By Warren Hayden for Portsmouth News UK
Back in 2009 I became a dad for the first time when my daughter Caitlin arrived. In 2011, I became a father again with the arrival of my second daughter Alyssa.
Since then I’ve always tried to be a hands-on father and make sure my partner Serena and I split our parenting responsibilities equally.
For me, it is vitally important that I create a happy and stable environment for my children and that I am there to create good, lasting memories.
There is a wrong stereotype of a certain type of dad and I certainly do not want to be it.
You know, the one where the man leaves for work early in the morning and when he comes home later, simply plonks himself on the sofa for the rest of the evening with minimal interaction with his children. That can become the routine for him day in and day out.
Well, I have good news.
That particular stereotype is becoming extinct.
I read an article that revealed dads are more integrated into the family routine than ever before.
The traditional set-up of mum playing the lead role and dad being in the background is disappearing from family life in the UK.
The research came from the website care.com which also revealed a new generation of fathers is taking on the role of ‘the organiser’ and ensuring that family days out and spending quality time together are the top priorities.
I’m not surprised in the slightest by this shift in attitude and I’ve witnessed it myself since I became a father six years ago.
For example, when I take my two daughters to one of the play parks in the Portsmouth area, there are many mums who push their children on the swings or help them across the monkey bars.
However, in the past few years I’ve noticed there are now just as many dads doing the same thing which is great to see.
My daughters have even convinced me to have a go on the slide myself, which I have to admit I do enjoy.
Then there is the school run where many mums drop off their children for the day and then pick them up after their brains have been filled with lots of new information.
When I do the school run I now see just as many dads as I do mums.
Of course in the past, there were many reasons why some dads couldn’t do these things and it doesn’t mean they weren’t good parents.
Many fathers wanted to but simply couldn’t.
It’s great to see that many factors like flexible working hours and a better acceptance of equality are giving new dads the opportunity to be a bigger part of their children’s lives.
Long may it continue.