the incoming cash, without showing he is stressed to the max and worried that he may not be the ‘perfect Dad’.
In essence, everyone knows what Dads DON’T do, so how do we change that?
Notice I say WE and not what HE has to do?
I’m not laying blame or going to defend the multitude of peripheral types of family models out there. Just take it for what it is and ADAPT it to suit YOUR needs as a family. Just like dating, having sex or getting married, it took TWO of you to get to where you are now, yet have you ever discussed how your partner was raised as a child? There are some really easy indicators as to WHY all Dads are not the same.
Was he brought up in a single parent home?
Was he caught up in domestic violence?
Absent Dads, alcohol, drugs, prison, unknown or simply didn’t have a good relationship with his own Dad?
THIS is what a Dad knows, THIS is is how he will repeat the same mistakes because to him it IS normal. Dads have to role model for other Dads and they have to be a part of one thing to make this possible. These Dads need exposure to what other Dads do. You cannot simply sit him down and say ‘DO THIS AND THAT’, it just won’t work.
Dads NEED a community where they can watch, listen and learn through others experiences. The relationship break ups are on average 40% higher for those with Multiple Births than those who have one child at a time. There is an expectation that a guy will just become a super dad overnight, well sorry folks, you have just created the equivalent of martial suicide…..
Expectations are not just his or hers, they are set by BOTH of you. Oh? You didn’t know this? Why? Because as a species we are just dumb about communication sometimes…you know, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, etc.
Do I have your attention now……..?
Good, now here is YOUR chance to make a difference. Oh and to the person who just said, me? Why should I have to do this? You are the person this is aimed at the most, you are the person who complains the most. Complaining is about as useful to a parent as a rice cooker is to an Orangutan in Borneo.
We ALL need solutions, we ALL want to be heard and we ALL want to be good parents……so why can we? It’s simple, women talk, listen absorb and then do. Men on the other hand WATCH, listen, try to remember, have a go, stuff it up, get in trouble and them get hit over the head for not doing it right….oh and this can work in reverse too so don’t feel it is a dig at the ladies. Us guys can be just as stubborn as any two year old with a few extra grumpy pills thrown in for good measure.
Sound familiar? It should, it’s my household that works just like this from time to time. The difference is how we work on things to make them better.
For the Dads who have, or are going to have, twins, triplets or more, I would suggest you join a group like Multiples Dads Sanctuary on Facebook.
Why the Multiple Dads Sanctuary?
It is a place where guys talk, vent, listen and support other Dads with Multiples. There is a heap of great Dads Groups out there, but this one is niche. No offence to any Dad with kids, but this is one of those things that only other multiple dads could understand. The friction is lessened because we are all coming from the same place and going in the same direction.
Again, why? Well for starters you can learn something, hell I run the damn thing and learn have learnt that the little things can make a big difference. No one is forcing you to post a single comment or like any posts but if you can see the INSPIRATION on the page, then take that idea and DO something with it…..you might just understand some of the dos and don’ts the ladies are always talking about.
Isn’t the best way to learn something is from someone else with real experience???
For those who are going to become Dads and live in Brisbane, you MUST look at Mr.Dad and attend one of his antenatal classes that are just for Dads. Set in a local pub on an evening few a few hours, the dads get together over a soft brew, dinner and get the low down on what is coming. You will be glad you did.
Web —> Mr.Dad
FaceBook —> Mr.Dad
If you want to make things better or simply need a place to have some Dad chat drop on over…
I am sure this won’t be my last blog about Dads and what they need in the way of Support, encouragement, engagement and tips.
In essence, we help those who want help themselves. Multi Mums and Dads, pull your head out of the sand. None of us know everything! Sharing ideas, tips, tricks and even the odd meet in the park could change the lives of not only yourself, but those you love the most…your kids and partner / wife. Come over and introduce yourself, settle in and if you don’t like it, you can leave the group with the click of a button……and the best part is it doesn’t cost a cracker.
What’s that worth to you?