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A letter to Fathers everywhere

To the quiet achievers,

I nod my head to them. The fathers, the brothers, the stepdads, the godfathers, the grandfathers and all of the positively influential male figures in our lives.

So much is spoken about the ‘selfless mum’ out there, and too right there should be but I feel with doing so we often forget the quiet achieving and generous men in our lives who often are ‘holding up the mum’ behind the scenes.

I am the first to advocate one ‘works on themselves’ to ‘keep their cup as full’ as can be. If we are not taking care of ourselves how can we take care of others?

This generation of males has stepped up. There is no doubt. Think back 50-60yrs; nappy changing, feeding, cooking, cleaning were hardly in the men’s vocab let alone on their ‘to do’ lists.

I see a slight problem though, as male figures ‘to do lists’ grow with respect to helping around more at home and being ‘there’ for their growing children; industry and negative social stigma around ‘stay at home dad’s’ is still way behind. Granted, we have come a LONG way in the last 5 years and there is definitely a positive change (awesome) happening but golly it is slow.

To really make a true change we need more male dominated industries to back their men, to allow them to speak up and give them the opportunity to juggle their lives in favour of their needs and wants (which may or may not be for all families – mean allowing them to work flexible hours to be their more for their growing children whilst also allowing their partners to pursue their ambitions).

I want to thank all of the men out there who are pushing, pushing to fulfil the ‘Dad’ status, that has been demonstrated to them for the last 100 years,  but also now having to live up to today’s societal demands of working like a trojan at home too. I worry that they are not ‘filling themselves up’ enough. As women we are good at sharing our needs and advocating for ourselves to get more ‘balance’ and take better care of ourselves. Men on the other hand I feel could do with a bit more help.

So, as we try and manoeuvre and find a new way of better integrating work, life and family to suit the needs of our young children and way of life I want us to take stock a little for our men and ensure we are just not ‘adding’ to their already massive to-do list. Let’s give them a bit of a break, campaign to industries to help our men to integrate more flexibility in their working life and ensure they getting some time for themselves in this ever crazy life that is parenthood.

To my man Ed. Thank you Ed for the unspoken responsibilities that you have taken on in our parenting life. You do everything without a whimper and are one of the most selfless and loving human beings I know.

One of the jobs I am most thankful for is that one where you always get up to our children at night. (I tend to ‘wake’ if it is more than 3 times ;-) Somehow I missed the first 2! )We are so truly grateful for all that you are and what you do for us. We adore you.

Jo

(.)(.)