10 sensible guidelines for expectant fathers

Celebrity role models are making modern mums feel they have to be perfect in every way. There was a time when having a baby gave you a get-out-of-jail-free card for at least 12 months to look frumpy, tired and flabby

Celebrity role models are making modern mums feel they have to be perfect in every way. There was a time when having a baby gave you a get-out-of-jail-free card for at least 12 months to look frumpy, tired, flabby and well … like you were having a baby.

Today, we’d still enjoy that privilege if celebrities hadn’t discovered that babies make a great accessory to drag through airports and on shopping trips. It just softens their image nicely. But unfortunately, according to a recent British survey conducted by Nivea, faced with such perfect examples of domestic goddess-ness as Angelina Jolie, Victoria Beckham and Madonna, most modern mothers feel pressured to live up to their too-perfect standards.

More than two-thirds of the women polled felt these women represented an unrealistic ideal. Four in five said they feel pressured to look good and feel sexy for their partner and more than a third said they felt the need to be a successful career woman as well. Almost half of those polled regarded Victoria as the most unrealistic celebrity role model (42%), followed by Angelina (11%) and Madonna (9%). And, if that wasn’t bad enough, being “green” is the most pressing concern for most modern mums.

Recycling and looking for local produce was a top worry for 50% of mothers, while celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson have left more than 75% concerned about what they are feeding their children.

Many mothers feel like second-rate citizens, with 67% of the 8500 questioned believing that, when out and about, they’re seen as a mother first and a woman second. Just over 32% believe that men no longer noticed them since they had a child.

An overwhelming 70% felt their partner didn’t appreciate them. And a sorry one in 10 claimed their household pets were the ones who made them feel most valued.

Well, it’s about time someone gave mothers 10 sensible guidelines for their husbands to follow, so here goes:

  1. I do not look like Victoria Beckham or Angelina Jolie for a reason. They have an army of trainers, dieticians, chefs, stylists and nannies who make them look the way they are. When you hire me an army, I’ll look like them.

  2. Make a date night. once a week we will go out on a date. No kids, a nice restaurant, maybe even a good movie… just two to three hours to talk about us, instead of yelling over the kids.

  3. Cooking is about getting food on the table – not whether it’s organic or whether it’s free of pesticides, artificial flavours and preservatives. Dinner on the table is a miracle – not an expectation.

  4. What garden? Yes, it would be nice to grow our own veges, but last time I looked, Jamie oliver had that stoned gardener doing all the work. By all means plant a garden – then you can tell me exactly what part of the day I have left over to spend weeding it.

  5. Crisp sheets, fluffy towels, clean windows and polished floors are fantastic – if you live in a hotel. If you think that you would like these, then you are more than capable of making it happen yourself.

  6. I look this way for a reason. My body is coursing with hormones, I haven’t slept for eight hours in a row for several weeks, my only exercise is walking around the block with a screaming baby in the pram and I seem to only be able to eat meat pies. If you looked like Brad Pitt or David Beckham, I’d lose some sleep over it. More sleep, that is, than I’m already losing getting up for our baby.

  7. The house is a mess for a reason. Kids create mess, then you clean it up and then they make more of it. Until they are old enough to pick up for themselves, accept – and get others to accept – that our house will be a little chaotic and cluttered, and people may get Lego stuck between their toes.

  8. Can you give me a morning? You know how I get up all night and you stay asleep because you have to work the next day? Well, I work too – looking after our child – so do you think on Saturday or Sunday mornings you could get the baby up and take her for a walk while I have a lie-in?

  9. Share the load a little, will ya? We both work full-time, we are both parents, so why is it that I do all the washing, cooking, lunches and cleaning? Here’s a compromise: If I cook, you do the washing-up and vice versa. If I make the lunches, you put the washing on and vice versa.

  10. A cuddle would be nice. I know I smell of breast milk, and that I don’t feel like sex, but would it hurt you to rub my back? If you do it enough times, you never know, I might just forgive you for the labour and feel like making love to you again.

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