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"The bar is so low for dads": 20 women share their real-life frustrations with 'daddy privilege'.

A question for parents: Have you ever seen or experienced 'daddy privilege'?

Although quite a hetero-normative concept, daddy privilege is a reality for many. Whether you have seen it play out during your childhood, experienced it firsthand in a relationship or have loved ones who are impacted, daddy privilege is alive and thriving.

But what exactly does it mean?

Daddy privilege is essentially when a father is complimented for doing the exact same things mums do all day, every day.

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Perhaps it's dropping the kids off at school or picking them up, making dinner, cleaning the house, reading a bedtime story - anything which is a normal parental duty. But for some unknown reason - men get more praise than women who are so often left to do the parental admin.

And goodness, the daddy hero treatment can be extremely frustrating.

To spotlight the issue, we asked 20 women to share their real-life examples of daddy privilege in action. Here's what they had to say:

"For a while, my husband would take our three, five and seven-year-olds to swimming lessons. Every single week someone different would comment to him about how awesome he was taking three kids to swimming lessons on his own. He hated those comments! Both the inference that it was something he should be incapable of and the fact that he knew no one ever complimented me for taking all three kids anywhere on my own."

"When my husband is taking care of the kids, I often hear from others how nice it is that he is 'babysitting', when in fact he is simply parenting."

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"My own mum tells me how lucky I am to have a husband that supports our family, to give us the lifestyle we have… meanwhile, we both work, our earnings are pretty much on par, and I keep the cogs turning (my husband often jokes that without me, the family would starve). I do think I have an awesome husband but I'm equally as awesome and hardly get any credit from the outside world."

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"My neighbour is a divorced dad, and when his daughter is staying with him people always say that it's so 'generous' that he has her to stay so much and that he's got a dedicated bedroom made up for her. She's there literally once a week. And it's her dad. I don't get it!"

"Daddy privilege is definitely a thing. We also talk about the daddy bonus in academic literature, where men's careers and income increase with children - something that doesn't happen when the role is reversed with women."

"We recently spent three weeks in the NICU with my daughter. Almost every day, a nurse or midwife commented on how my husband 'is a keeper' or 'where did you find him?' because he would help set up my breast pump gear or bring me food or do skin-to-skin with our daughter. I'd always acknowledge that yes, he's a good partner and parent, but I expect that of a partner. That's why I chose him to do this all with."

"My in-laws came over last week for my birthday. I spent the day gardening, doing laundry, cleaning and unpacking our new house. I then cooked a roast for them all but my husband did the lawns and edges during the day while they were over as he had to borrow a whipper snipper. All I heard about was how good he was and how tired he'd be after doing the lawn. My husband then tried to divert the attention and suggested I'd be more exhausted because of all I'd done but they heard nothing."

Image: Getty. 

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"I can see daddy privilege playing out in real life all the time! My husband - the kids' dad - would take them to the supermarket or park and be told how awesome he is. When I'm out on my own, I get asked where my kids are, and when I tell them they are with their dad, I'm told 'how lucky' I am. Even a few weeks ago at the hairdresser one of the ladies washing my hair told me I was so lucky I could be here while hubby was at home feeding the kids. When I said they're his kids too, she looked confused." 

"It REALLY pisses me off when dads refer to looking after their kids as 'babysitting'. The bar for dads is also often based on just not being s**t. For example, if he is more involved than his father was 'back in his day', or does more than another husband amongst a group of mates then... PRAISE. Whereas the bar for mums is completely unattainable."

"When people find out my husband has Mondays off to care for the kids: 'Oh that's so great that he's able to do that!' When people find out I have Tuesdays off to care for the kids: *crickets*."

"My man gets all the older ladies cooing and smiling and fawning over him when he takes bub for a walk in the carrier - he can't stand it either! He'll go to the supermarket with the kids and everyone is clapping him on the back meanwhile when I go with two kids and I'm juggling bags and wallet and trolleys, I get old men being like 'you've got your arms full don't you', but not in a congratulatory way in a 'you look like you're struggling' way."

"In our household, we call it 'Dadulation'. My husband hates it as much as I do. It's based on the assumptions that all of those parenting admin tasks are the mother's job, and also that dads are less capable of doing them. The best example I can think of is that when my twins were babies, we used to do swimming lessons on a Saturday morning. My husband would take the babies in the pool one after the other while I would look after the one not swimming, make sure our older kids were in their lessons at the right time, and get everyone showered and dressed. He received an achievement award at the swimming school (which are usually for the kids) for being 'such an amazing dad'. None of the mums received these awards."

"My fiancé is a stay-at-home dad, and he definitely gets more praise than a stay-at-home mum. The double standard is real."

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"Daddy privilege doesn't stop when your kids are grown up. My husband is told what a great job he has done with our adult daughters all the time while I stand there like chopped liver. He is a great dad, but I kept them alive."

"You see all these videos and articles on Facebook with the title 'Dad makes Halloween costume for their disabled child'. Why does this make the news? Because it's expected that a mum should/usually would do this, but if a dad does it, then goodness he must be the world's best dad. I drop off and collect my kids from autism services involving a daily 140km commute and being in the car for three hours a day. I've been doing this for two decades. My husband hasn't."

"This idea of 'daddy privilege' has been my whole week. I had an exam today so for the past week, my husband has been doing everything with our son while I've been studying. I have still been looking after him during the day, spending five to six hours a day studying after that and doing two to four wake-ups during the night and overall getting about four hours sleep a night if I'm lucky. My husband has been acting like what he's been doing is the hardest thing in the world and he is doing it on a full night's sleep but on a regular day can't seem to understand why I'm tired. It's doing my head in. No, sir, you aren't a saint for taking care of your own child for a few extra hours a day compared to normal."

"We both volunteer at the kids' school. He always gets told how amazing he is, I get nothing."

"My husband is the main cook in my household. I am not the best cook in the world and I really don't enjoy cooking. He prefers to cook instead and do the groceries and meal planning. He gets so much praise for this from friends and family members, while I cop harsh criticism - even from my own mother and female cousins - for apparently 'failing' as a wife, mother and woman because I can't cook. However, nobody ever gave any appreciation for the fact that I have been the main breadwinner for my family since 2016 until now. When I would point this out to people who were having a go at me, I copped criticism for being inconsiderate, a snob, bitchy and insensitive (these were actual words thrown at me)."

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"My mum's generation aren't used to equal parenting loads. So one particular time mum and I were heading out for a meeting and my partner was staying home with our two kids and my mum said 'Oh, we should get him a block of chocolate or something!' I knew where it was heading, but I asked why. She said, 'Oh you know, having to look after the kids and everything! He's such a good dad.' I mean FFS. I'd also like to add that my husband is FIFO, and he's gone for two weeks at a time… where's my bloody block of chocolate and pat on the back?"

"Our boys are five and six, and I've always worked except for when I was on maternity leave. Going back into the workforce, it grinds my gears when people ask how I could possibly fit work into my life and who will take care of the kids while I'm at work. Nobody has ever asked my husband who takes care of the kids while he's at work..."

Have you experienced daddy privilege? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: Getty. 

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.

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