"You Can't Say Anything Anymore!" by Diversifying Group

How 'parenthood' is being defined for the next generation

March 31, 2022 Diversifying.io Season 1 Episode 18
"You Can't Say Anything Anymore!" by Diversifying Group
How 'parenthood' is being defined for the next generation
Show Notes Transcript

Families that were once seen as groundbreaking, different or taboo are speaking up, and changing how we think about parenting. Podcast host Naomi sits down with two guests Elliott Rae (founder of musicfootballfatherhood.com a platform for dads) and colleague Rebecca Davy (Head of Boards Practise) to talk to them about the relationships that define us and what it means to be a parent.

Listen as they explore what good representation means and how the parenting community is evolving and becoming more inclusive. Laugh along as they explain some of the challenges with parenting in the digital age that they've faced. Understand how modern flexible working fallows parents to more quality time with their children than ever before. We can't wait for you to hear this episode!
 
About our guests:

 Elliott Rae
Author, speaker and founder of MusicFootballFatherhood.com (MFF) - the UK's most exciting parenting & lifestyle platform for men. Elliott is a forward-thinking D&I specialist (previously the Head of D&I delivery at HM Treasury) and one of the UK’s leading speakers on fatherhood, mental health & masculinity.

Rebecca Davy

Rebecca has spent over eight years in the recruitment industry working across a variety of sectors including Finance & Accountancy, Editorial & Design, Sales, Operational Risk and most recently Legal professionals from Company Secretaries to General Counsels.

In her spare time, she is on the Board of Governors for her son’s school where she can focus her passion for equal opportunities into ensuring that a culture of Diversity and Inclusion is instilled and promoted from an early age. She also has a keen interest in behavioural science and enjoys watching old movies and listening to Jazz.

Trigger Warning - This podcast contains references to  mental health, sexism and racism.

This podcast is produced by Diversifying.io - Keep up to date on how we're changing hearts and minds on Instagram: @diversifyingio or via our website: www.diversifying.io 

Bame Recruitment:

Diversifing.io presents, You can't say anything anymore. The podcast where we bring you the latest diversity news, and in depth meaningful conversations about how we can make the future better for all.

Naomi:

Hi everyone, welcome to today's episode. Today, we have two very special guests today. And I'm really, really excited to introduce them. My name is Naomi and I'm the host of this podcast. So we have got our first guest, first, would you like to introduce yourself, please.

Rebecca:

I'm Rebecca, I am a mother to a nearly 7 year old who you might hear so, he likes to scream a lot. But also a recruiter with with BAME Recruitment as well. And I think just to kind of clarify my sort of identification status, I'm a She, And I'm sort of mixed ethnicity, My mother is white British, and my father is Caribbean. So I have a huge focus on my role in my life around inclusion and diversity and representation.

Elliott:

Hi everyone, my name is Elliot Ray. And I am the founder of a platform called music, football, fatherhood. That's all about open conversations around being an dad. Also, I'm also the author and curator of a book called dad, and a dad myself as well. I've got one daughter, and she is nearly six is four weeks to her birthday, and she's been reminding me every day. So we're on countdown to the birthday party mode. Yeah, she's in year one. And doing really well in school, which is which is great. So yeah, that's me.

Naomi:

That was a really awesome introduction for both of you. So let's just get started right into topics. So parenthood pretty big, wide topic. Lots of different definitions. But let's just hear from from you. What is parenthood to you?

Rebecca:

I think that that is that such a such a tricky question. I think that it's like, I'll give you a different answer. Depending on the day or the hour. Depending where my son is in the in the house or whether he's with me or not, I think it's like, it's genuinely. Sounds really lame. But I think all parents think it's the most joyous, amazing thing in the entire world. If they grab your hand, and you didn't ask them to it, they say I love you, and you didn't make them say it. And it's really, really great. But here on the other hand, it's it's really, really hard. There are lots of different things that you have to think about. All the time. Yeah, just keeping them alive on the daily. It's just really difficult. Keeping them fed and keeping them happy and never really knowing you know, that they were never really known for doing the right thing or making the right choices, or, disciplining in the right way or not disciplining for a certain thing. You just you just you never, you never really know.

