Papa t'aime

Dear Ben,

Over the coming years you might notice your father being treated like a second class parent: men get less parental leave than women, if they get any at all.  Fathers who want to stay with their families when their babies are born have to pay exorbitant fees to do so. Today at the library your dad couldn’t find a place to change you because change tables are only found in women’s bathrooms. Even laws heavily favor mothers over fathers.

I want you to know that your father is anything but a second-rate parent. From the moment you were born he has swaddled, shushed and swayed you to sleep, and stayed up at all hours of the night feeding and changing you. He has rushed out in snowstorms to buy breastfeeding paraphernalia to help you eat and gain weight.  He has spent hours researching the best and safest daycares and strollers. He is a member of just about every parent listserv in the whole city and has read enough about your brain’s development and how to nurture it to make him an expert. He will never tire of holding you, kissing you, and playing with you.

In your first weeks of life, your dad has proven himself to be a wonderful, 100% equal, first-rate parent. Hopefully, by the time you are old enough to want kids, things will have changed, and if you choose to become a father, society will acknowledge the importance of your role in raising your kids and support you in doing so.



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