“Men Just Don’t Like Babies” is a stupid phrase that we need to retire.
I will be honest. I had no idea this was actually something people said, but I have noticed it more and more since Baby MB was born. I have had no less than 10 conversations where this phrase was used.
Can we all agree that this is a stupid phrase and that we should just stop saying it?
Here are my top 3 reasons for retiring this phrase once and for all:
Men Don’t Like Babies? Nobody likes newborn babies.
First and foremost, it is not just men who don’t like babies. No one really likes newborn babies.
Hold on, before you call Child Protective Services on me, please hear me out. We love holding our friends’ new babies. We love watching adorable babies on YouTube. We all love our own babies with a fiery passion and will defend them to our dying breath.
But nobody really likes newborn babies. When you picture babies, you probably imagine a 6 month old, who smiles at your antics, delightedly clapping his hands. But newborn babies don’t really play. Or smile. In fact, they don’t do much of anything, except cry, poop and sleep. (But not in large enough stretches for you to actually sleep.) They lie around all day, make a huge mess and wake us up at all hours. They are basically your roommate from university, without access to beer.
Oh, and they spend most of their time attached to your boob. (This may or may not have also happened with your university roommate.) Sound fun? No, didn’t think so.
It puts unrealistic expectations on new moms
To me, this phrase paints a picture of women as natural mothers, who lead their fumbling partners. It gives the illusion that women are naturally better parents who have it all figured out. Obviously this is not the case. Women too, struggle to interpret a baby’s indescribable cries. Women too feel like they are doing everything all wrong.
We all feel this way at one time or another with our children. The big difference here is that men are allowed to express this because men are not expected to know much about babies, while women only feel safe doing so with other new moms. Women can’t publically admit that they don’t like the early stages of parenting, because they will be judged as bad parents.
This phrase gives men permission to avoid the tough parts of parenting because they are not supposed to know what to do. But we all know that this is BS!
So to men who actually believe this stupid phrase: Women don’t have it figured out any more than you do. Get in there and parent, champ.
It is insulting to men who Dad like a boss
Can we please stop looking at Dads as inept and give them some credit? Part of the reason that “Men don’t like babies,” bothers me so much is that it is a throwback to a time when dads were breadwinners but not co-parents. They were expected to go to work, come home and pat their child on the head or discipline them but otherwise leave parenting to mom.
I don’t know any men who actually parent like this anymore. Men can be great dads who are involved in their kid’s lives. They take them to swimming lessons, they play with them and rock them to sleep. Dads are more hands-on than ever. Phrases like “Men don’t like babies” create a societal expectation that men are not supposed to enjoy parenting their children. But they do!
So, can we all agree that we never say this again? Extra credit for also speaking up when others say it.