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Parenthood is a gift that is best shared

'get new dads to stay at home with baby and we all win' says the headline on Mary Ann Sieghart's article (Comment, May 17). How true.

May I add one more benefit?

In our society - where fewer and fewer of us experience living in a community and hardly any have extended families - mothers often suddenly find themselves feeling extremely isolated while looking after babies on their own - so much so that they are vulnerable to depression.

This puts the children's health - and in some rare cases their lives - at risk.

Whoever is going to be the primary carer would benefit from having the other parent's company and support in the early days, while the stay-at-home parent gets used to the huge change in their way of life.

Adults need other adults in their daily lives for their well-being and sanity, just as much as they ever did, once they become the one who is responsible for all the needs of small people 24-hours-a-day.

Parenting is a wonderful experience and we will all gain if we allow all parents of both sexes to enjoy it - rather than continuing to promote the outdated ethos of making a living to work a virtue, instead of simply working to live.


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