I can’t remember where I read about the study, Parenthood Makes Moms More Liberal, Dads More Conservative, but I was reminded of it yesterday when out with DS and DH in Tel Aviv.
Another family with a little boy were taking an interest in the cloth diapers and wooden toys. DH struck up a converstation with the mum while I ate my brunch and the father of the little boy chatted with his friends. The mother confided that she doesn’t want to put her son into a kindy and her husband does.
And so me and DH chatted about how mums often don’t like the kindy option and dads often do. And why. Why mothers are more likely to not conform on such issues and why fathers are more likely to conform. (Where we live it is the norm for children to be in a kindy by one year of age, often earlier. The reasons cited are improved overall development in language and social skills)
DH shared that he feels more of a tendency to conform on issues like health care and education since he became a father. And I know that my tendency to not conforming has dramatically increased since becoming a mother. I am definitly more interested in what is right for me and my family and not really interested in what ‘the majority’ do, unless of course it fits for us.
When looking at issues to do with child welfare, it is mothers who are making the most noise when it comes to making a choice on the vaccine issue, to searching out the best care for their children and to deciding how best to nourish their children. Fathers *are* there too. My DH is finding his personal way of relating to the changes being made in our home. But I think it is largely mothers who are prepared to initiate the challenge to the consensus when it comes to the health and well being of their children. This is very broadly speaking.
In my circle, including myself and my DH, the fathers are much more inclined to convince the mother to agree to putting the child into daycare/kindy. Often with the very best intentions. Some mama’s question some of the reasoning and wonder if starting day care at such a tender age can really be in the childs best interest. Ie I am prepared to challenge the conventional wisdom of putting lots of little children into group daycare with 6 children to every carer. I am also prepared to challenge the conventional wisdom of injecting my baby with mulitple vaccines. I had to become a mother to go the extra mile when it comes to challenging these social epxectations. And for now our choices are working for us – despite being very unusual.