Elliott:

Yeah, I agree with all of the above. It's weird, isn't it? Like, sometimes we gotta give disclaimers. Like, I love my child. You know, it's the best thing in the world. But there is a but. Because of course, it's great. Like, of course, it's amazing. And yes, as you said, Rebecca like when they do stuff unprovoked, you know, or something the other day happened to me. So we were going to get my daughter's allergy test. And we didn't realise only one parent can go in. Both of us are at the at the gate and the doctor came out and she was like, only one of you can come in and my daughter was like Daddy, I got chosen to go with her. And I have been celebrating that as a week ago. I literally have like, I've got chosen. That was so cool. My wife had to sit outside in the car. And afterwards she was like, Yeah, it hurt, it hurt her. And it would have it would have hurt me but not as much because I guess being the dad, maybe you kind of expect not to get chosen. But But yeah, so yeah, when those things happen, that's amazing. But yeah, at the same time it is. It is so tough. Like it's so difficult. You know, there's no. I say there's no rest there is sometimes but not a lot of it. And it's a big responsibility. So yeah, it's definitely the hardest thing but at the same time like the most amazing as well.

Rebecca:

Yeah, just on that though, Elliot like you're I think you're maybe it's because she's little she is a girl I don't know that may be like generalisation but I never get picked to that my son will always pick his dad so I'd be like you I'd be like expecting to like sit in the car and wait. If he picked me I'd been like dining out on it for Yeah a week all right.

Elliott:

I think we were speaking about it and we think maybe it's because when it's stuff to do with comfort, basically she was going to have a test each month had to have had a blood test. So when theirs stuff to do with like being scared, normally it's like go to daddy but stuff to do with like, more kind of comfort things like maybe she actually yeah, maybe she feels ill maybe she might go to mommy then. But yeah, we have stuff like, Oh my God, this might be scary or it's something new, then I think maybe she saw dad as protection, but I don't the thing about Parenthood, right? Because we just have to know. I'm just I'm just yeah, that's a win for me. That is a win. I'm taking it take the wins no matter how small they are. Sometimes that's all we have in like for days. For sure

Naomi:

I mean, I don't have a child myself. But if a cat just comes to me, and it ruins, I feel very special. I don't know if that's really the same, but I'm sure the feeling is probably 10 times greater if you know if it's anything akin to a cat choosing you over other people in the room? Well, I look forward to the the 10 times more feeling of a cat choosing me. Anyway, so if we just move on to a little bit about obviously, as we mentioned, it's a really difficult sort of broad subject to even define about what parenthood means. You know, as you both said, the little wins are a big part of that. But each day, that kind of change in flow. And obviously, depending on how many children you have, what age of your children are, you know, to what extent do we feel that interpretations of parenthood are influenced by things like personal history, culture, ethnicity, face social circumstance, you know, how do you how do you feel that those come into play with it?

Elliott:

So probably all of it, I think, I think we're all we're all shaped by our experiences, sometimes not consciously. But, you know, we speak to a lot of dads about their relationship with their own fathers. And just the other day, I posted something on LinkedIn, actually, it was a dad, a black dad, who and the caption said, 16 year old boy, went, didn't feel well went to his dad for comfort and gave him a big hug. And there's a picture of them lying on the sofa. And this man, a black dad, and you know, hugging his son, his 16 year old son, and I was just talking to a few of my friends about like, when we were 16, there's no way I'm going to hug my dad on the sofa. It's just not happening. Do you know what I mean. But also, whether that's what we want, you know, do we want to nurture that kind of relationship where our sons or our children who would want to do that with us? And we all said we would want to? I think we are we're shaped by our own experiences, but also our friends, probably maybe the areas that we grew up in the times you grew up in what's socially acceptable, and the social norms, and that is changing a lot, you know, that is, especially around fatherhood, the social norms and expectations around dads has changed massively from like, 10 20 50 years ago, to now it's kind of unrecognisable. So yeah, I think we're shaped by everything. But that's not to say that you can't go against that, and you can't change or you can't have your own opinion. And you can't differ from what you've always seen. I think a lot of times, sometimes people do want to go, and they do want to differ from their own experience, because maybe it wasn't that positive. So yeah, I think we're all we're all you know, we're all products of products of our own environment, I guess.

