(ed: i can report the nation at a whole is at best quietly pleased/proud with/of the normalcy of all this – but what is causing consternation up and down the land is clark gayfords’ neck-beard..
people are asking: ‘how did it get so out of control?’ – ‘how much bigger/bushier will it be allowed to get?’…’won’t it traumatise/scar the child?’ and ‘won’t someone do something about this..? – what if the media get onto it..?’
and there have been calls up and down the land for an intervention on gayford – and tenders have been called for the task of removal of said neck-beard..(with gayford possible having to be sedated for the procedure (for his own protection and that of his carers..of course..!..)
and as a male-sole-parent (he’s now on o.e..) who did it from square one…and wearer of a beard – i would like to point out two things to gayford: one is that he is a lucky bugger (as was i) and/in that he will get to experience what most men don’t..the joys/delights from sharing your childs’ growth..make the most of it..eh..?
and of course..!..get a dog..!..(or two..)..not a puppy..a mature/mellow rescue-dog(s)..that will love you/your daughter/family from day one..is house-trained..etc…it will give you/your daughter so much..a cat isn’t enough..eh..?
and be open to where you look – i currently have two (new) ex-pig dogs – one 14 yrs old and one 8 yrs old..both accidently acquired and usually notoriously hard to re-home – ‘rehoming’ pig-dogs is an oxymoron and is usually a final walk to the bottom paddock..
and they have gone from a hard life as outside-dogs (kennel-sores/traumatised and all) to one of untrammeled luxury and dog-indulgance..daybed in lounge..cooked meals twice a day..sleeping bags etc etc..they have taken to it well..
they are big brutes (i don’t have to bend to pat them..) and i have had dogs most of my life – and these are two of the finest..not an aggressive bone in either of their bodies (towards humans/each other/other dogs)..highly trained…and they are a constant delight..they didn’t know each other two months ago..and they now sleep entwined..’tis a beautiful thing..
and re the neckbeard: two things: if yr neckbeard is bushier than your face-beard it is natures way of telling you to flag the beard thing for now..and wait for at least another decade before giving it another go…
second thing is a warning: nothing good ever came from a neckbeard…)
The US is one of only eight countries in the world and the only developed country with no national policy guaranteeing paid leave for either parent of a newborn.
Some states and companies have introduced policies for dads and partners but take-up is still relatively rare.
So why aren’t more fathers taking time out of employment to care for their children?
Financial constraints are certainly an important factor and culture plays a significant role.
Studies have shown that most fathers like the idea of paternity leave – so what’s stopping them?
Places with successful paternity leave schemes make it mandatory for both partners to take a portion of the paid leave available.
When Germany legislated that of a possible 14 months parental leave two months must be taken by fathers – the percentage of men taking paternity leave went from 3% to more than 20% – in only two years.
After Quebec introduced a similar scheme with ‘daddy-only’ time – more than 80% of dads took up the offer.
Research shows the benefits of strong paternity leave extend to the family unit as a whole.
When dads take extended paternity leave or take on a primary care role more egalitarian relationships result – housework is more shared – there are fewer divorces and couples report a more satisfying sex life.
Children of couples in egalitarian relationships tend to be happier – healthier – do better at school – have greater self-esteem and fewer behavioural problems.
Girls tend to follow less gender-stereotyped career paths – boys tend to be in more egalitarian relationships and fight less.