Minority Report

19 Feb

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.
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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

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29 Responses to “Minority Report”

  1. reservoirdad1 February 19, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    Enjoy it while it last I reckon. I’ve noticed a huge increase in men appearing at school drop-offs and pick-ups. Yesterday at Tyson’s kinder I counted 9 Dads and 12 Mums! Huge. Seriously have noticed a massive shift in the acceptance of men in the caring role and their willingness to take it on, in just the last 18 months.

    • daddownunder February 19, 2013 at 2:41 am #

      I think your right RD, its very noticeable here in St Kilda too. 5 Dad’s to 1 Mum at the sandpit the other day, she looked a bit frightened.

  2. Keeping Up With The Holsbys February 19, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    Dude, you’ll have it made at blogging conferences…..seriously. Chicks dig blog boys 😉

    • daddownunder February 19, 2013 at 2:44 am #

      Thanks for stopping by Danielle. Chicks and Blog Boys sounds like a good band name, no? Love the name Dexter by the way!

  3. Ai Sakura February 19, 2013 at 2:44 am #

    always sweet to hear the stories from dads 🙂

    • daddownunder February 19, 2013 at 5:16 am #

      I don’t think us Dad’s are used to being described with adjectives like “sweet” Ai, I quite like it. Thanks for stopping by

  4. Cam @ notunimportant February 19, 2013 at 2:46 am #

    I agree with RD that men in the caring role are going through a transition, but you’re also on the money about it being a minority experience.

    It’s a curious ride – however – as we still have the benefits of white, male, English speaking etc (which includes, of course, the ridiculous bonus points from people who don’t expect to find men caring for children).

    I feel driven to push outward in an activist mode against the “othering” of SAHDs, but in the end I’m just a white guy telling people what the world looks like. Nothing to see here.

    Great post.

    • daddownunder February 19, 2013 at 5:17 am #

      The “othering” definitely occurs Cam, hopefully not by the majority but the minority? Thanks for popping in

  5. coloursofsunset February 19, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    there are an awful lot of pommy-moved-to-Australia bloggers it seems, so you’re not completely alone in that at least! I just don’t understand why you all choose Melbourne?! Crazy Brits! (is that better than “poms”?)

    • daddownunder February 19, 2013 at 5:19 am #

      I’ll take Brit or Pom when its a reply to one of my posts, bit needy like that ; ) Are you indulging in a little Sydney Melbourne bashing?

      • coloursofsunset February 19, 2013 at 7:26 am #

        not at all…Sydney and Melbourne have lots of great qualities about them, but honestly, the weather…..oh wait, I forget what you’re leaving behind. Anything is an improvement! I’m mostly going for witty banter, I have no problem with Brits/Poms, Melb or Syd. Just lucky to live on the Gold Coast 🙂

  6. Rory Mouttet February 19, 2013 at 4:32 am #

    I’m not one to be a stay at home Dad. I go to work for a break. And by break I mean reading your blog during work hours 🙂

    • daddownunder February 19, 2013 at 5:24 am #

      Oh dear I will have to start writing more voraciously, 5 posts a week or could you just read each one very very slowly? Thanks Rory

  7. Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions February 19, 2013 at 4:53 am #

    Nice way to win a few points with the (blogging) ladies Matt! I have to say that some of my fave bloggers are the Daddy bloggers, it brings a nice, fresh, perspective to the world of parenthood and blogging in general.

    • daddownunder February 19, 2013 at 5:22 am #

      How cynical of you Kylez, winning points indeed! That came from the heart ; ) Thanks as always

  8. rhian @melbs February 19, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    I have recently started following your blog, it is good to hear a male perspective too. I have noticed that there are definitely a few more dads around the park here in Australia, more so than in the UK.
    From another pom who’s moved to Melbourne (not a whinging one though!) 😀 see smiley face and everything!

    • daddownunder February 19, 2013 at 7:33 am #

      Thanks for saying hi Rhian, got to stick together us Po………hang on a minute your a bloody northerner ; )

      • rhian @melbs February 19, 2013 at 8:21 am #

        Right where’s that unfollow button. . 😉

  9. Have a laugh on me February 19, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    You totally rock – and I love your view on things! And being a minority is always a challenge! Your wife must be very proud – because if I couldn’t be there for my kids every day then the only other person I would want to be there is my husband!! Emily @ Have a laugh on me x

    • daddownunder February 19, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      Thanks Emily, I take great pleasure in reading that I totally rock. my wife would be even prouder if I had the same commitment for housework ; )

  10. Sarahdipity February 20, 2013 at 4:25 am #

    Have just come across your blog for the first time, great to read from the perspective of a stay at dad- can’t wait to see more!

    • daddownunder February 20, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      Hey Sarah, thanks for commenting and lovely to have you on board!

  11. Cherie (@raisingmax) February 20, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    I absolutely love your blog.

    I like that you have the typical humour of a Daddy blogger, but some seriously stunning sensitivity too. It’s a nice … change.

    I come here & read your words, because I have far too often fantasised about my husband taking over the SAHP (parent) thing … & so your words are like living out the fantasy, if only vicariously.

    Oh, & you write beautifully. So that does indeed help.

    I’m a WAHM, so I neither blend into the SAHM group, nor the working parent group. Because I feel like a SAHM in disguise, sneaking off & working whenever my Max day naps or goes down early for the night.

    What I mean is, I completely relate to feeling within the minority. I like that you’re embracing it now!

    • daddownunder February 20, 2013 at 9:29 am #

      Hey Cherie Anne, don’t tell anyone else but your comments are the best, the sort of stuff that makes bloggers keep blogging, Love to the fam!

  12. Cat February 21, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    This is the first post of yours I’ve read, finding you through some of my favourite bloggers. What a lovely introduction to your world and life! I’m looking forward to reading much more.

    • daddownunder February 21, 2013 at 8:39 am #

      Thanks Cat that’s really kind, love having lovely people like you on board ; )

  13. Carly Findlay February 25, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Love this post – glad you enjoy Australia and the great life you have made here.
    When I was in the uk all they ever did was whine about the weather then apologise for it. Never apologising for whining.

    • daddownunder February 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

      Glad you like it Carly. Yes we are accomplished whiners and apologisers, sorry England its true

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Listing The Blogs | Colours of Sunset - February 24, 2013

    […] in cheek (mostly?!) account of life as a stay at home parent, through the eyes of a male. Check out this post about Matt finding himself in the minority for the first time in his […]

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