If mothers and children are to be properly supported, educators and employers must recognise the vital role of fathers as caregivers too.

“Schools and companies need to understand that dads can be parents too.”

An article recently published by Employee Benefit News rightly argued that ‘companies need to support working dads as caregivers.’

Despite its war-on-the-patriarchy, gender-neutral, wonky woke tone, EBN’s argument, put forward by associate editor Deanna Cuadra, hit the right notes.

Companies that want to retain employees and keep morale high benefit from focusing on the family.

While the important, irreplaceable role mothers play in the nurturing of children is widely embraced, historically, dads have been pushed aside.


Instead of stepping up to coach the team, dads have been relegated to the bleachers — banished to the furthest end of the field; demoted to long-distance spectators, or worse, viewed as nothing more than an ATM.

The same system that humanises the role of motherhood, dehumanises the role of fatherhood by distancing dads from their own important, irreplaceable part in the holistic care of a child.

Hence, Cuadra’s point:

Working dads often find themselves excluded from the caregiver conversation.’

Cuadra, citing Fathering Together co-founder Brian Anderson, explained that men ‘want a deep connection with their children rather than just be the assumed ‘breadwinner.’

Anderson argues,

“My wife had all these different communities, but when I looked around, I couldn’t find any dad communities…”

So, he told EBN, he “built his own.”

Equal Rights

His politics aside, Anderson’s goal for the most part is a good one.

He aims to use Fathering Together to change perceptions that push fathers to the fringe of family life.

Anderson stated,

“I can’t tell you how many dads I’ve spoken to tell me that they are the emergency contact at their kid’s school, and their wife still gets the call before they do […] Schools and companies need to understand that dads can be parents too.”

Talking with EBN, Blessing Adesiyan, founder of working women’s group Mother Honestly, fully agreed.

“Men are often excluded from the conversation around support for working mothers,” Adesiyan explained.

“This has a huge effect on working mothers because it essentially signals that care is a women’s issue.”

Thus, Cuadra concludes, ‘ultimately employers will have to decide if they can afford to ignore gaps in their policies at risk of high turnover and excessive hiring costs… if the caregiving conversation does not include dads, they have already failed mums and children.’

Uphill Battle

Remove the “progressive” bias from the entirety of Anderson and Adesiyan’s overall goals, and there’s a lot of meat to chew on.

Their points hit home for me, especially when reflecting on the birth of our first child.

My wife and I attended a lunch meeting with executives in the early 2000s. We were brazenly told I would not be allowed time off when our daughter was due.

Since there were no real solid reasons to bar any paternity leave, that moment caught us off guard.

Consequently, I had to fight for time off. Even after volunteering to take that time without pay, the company still only agreed to give me three days off.

There was little grace for becoming a dad for the first time.

I was relegated to the bleachers.

Although policy and procedure have changed in the Australian workplace, and fathers can get paternal leave, or opt for a two-week “dad and partner pay” (paid at the minimum standard), there’s always room for improvement.

A brief article from the Australian Institute of Family Studies reported in 2019 that ‘just one in 20 Australian fathers take primary parental leave.’

The AIFS continued, stating,

‘Despite the low uptake of parental leave among fathers, men do want to be involved in the lives of their children. Three in four dads told the HRC that they would have liked to take additional leave.’

According to the findings of the AIFS, shared parental leave is the most ideal for families, and also happens to be the best for business.

AIFS concludes,

‘Parental leave for fathers should be actively encouraged and incentivised. Companies need to actively develop an organisational culture that encourages men to take leave… Facilitating and supporting fathers to take parental leave and share caring responsibilities is imperative.’

The unrelated AIFS report backs some of the key points raised by EBN.

Their pro-dads-for-kids arguments apply to first-time parents, as much as they do to working mums, and dads doing life together with their kids.

Parenting left solely to mothers, blunts the joy and shuns the value men have alongside women, as the primary caregivers of their children.


Photo by Karolina Grabowska.

About the Author: Rod Lampard

Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.

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