There are quite a few lazy fathers at my son’s school. By this I mean fathers who almost never take their kids to school or pick them up. These last 3 weeks I have had a good chance to observe their movements in detail, as my kid’s mother has been sick and he has been staying with me all the time. And my suspicions are confirmed – the world is indeed crawling with lazy male slobs.
There are, to be fair, a few fathers who do the bulk of the leaving and picking up, but there are far more mothers who do it. One father in particular I never saw a single time over a year of going to school – the only time I saw him was at the school bazaar, which was on a weekend. Now can this lump justify not being able to take his kids to school, even a single time?
The excuse usually given by the long-suffering wife is: “Oh my husband works so much, he just can’t find the time.” This is, of course, utter and complete bollox. Can’t find the time? Then work less, for fuck’s sake. Work 80% or 60% or tell the boss you need to leave early once a week. What Swedish employer won’t let you go at a reasonable time one day out of five? Or maybe work more from home, or at the weekend. “I work too much just” doesn’t cut it, not these days.
The real reason is, of course, that these men are lazy. They prefer going to work as it makes them feel important and they can’t be arsed getting up early and hunting under the sofa for the kids gloves or packing their fruit or dragging the stupid stroller into and out of the elevator. Looking after kids, you see, is hard work. If you meet a person who claims that looking after kids is easy then they are either 1) lying, or 2) a man who doesn’t see his kids more than twice a week and goes on about how wonderful they are even though he barely remembers their names.
Yes, hanging out with children is boring as hell. Why should it be anything else? Children do not have the same interests as normal people, and even if they do, these interests exist over a whole different timescale. Children never stop talking even when you have a headache; they are very selfish; and they are no good at seeing something from another person’s viewpoint. We love them anyway (most of the time) but they can drive you fucking NUTS.
Spending time with children is not at all “exciting” or “refreshing” like you see in the movies, it is simply b-o-r-i-n-g. You will have a better time sitting by yourself for six hours than you will with a seven-year old, and it’s about time people started to admit this. Every newly-mothered female in my job, when asked how it is to be a mother and spend oceans of time at home, answers thus: “Oh fantastic, I get to take it easy and spend some time with the baby, what could be better?”
Spend time with the baby? What, do they sit around talking about philosophy and smoking cigars and supping brandy? Actually no; one person shits and eats and screams and the other one cleans it all up. A thriving social life, if you ask me.
It’s only when you get to know these ladies a bit better that they will admit, a year later, after some wine: “You know, being home with a baby all day is quite hard.” Oh really, you think? Not being able to decide when you sleep, eat or leave the flat for a whole year? Hard? Surely not…
Yes, those “hard-working” fathers have it all worked out – hide in the office and pretend to be “busy” and you will avoid all the trouble and never have to drag a tired child through the snow and back five times a week. What a great deal – until, of course, you become old and helpless and the kids toss you into a retirement home and spend all your hard-earned money, a fate you richly deserve you lazy bollox.