Tuesday 27 September 2016

Amanda Brunker: ‘I don’t trust my husband completely when it comes to our kids’

Amanda Brunker

Published 19/04/2016 | 08:31

Amanda Brunker with her sons L to R: Setanta (8) and Edward (9) McLaughlin
Amanda Brunker with her sons L to R: Setanta (8) and Edward (9) McLaughlin

How well do you trust your partner? Do they always buckle the baby’s car seat properly?

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Do they take the appropriate care when walking along a road to insure your precious smallies don’t wander out in front of traffic?

I’ve previously written about neglectful babysitters after witnessing some heartless au pairs totally ignore the needs of the young children in their care at a playground. But I am going to make a sweeping statement here and say that I’ve also observed too many daddies being absent-minded with their offspring in far-too-many dangerous situations. Why? Mostly because they were distracted... by their phones!

You can curse me all you like, but when it comes to childcare, the gross majority of men will badly multi-task most fatherly responsibilities while juggling a mobile in one hand. Yes, women will often be guilty of the same, but if we do spend an hour solving the world’s problem with a phone wedged between our ear and shoulder, you can be guaranteed we’d still get the floors washed and the shop from Aldi unpacked and served up on the table without any drama.

Okay, now before all seven of the stay-at-home father’s in this country start writing to me with complaints, I agree that not every father is slack when it comes to their child’s safety… but come on, like the way men forget to use their indicators properly at roundabouts (seriously folks, it’s true), the bulk of men are a tad preoccupied while carrying out parental duties and so, that can lead to accidents. And herein lies today’s debate. Women… and yes, I am going to be sexist here. Do you 100pc trust your hubby/BF/male life-partner while in charge of your child?

Truth is, I don’t trust my husband completely when it comes to our kids. I spent four weeks away from home last year, making a TV show (in separate weekly stints) and each time, I returned to find my two sons looking like they had been left to roam feral. Of course I was just grateful he hadn’t killed them!

Amanda Brunker at her wedding with husband Philip McLaughlin (far left) and Bono (centre)
Amanda Brunker at her wedding with husband Philip McLaughlin (far left) and Bono (centre)

Parking my mommy guilt to one side, I couldn’t refuse the work and I couldn’t get hung up on the fact that my boys wouldn’t have drunk enough water or eaten enough fruit or washed as much as I would have liked. But hey, I’m sure they had a great laugh without all my rules, and sure don’t we all love a bit of freedom when the boss is away?

But I’m lucky that my kids are grown up enough to more-or-less look after themselves. I annoyingly had to turn down work that would have taken me away from home in their early years because I simply didn’t trust himself to take adequate care of the lads. Sad, but true.

But how much of a blind eye do we think it is acceptable to turn on a daily or hourly basis, just so we can get some peace away from the kids?

Maybe we should start to train our men like we would a dog to obediently carry out the parental chores to our standards? Or should we just ignore their shortcomings and constantly nag them as they fail instead?

Whatever the answer, you can fight among yourselves; I’m off to bake some human doggie biscuits!

Herald

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