When someone announces a pregnancy, congratulations frequently come easily and naturally. On the other hand, an adoption announcement doesn't always get the same reaction. I speak from experience; my two children are adopted. My son came to us when he was 3.5 years, and our daughter came to us when she was 10 months.
It's not fair that he gets branded as being lazy, messy and childish just because he has dangly bits, when he is none of these things. In fact he is the complete opposite. Without him being the cleaner, the caregiver, the accountant, the shopper, the handyman, the daddy or the lover our household would fall down in a crumbling mess.
The hard reality is that for the many people who do the walking away, breaking out and living alone is often safer than the culture of abuse that came before it. Exposure to an antagonistic or rejecting 'close' relationship has a negative impact on physical and mental wellbeing, which is a fact that has been well researched and documented.
What has changed most for you in the last 20 years? Chances are, it's to do with family: maybe you have started one, or you are caring for one. Maybe you have gained new family members or you have suffered a loss? It's possible you are in a blended family situation, a single parent one, or your family has a dual income.
Here is the contradiction: Society wants men to spend more time with their kids and families (believe me, at least once a week I get a comment like "Oh it's good to see daddy being in charge" when in public), but employers and government do next to nothing to support them. I believe we need some fundamental changes here...
The one place I will not have technology is on the dinner table at family mealtimes. Someone recently asked me why this was and I couldn't immediately put my finger on it. I just knew in my heart it was wrong. Call me old fashioned, but I just think that 15 tech free minutes a day to engage in conversation is vital to a healthy family.
As an equal parent in and out of working hours for over five years now, I've realised there's no fairytale quite so engaging, but quite so without actual substance, as the modern fatherhood myth. There's a convincing but untrue story about a huge army of fathers out there across the UK, all merrily doing their fair share of childcare, or maybe even more than their female partners. Just take a look outside. Where are the groups of dads sitting in coffee shops, or joining sing-along at the local library?