If you thought that paternity leave was merely an exercise in sleep deprivation, nappy changing and tea making, think again! As someone who has just completed two full-on weeks of parental leave, I’ve come to realise that the role that new dads play in this pivotal period is infinitely more than that.
Which got me thinking. Which Mr Men characters can new dads look towards for advice on being the perfect dad during paternity leave?
Unfortunately on closer inspection, it quickly became apparent that the existing group of Mr Men were wholly unsuitable for the job in hand. I mean, would you really trust Mr Tickle or Mr Bump to look after your baby?
And so, in honour of the 45th anniversary of the Mr Men books, I’ve created a whole new bunch of inspirational Mr Men characters for new dads to aspire to during paternity leave. Enjoy!
If Mr Men did paternity leave…
During paternity leave, no household chore is too big or too dirty for Mr Maid. ‘King of the Kitchen’, ‘Iron Man of the Ironing Board’ and ‘Don of the Dusting’, Mr Maid is on top of every domestic task while Mrs Maid is sleeping, or otherwise indisposed looking after the new baby. The only thing Mr Maid ever worries about is putting something away in the wrong place. Mrs Maid chuffing hates that.
Mr Milky bloody loves boobs. And he knows that new parents are far more likely to succeed at breastfeeding if both mum AND dad know how it should be done. So, during paternity leave Mr Milky is on hand at every feed to support Mrs Milky, whenever and however she needs him. Mr Milky never forgets which breast the baby fed from last. He can spot a bad latch from 10 yards. And he always remembers to bring Mrs Milky a regular supply of drinks and snacks during each feed to keep her energy levels up. Mr Milky has even had a cheeky taste of breast milk himself, and doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. It pretty much tastes just like regular milk.
Mr Medicine isn’t a doctor. He isn’t even a nurse. But by God he knows how and when to dish out paracetamol and ibuprofen to ensure Mrs Medicine manages her pain during paternity leave. In fact, he’s so efficient in his four-hourly drugs distribution, you could set your watch by his schedule. Mr Medicine has even dabbled in some amateur Obstetrics & Gynaecology, inspecting Mrs Medicine’s ‘intimate stitches’ daily and providing regular damage reports. What a trooper.
Mr Skin to Skin isn’t afraid to whip off his shirt, especially if it means he can partake in some proper daddy/baby bonding time during paternity leave. He knows that a bit of skin to skin contact can calm almost any screaming baby, while (at the same time) giving Mrs Skin to Skin some much needed respite. However Mr Skin to Skin has also learnt, from painful personal experience, that a hungry baby will attempt to latch onto any nipple in its vicinity. Regardless of whether daddy’s nipple is a source of milk of not.
Mr Thick Skin knows that during paternity leave, his wife’s hormones are almost certain to be raging out of control. As such, he doesn’t take it personally when Mrs Thick Skin loses her temper. He can handle any criticism, any passive aggression and any sleep-deprivation-related tantrum like a man. He might shed a tear on occasion, but only ever in the privacy of his shed.
Mr Organised is a man that all new mums love having around during paternity leave. He is master of the to-do list, keeping track of the timings of every feed and every nappy change (including poo colour and consistency). He ensures that bottles and breast pumps are efficiently sterilised. He never forgets to pay a bill. His fridge is always stocked. He even remembers what presents the baby has received and from whom, so that appropriate thank you cards can be written. If Mr Organised was a personal assistant, he would deserve a massive Christmas bonus.
Mr Positive is always jolly and never frowns. He’s well aware of the dreaded ‘baby blues’ and so does everything in his power to prevent them from surfacing. Quick with a compliment, some words of encouragement or a joke to lighten the mood, Mr Positive never criticises or raises his voice. Although, he has been known to talk through gritted teeth on occasion.
Mr Gatekeeper is no fun at all, but he has a very important job to do (which, by the way, he takes very seriously). If anyone wants to visit the baby during the two weeks of paternity leave, they have to go through him first. He controls who can come over, at what time and for how long. And he even instructs every visitor that they must bring food, or they will be turned away on arrival. Mr Gatekeeper is clever…very clever indeed.
Mr Sleepy is utterly knackered. You see, he spent his first week of paternity leave trying to keep up with his other Mr Men friends. He tried taking on all the household chores that Mr Maid could do so easily. But he ended up just making a mess. He tried to emulate Mr Organised’s to-do list. But whenever he ticked one thing off the list, he ended up adding three more. He even tried to stay in a constant good mood, like his jolly friend Mr Positive. But after countless sleepless nights, even that simple task was harder than it sounded.
Thankfully though, he soon realised what needed to be done. So, he started ‘cat napping’ at strategic points throughout the day. Just 40 minutes here and there, but those small sleeps made all the difference. “After all, I’ll be no use to anyone if I get ill or fall into a sleeping beauty style sleep coma,” he thought!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post! If you did, please do share it with your friends and family on the social media platform of your choice!
So, which one of the new paternity leave-loving Mr Men is your favourite? Are there any alternative ones that you can think of? As always, we’d love to hear from you, so please do share your thoughts and ideas with the group via the comments section below.
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