When I started working in Paedatrics one thing they taught us from early on is to always involve the parents in the child’s care. That may sound obvious, but you would be surprised how many professionals that work with children have no idea how to really work with a family.
It has become more apparent to me since becoming a mother myself, and being on the receiving end.
Two weeks ago when my husband and I went to the immunologist, we spent about 15 minutes with the doctor. The whole time we sat opposite the doctor not once did the Dr look at my husband when talking or direct any of the questions to my husband. Now to some that may not be a big deal, but to me it was.
When I am taking care of my patients and talking with their parents I always made a point of making eye contact with both parents and not always asking the mother all the questions. Although it is safe to assume that the majority of mothers would be the primary care giver of the child, it should not then be assumed that the father knows NOTHING about their child.
Fathers have come along way over the decades, and without a doubt have a much more active role in the parenting of their children. To think that fathers once long ago were not permitted in the labour room, and now it’s assumed and expected that the father will be present. I remember the midwife at our antenatal class saying “Who here has actually asked the father if they want to be present at the birth?”. We expect the father to be involved in all aspects of the child’s life, but yet people still to this day only talk to the mother when asking about the child. Double standards?
I have to admit that even to this day after years of nursing it still feels like the natural thing to look at the mother when talking about the child. I do need to make a conscious effort sometimes to make sure I am not excluding the father or partner. I have had to change my attitude and learn to not jump to conclusions. So now that I am on the receiving end it has been quite interesting in the way people treat you as a family. It often makes me wonder what parenting will be like when my son has children. What will be the “norm” then I wonder?