Male – Tick
Heterosexual – Tick
White – Tick
Young(ish) – Tick
I’ve lived the vast majority of my life enjoying the subtle and sometimes not so subtle perks of ticking the above boxes. I’ve never wished or tried to exploit the fact and it’s not something I’m consciously aware of. But my ability to dodge the ism’s; sexism, racism, ageism and homophobiaism (I know that’s not a real word but it works for my ‘ism story’) has probably benefited me in job interviews, the dating pool back in the day, my social life and perhaps even academically. That’s all changed and I now find myself in a minority group; socially, vocationally and territorially.
About five years ago me and my wife decided to wave goodbye to England and try our luck Down Under; sun, sea and sport, sounds idyllic I thought to myself. We sold our home and all our wordly possessions, said some goodbyes and with a small suitcase we embarked on our Antipodean Adventure. It was in the departure lounge that I started hearing the word “mate” a lot, I noticed that thongs and boardies seemed to be the preferred attire and most of my fellow fliers were sporting an unusually healthy glow. I realised I was about to become a minority, a bloody foreigner to some folk. I had a niggling doubt and sense of fear that we were doing the wrong thing and that I would live out the rest of my life being referred to as a “pom”, a “bloody pom” or even worse a “bloody whinging pom”. And so territorially although Melbourne is full of bloody whinging poms, I became a minority.
A little over two years ago Max came along and said “I’m only little will you look after me” and how could we refuse such a polite little boy. A year after that our circumstances changed, my wife was abruptly beckoned back to her workplace and that left little old me to pick up the stay at home parent pieces. I was genuinely scared and apprehensive; I knew what a fantastic job my wife had done, I had seen how hard it was and how lonely it could be. I felt like a fraud in those early days, a Dad in a Mums world. I would get a few quizzical looks from other Mums who couldn’t seem to make the correlation between man and child. I would try and join in conversations about how crap husbands are but I sensed my presence made things a little awkward. And so socially I also became conscious of being a minority.
Day after day of baby chatter, Dr Phil and the voices in my own head had left my poor little brain feeling malnourished. I decided that the three blissful hours that Max rewards me some me time would be best used Blogging about my experiences of fatherhood. Blogging for me was 100% about capturing memories and having a creative release, I had never read a Blog, I knew of no other Bloggers and Blogging professionally seemed preposterous; in short my life was utterly Blog-less. It has since become a big part of my life, a self confessed Blogaholic and the proud father of two little babies; Max and daddownunder. Don’t ask me which one I love more; a parent never tells.
I naively thought I would be offering other fathers a safe place to compare the folding actions of our prams without fear of reprisals but my readership is resoundingly female and I am one of only a handful of regular daddy bloggers Down Under. I have managed to push and poke my way into the parenting Blogosphere, a thorn amongst roses, doing my best to give a voice to the growing army of male pram pushers. And so vocationally, I found myself filling the role of minority.
Having got over the nagging self doubt and paranoia, that seems to be an ever present for us parents, I have grown to love my life of minority. I’ve found Australia to be the hostess with the mostess, if she were a girl she would be a bubbly, flirtatious blonde who knows how to have a good time. Stay at Home Mums are exceptionally good company. Women have many layers and can be feisty, gentle, funny, vulnerable, confident, caring, strong and humble all at the same time. Men can generally manage to pull off happy, sad, drunk or angry and when drunk we always combine all four. I have many reasons to be thankful for spending my days in the company of Max and one of those reasons is that it’s given me the opportunity to spend my days predominantly in the company of the fairer sex. I’m thoroughly enjoying my life of minority and wouldn’t have it any other way.
As always linking up with Jess at Essentially Jess