A father's full-time job

August 1, 2020

I was having my breakfast in the lovely courtyard at the Pulitzer Hotel when two identical scenes caught my attention: fathers taking care - by themselves - of their children. When I say ‘themselves’ I mean no mother or nanny or grandma around. I immediately thought this is not a regular thing in America, at least not in my home country.

This made me realize what I had already silently confirmed to myself: dads in Europe are quite different from the Latin American ones (which also include Italians). I grew up in a house where my Dad would help my mother in every single task: from changing nappies to supermarket shopping and cooking. Perhaps because he was raised by seeing his mother doing all the hard work and he just didn’t want to repeat the unfair pattern; or perhaps he was a world citizen that had lived most of his life abroad (obliged to look after himself) or just because he was a very good man. Point is he was not just like the majority of Brazilian fathers (although this has been changing thanks to the new generation).

There’s something really deep in that sense. Is this evidence that sets cultures apart? Is it also a fact that mothers of non-catholic countries can rely more on their companions? Do nannies only find their pay check in America? What about Asia? These are probably anthropological questions that I must dig into a little bit more to understand where they come from.


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