Column: Maternity Men

Column by Tin Mamić from the book Protestantino. You can also find the book at Slovenian bookshelves in London.

When the first male prehistoric man in history threw the remains of a roasted rabbit out of the cave after lunch, an irreversible process began, the ultimate achievement of which was the division of maternity leave (officially called childcare leave) between both parents. Until you try this on your own, talking about it is like debating the feelings a person has while walking on the moon: there is a lot to read about it, but it's all just theorizing.

Let there be no doubt: dear readers, a man on maternity leave doesn’t bring complete relief, so it’s not something oh-and-not at all fantastic. When the maternal sense (or instinct, if I say after a man) is taken into account, it can become painful for a woman.

Even our decision to share maternity leave was not made because of our belief in the equality of men and women, but more because otherwise these few months would cost us dearly. Namely, the wife is an independent entrepreneur, which means that she would receive a minimum compensation from the state (not even 500 euros). Add to this the uncertainty surrounding the economic crisis, and her return to work was the only logical solution. My wife has an office at home, which for me means something like HELP in computing. Without it, I would not have dared to take maternity leave before the baby is six months old.

Dear readers, being a man on maternity leave is not nearly as painstaking as the goofy machoes claim. Not that it’s not sometimes more strenuous than the heaviest shift. But the satisfaction after the work done is so much greater because of the new feelings and the relationship you establish with your puppy. A man with an obstetric woman takes something she has so far taken as something exclusively her own. The man, however, in his laziness is unaware of what he is missing. Feelings in the maternity ward are indescribable and unrepeatable, so my pen (although I tap on the computer keyboard, the pen sounds nicer) will not even try to describe it. In the first two weeks, the partners often say out loud that they are sorry for the decision to be a man. obstetric. But that passes quickly. Namely, a man finds out that he just doesn't have time for some "extremely" important things in life, such as football matches or singing exercises. So you start getting up at six and you enjoy it immensely, as you are alone for the first hour of the day. While hanging laundry that has been washed overnight, you can even afford to watch Echoes. If you're lucky - when the kids don't get up at six-thirty (or half past six if someone doesn't understand) and when the newsboy isn't late - you have ten minutes to read. It is true, however, that a man’s need for politics decreases at this sensitive time, as he is overtaken on the scale of needs by the need to sleep. Sleep during this sensitive period is endangered for every man. The little occupier (I gave him that name because, contrary to the will of half the indigenous population, he occupied a large part of our marital bed) likes to cry at night and is. He announces all this with a piercing scream, preferably when a man goes to sleep. Sleep in both senses: alone and with his wife.

Fortunately, an obstetric man always has an emergency exit that a woman on maternity leave does not have. So this morning the little one pooped so hard and watery that the brown liquid seeped through the fresh "waterproof" diaper, be (it's that tutu in the form of some kind of underwear for babies), a dress (it's that slightly thicker tutu with teddy bears on his chest) and buttons on the back), my shirt, kanotjero (in Slovene, unfortunately, we have no other term for a sleeveless undershirt) and underwear. Man is gripped by horror and despair at the same time. From this completely unsolvable situation, someone finds a solution in an instant and with a smile. My wife.

It says Tino Mamic
Journalist and professor of history who makes family trees

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