Of all the composite words that have come into fashion lately, I think "dadchelor" may be my least favourite. But hideously named or not, "dadchelor parties" are apparently the latest thing... in Hollywood, if not over here.
Unlike the increasingly popular - for women - baby shower, which is focused on the forthcoming arrival, dadchelor parties are a last hurrah before parental responsibility kicks in, with activities including drinking, golf, and shooting apparently being popular ways to kiss pre-parental life goodbye.
Why must we perpetuate the idea that impending parenthood is natural for the woman and a sacrifice for the man, when of course it's not necessarily either?
My friend Gabrielle hit the nail on the head when she said, "Funny, isn't it, how baby showers are about greeting a new life while these dadchelor parties are about losing their 'freedom'. Something makes me think those boys aren't ready to be dads."
Mum of two Katy Moran agrees: "It's not like these dadchelor parties are all about men sitting around in a pub drinking ale and their friends bringing along the latest baby carrier or pram. It's a bit crap that the accepted model for mums is friends bringing gifts for the baby, and this suggested idea for dads is all about Farewell to Freedom!"
I asked my husband if he would have been interested in a dadchelor party and his reply was unprintable, but can basically be summed up as a categorical no. I asked some other friends who are fathers and none of them were keen either.
Ashley Goldstein, father of two-year-old Ramona, says: "I think the term is awful and cringeworthy. As for the parties themselves, I don't judge those who attend them, but I myself have never really been a hard-drinking, partying kinda guy so don't miss what I never really had. And more to the point, I was FAR more focused on what was to come than what had passed."
Dad of two Philip Walters said, "It sounds pretty pointless to me -its not like your life ends when you have a baby. Perhaps though baby showers should stop being the preserve of women and include men?"
I think Philip is onto something there. The dadchelor parties sound exclusionary to me - I certainly wouldn't want to go shooting - and even the more traditional wetting the baby's head is more about a man drinking with his mates than it is about the baby, no? But baby showers don't seem particularly father-friendly either. Many of my female friends rejected them as too twee with their themed cupcakes and 'guess the baby food' party games, so I doubt many dads would be up for them.
I do like the idea of a celebration to welcome the baby, but don't understand why the parents can't do this together - presumably they made the baby together, after all. As mum of two Michelle said "We had a little party before first child was born. No hideous baby games and with male and female friends. We called it a baby shower, but it was like any of our other parties, really..."
Sounds much better than a dadchelor party to me. How about you?