Rebecca:

Yeah, I saw that post actually earlier. And it was it just warmed my heart so much. I just and actually, that reminded me of a of an advert. I don't know if any of you guys saw the, the black different programming on Channel Four. And there was an advert that kept coming up. And that was like brushing his son's hair. And they were talking about COVID. And I was just it just I think I may have shed a tear it was so it was just so emotional personally and, and I just thought like, that's it, I think you for dads, things have moved so much. I think in a better, much better way over the last like 10-15 years. I think mums still have a bit of a stagnation, maybe in the social norms and things that they're supposed to supposed to do. But I think dads really kind of stepping up and having a bit of a moment. Actually. It's great to see this. Yeah, this evolution, I think of that Father, child relationship.

Naomi:

Yeah, I think that's really, really fascinating. Isn't it about the time of dads I mean, we're seeing things on social media, about girl dad, yeah, shy girl, dad. And obviously, your project has been super influential and super important as well for raising the profile and conversation around fatherhood. You know, your platform has been you know, pretty big in raising the conversation about fatherhood, and we've really seen a bigger call to that conversation, I mean, is moving in a direction that a lot of people really feel is improving, as well. And I think that fatherhood is changing in specifically the UK, compared to what a lot of people have experienced before. I mean, can you share a little bit more about that kind of changing model about expectations or changing face of? I mean, those adverts are both very impactful on you, both of you.

Elliott:

Yeah. So I think so I remember when my when I was expecting when my wife was expecting, went to my grandma's house. And we're just about to leave. And then she said to me, you're going to see something your grandad has never seen before. And I'm thinking he's 80 years old, he's got seven kids. What is there left to see? As she said, you're gonna see childbirth. You know, my granddad had seven children, and he never saw any of them being born. So yes, my grandma was like, you're gonna see something that your grandad has never seen before. And it was childbirth. And I think that just shows how fatherhood has changed. That kind of illustration of the dad was wasn't at the birth ever, they didn't go to the hospital, they would, they wouldn't tape any shared prints, it wasn't the thing that was introduced in 2015. Very rarely, would a dad work part time or work flexibly or, you know, get involved on that kind of emotional, mental load level in parenting, it just wasn't the thing. It's only really recently that that has changed, I would say the last couple of decades. But the last few years, we have really seen like an evolution really, of how dads want to be how they want to live. That's coincided with, you know, more women in more senior roles in the workplace as well. So we're just seeing a shift really, of families and people are realising that the old way of doing things just isn't that fun, you know, for a dad to like, after have that pressure of going to work. And you know, being the main, sometimes sole breadwinner, not seeing their children grow up. Like that's not actually a great life. And I think a lot of people just realise that's not what they want anymore. And we can have something different. So that has really, you know, been a big driving force for changing narrative around fatherhood, I think.

Rebecca:

Sorry, I told you he'd start shouting at some point. Apologies, I don't know what he's, you okay? Oh, okay. Something about the TV. Yeah, sorry Elliott. I actually agree with you. And I think it's nicely that it's coincided with the, I guess, the dads thinking, I don't like this is not a nice life. And the moms thinking Actually, yeah, this I'm not having a great time either. Why don't we both kind of try and meet in the middle a little bit. Maybe we can all have a nice life and see what's the best of it. I think we're quite lucky. Benjamin and I are very my him and me and his dad are not together. His dad is really 50-50 in terms of like the custody so he has him as much as I have him. He sees him as much as oh here we go, here he comes

Naomi:

What is that, is that a toy shark

Elliott:

a dolphin

Naomi:

Oh, it's very cool.

Rebecca:

He heard me talking about him and obviously he needs to

Elliott:

just checking that you're telling the truth

Rebecca:

yeah, what you saying about my dad. Yeah. So we're very lucky that I think we have that his dad has that same mentality, you know, it's not cool not being around and not being involved as much as you want to be. So that's step up a little bit and have have it kind of be a little bit more equal

Elliott:

