The Equal Parent, written by Paul Morgan-Bentley, Head of Investigations at The Times, can be ordered now
I decided to try to write a book about fathers being equal parents while lying in bed one night, thinking about how no one ever calls women ‘hands-on’ mothers.
My son, Solly, was three months old and I had just settled him back to sleep after a night feed. At the time, I was on extended leave from work to look after my baby – something millions of people do. But, because I am not a woman, I was getting lots of praise for it.
I went to vaccination appointments and nurses congratulated me on being “such a hands-on dad”. I was praised by a pharmacist for picking up a prescription for my son. Even though we strive for equality at work, no one seemed to expect equality at home after having a baby.
Lying in bed that night, I had lots of questions buzzing in my mind. So I decided to go on a mission to answer them.
Why do men take so little time off work to bond with their babies?
Why don’t we expect dads to do more at home?
Is there a biological difference in mothers’ and fathers’ parenting instincts?
Why do mums seem to wake up first when their baby cries at night?
Why do nurseries and schools often call mothers first when there is a problem?
Why are mothers never praised for being ‘hands on’, even when they work more and earn more than their partners?
With a range of case studies, research from around the world, and conversations with leading scientists, The Equal Parent investigates the truth behind so many falsehoods about parenting roles – and explores why challenging these myths to achieve parenting equality will benefit all of us: mothers, fathers and, most importantly, our children.
I am really excited (and terrified) to hear what readers think – and to hear about lots of different families’ personal connections with equal parenting. The Equal Parent is now available to be pre-ordered online, ahead of its release in the UK on March 2nd, 2023.
You can order it here: