Can dads take care of babies?

According to Sky News, new British mothers will soon be allowed to share their maternity leave with their partners, and even grandparents could apply to take time off to look after their grandchildren.

The idea is apparently motivated by economic reasons (among others). "The (British) Government estimates around a million women are effectively locked out of employment because of problems balancing work and childcare."

What about South Africa?

Got me to thinking how it would be to introduce something similar in our beloved country given our exemplary record of good parenting not to mention the brilliant role of fathers. Yes I am being sarcastic.

Sure there are guys like you and me (who take the time to read sites like Parent24 to learn something) who are probably setting a good example. But let’s face it; we’re still a long way off from a utopia where the majority of men in this country can be trusted alone with a new born baby.

I would suspect that the biggest hurdle to overcome would be whether or not a new mother would return back to work two weeks after giving birth (as suggested in the report) and blissfully go about her business safe in the knowledge that the baby's daddy is actually taking care of it.

I wonder... how many women reading this would be comfortable with that scenario?

'Us boys are a simple breed'

But still, I am for it. As someone who’s been there and done that on my own, I know it can be done. Us boys really are a simple breed, all you need to do is show us how to do something and we can, or will.

Obviously the way to handle the teeny amount of doffies amongst us who won’t get it right is to threaten cruel and unusual punishment in the form of anything that works for you and your partner. These may include the withholding of sex until the baby is married, or introducing a new prohibition law whereby no more beer will be allowed in the house, or  the cancellation of the football or rugby channel. I’m sure you ladies will find an appropriate incentive to ensure that the daddies step up to the plate.

No doubt in the future this trend will probably find its way beyond the shores of England and, who knows, we might even see it become law here.

Read more by Marlon Abrahams

Jokes aside though, do you think this is a good move? Are we ready for it?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
jacques.p.breedt 2012/11/15 02:20:45 PM
you can bet your behind, we can do it!
ScottSQ 2012/11/15 02:58:36 PM
We can! We may need to suck it up and ask for advice- there's no room for pride- but we're just as capable.
Kim 2012/11/15 05:28:45 PM
Of course men can do it!!! There are millions of amazing dads out there, they just don't seem to get the bloody credit.
Christel Snodgrass 2012/11/16 11:13:46 AM
Of course men can do it. My husband is an amazing father and very hands on with everything from bottles to burbs, nappies to bath time, feeding and even medicine and fevers. Only problem I have with moms going back to work within two weeks is breastfeeding. Your milk production has not settled yet at 2 weeks, therefore if you take the baby off and put them on a bottle, even if you express, your milk will still dry up. I'm a big breastfeeding supporter and unfortunately, that's one thing dad can't do!
Diana Gill 2012/11/16 10:27:04 PM
Oh yes, especially the ones who had to take care of their younger bros and sis. At least i know my husband is as capable of changing our boy's nappies as the most experienced nurse:) Oh never mind his uncle who plays with him like no one else and our son cries his head off when he leaves:)
Monique Carroll 2012/11/19 08:50:12 PM
Definitely!!!! I expressed with all three our children. Thus my husband was able to feed our children, and not just when it was convenient for him. He got up every Friday and Saturday till they slept through, so I could get some sleep. I have been able to go away for a week, and our youngest was a little over a year. He is my and our children's hero. :) My work often takes me away from the family over weekends, so he is the one that has to take them to parties, wash and detangle the girls hair. The only thing that I could do a little better than him. . . . . . fashion sense. :)
Chantalle Wilson 2013/01/07 06:13:22 AM
Hi there, I work for myself and my husband is a stay at home dad. So after two weeks with our daughter I had to get back to work. Full Maternity Leave was not an option for us. So off I went to work, while my husband stayed home to care for our daughter. Not only did he care for her, he also did a fantastic job!!! I think there is no reason why dad's can't look after new borns, as long as the are prepared to learn just like Moms do. After all this is the 21st century. My daughter is now two and in her world Mommy works and Daddy looks after her. She is quite happy with this arrangement.
Nzube Chuks 2013/02/28 10:15:08 PM
I think dad can take care of there babies if the time parmite.