Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl
Don't you think that a situation where people questioned the appropriateness of male care would be an opportunity to educate those people? I would want to let them know that its their view of the situation that is inappropriate and sick...not the situation itself. Why would you change family behavior because of someone else's fear or disapproval?
Maybe, maybe not. Having had many "opportunities to educate" via my DH and also male daycare co-workers....education is not unilateral. The other person MUST be willing to hear what you have to say.
And sadly, many, many, MANY people (even here) will not or cannot hear that a male might be a safe caregiver for their children. Including daddies and brothers.
It's never changed how we did things, but I don't always think it's an education opportunity either. It depends on whether or not people are in a place where they can even remotely hear you. Some people are not. It's sad, but there's nothing you can do really to change their minds (or vice versa). I take my cue from my former co-workers and DH, they shrug it off and move on, if it's obvious that the person is incapable of even considering my viewpoint on things then so do I.
ETA: As for the excuse...yes, I see people using that as an excuse. I also see it as an "excuse" sometimes for the mom to retain absolute control. (though granted, it tends to start with far less emotional/gutpunching things than sexual abuse) The mom might then complain about her partner not helping but there are some people that seem (perhaps unwittingly) bound and determined to retain all the control. Their way is the right way and must be followed every time, from how to play with the kid, what they can wear, ect, it kind of sucks all the joy and autonomy from the other parent (though the other parent could and should assert themselves more, to go belly up in the face of that is a choice too). One of the things that really annoyed me about a lot of the moms groups I went to when my kids were small is the contant stream of moaning and complaining about partners who "didn't do anything", right alongside constant critiques and mocking of how they did things when they DID contribute. I do think a lot of our societal attitudes about partnerships and family dynamics and parenting are sick--but it's more complex that who uses what excuse IMO. I find that excuses most of the time serve BOTH people in the partnership in some way, with a few exceptions of course.