Image: Martin Keane

When you start out on this great journey we call parenthood it is easy to forget about teamwork.

You see, to me being part of a family is like being part of a team. We all have roles to play and we’re all essential to our families running smoothly.

That’s not to say there is an identikit set of criteria for being a “successful” family. What even makes a successful family?

However, recently I have seen troubling media portrayals of dads, such as Daddy Day Care on Channel 4, and heard of several cases of families where the dad point-blank refuses to undertake some of the daily tasks all parents must carry out. I’m not condemning here –  I’m sure it happens with mums too sometimes.

The most troubling of these is the refusal to tend to their child during the night, complaining that they work full time. This leaves the parent staying at home during the day to contend with feeding, changing and all the other aspects of parenting while suffering from a massive lack of sleep.

It isn’t any one parent’s role to get up if the baby wakes during the night. In our house we are a team in all areas of parenting, 100%. We take turns and if I end up having to soothe Ruby (now six months) at 2 am and get up for work a few hours later, that is all well and fine. I totally embrace it and I’ve no desire to simply be “the fun one.”

I’m not an expert and I don’t profess to know what makes a successful family. However, I do know that whether you’re a mum or a dad, taking this journey is better when you do it as team. You must be able to rely on each other and provide support through all the new experiences on the horizon. Enjoy everything parenting has to enrich your life and do it together.

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