Prince William set a good example
6 July 2015 10:38 am
By Sirohmi Gunesekera (Teacher, Attorney-at-Law and Researcher into Human Relations & The Family Unit)
Prince William of England stayed home with his family for a month of unpaid leave after the birth of his second child. Obviously, he helped his wife Catherine to cope with the newborn baby and their older child who is two years old.
People all over the world do not seem to value the importance of Paternity Leave since traditionally women have looked after babies.But caring for an infant is a twenty-four hour job since most babies cry throughout the day and night. They also wet diapers and have to be changed often.Breastfeeding also takes getting used to as the mother is also recovering after childbirth.
If there is an older child, he or she may be resentful that the place has been taken by the newborn with the mother having to shower attention by breastfeeding, changing nappies and lulling the baby to sleep. The older sibling may demand attention and take to bed wetting and even harming the second child since the elder child feels that he or she has been replaced. Therefore the role of the father is very important for he can help his wife to cope with the demands of both children.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, was at his wife’s bedside during the birth of both their children. There are some fathers who feel that their ‘macho’ image is threatened by changing diapers and coping with a baby. Childcare is considered “Women’s Work” but Prince William said proudly that he changed his elder child, Prince George’s first nappy!
By staying home and helping his wife cope with the day and night demands of both children, his supporting role means that he has set a fine example to all fathers. He took unpaid leave for a month as his job obviously did not include Paternity Leave! Research has shown that a father can do everything for a newborn baby except breastfeed. Even in that case, a mother can express her milk into a sterilised bottle and go out for a much-needed break, leaving the new father to give the milk to the infant. A father can carry the baby, soothe the infant’s crying and change diapers and lull the baby to sleep. Who says that only women can sing lullabies? If the baby gets used to the father’s deep voice and loving arms, he or she will stop crying and smile at the father.
The first few months of a newborn’s life are critical for, contrary to popular thinking, the birth of a child means in reality that the mother moves into the world of the nursery while the father feels left out since all the attention is focused on the mother and child. He may grow a moustache to establish his masculinity or even start drinking or going out with friends. Generally, men have a weak ego and a new father may even respond or go after another woman since he feels that he has been neglected by his wife. Therefore inside the home, there is a Woman’s World and a Man’s World and the family unit starts to break up even though the members of the family come together for meals and to watch television.
(Images courtesy internet)