Yeah, no, I think I think that's true. I think I'm I'm very distracted now like, it's, it's to get that change, I think it is down to dad's pushing that change. And saying, it's not good enough. And they are going to play a bigger role in the family life, but also around that, you know, workplace and we do a lot of work with different corporate companies, like they need to do their part as well. Which means better policies, your line managers that can implement those policies in the best way, but also, just culturally as well, you know, because regardless of what the policy says, it's all about your culture and your people and whether actually For that dad to get up at three o'clock and leave the meeting and go for his school pickup, you know whether that is in in practicality on a day to day basis whether that is kind of acceptable and encouraged. I remember I was at Defra and I was fairly senior at the time, I was invited to a meeting with the prime sec and the BGS. And the meeting had to be from had to be at 3pm. And I let the PA know earlier before that I had to leave at 3:30 to go do the school pickup, because the only time I could do three to four, so Okay, cool. I'll come and I'll leave halfway. And I remember going into that meeting, I was by far the most junior person in the room. And I was presenting the meeting was

about my project. And 3:

25 I remember, like looking at my watch, and being really nervous at the fact that I have to stand up and say, Yeah, thanks, guys. But you know, I need to leave basically. And I was so nervous, and it came to 3:30 you know, stood up and made my apologies and walked out. But I remember that feeling of like our policy says flexible working, and it says all these things, but I'm still nervous walking out right now. And I'm relatively senior, and they know that I have MFF and the Aikido champion this stuff. And even I'm nervous. So is that it's about making sure that, you know, on a day to day basis, you're actually encouraging your dads to, to leave early to work from home, if their kid needs to be picked up early, you know, to take the day off for sports day, whatever it is. And that's easier said than done, especially in a lot of industries who you know, historically, for years, you know, we're working with a lot of like magic circle law firms. And traditionally, it's just not the done thing for the dad to be an active father. It's just not like a lot of them earn a lot of money. And they have nannies or partners who stay at home for that dad to say actually, no, he's going to, you know, work till three o'clock on a Friday or a Thursday or flexible hours. It's just not done. So it's a cultural shift that needs to happen.

Rebecca:

Yeah, I think with the magic circle law firms, you can always you can also see again, that that shift that they're thinking, Why are there so few female partners? Well, this is why because their their dads are still here, they're still working. But remember when they potentially, you know, met their partners. And when they were newly qualified lawyers, one of them had to stay at home, it had to be a choice between one or the other. But yeah, I think that they're kind of waking up as well. A lot of organisations are like, yeah, let's ingrain this. So that be part of who we are as an organisation. Let's make sure that we're trying to champion women, we can champion men being dads at the same time

Naomi:

What would better policies, but at access look like do you think? Just off the top of your head?

Elliott:

The big one is the parental leave. That's the massive one. I think if you get that, right, everything else kind of goes from that. So you know, good practice. We've seen the best practice in the UK is aviva they offer six months full paid for dads. They've done that for about three years. john lewis, you might have seen a couple months ago, they were the first UK retailer to announce equal maternity and paternity leave. So they offer three months full paid for a dad and a further three months at kind of partial payment. And if other companies like Vodafone has had their they go above the the statutory two weeks that the government, that's government policy. So So yeah, there is some good practice. And I think more companies are looking at that. But I think the reason why it's so important. When we look at the gender pay gap, the large disparity, the gender pay gap starts from the first babies born into a family. So having a quality there where the dad can share, get involved, the mom can still maintain her position, the labour market is really key. But also for the future as well, if dads spend more time and there's research that shows dads that are fully involved in that first year, they have time to learn how to parent on their own. They can change a nappy they can, they can feed, soothe, all that sort of stuff by themselves. They're they're more likely to be involved later on down the line as well. They're more likely to work flexibly. And all those sort of things are really key to the parent child relationship to the gender equality to retention now is a big thing as well companies are realising that this decision on that move to a family friendly policies and a family friendly culture is not just for the well being of their staff, but also to keep their stuff ultimately and recruit new ones as well. So yeah, I think that the parents leave was a big one, obviously flexible working is massive too. And then there's loads of other like you know, nice things you can do around giving your employees a day off. When it's a child's first day of school, that kind of stuff. That is a quick win but has no massive impact and massive positive impact on family life.

Rebecca:

Yeah, sports days and everything else. I think those are really important. But I think there are a lot of organisations that Work that had these policies for flexible parental leave or whatever. And they just weren't very clear. Actually, I don't think a lot of people, women and men kind of understood it, understood how they were going to go about getting it and understood that she once they had it, then what do they do? It was always like a bit of a bit of confusion. But it's nice to see that it's all getting a bit clearer now, and more and more people are taking it up, and therefore they're more people, you can then ask about it. And yeah, hopefully, hopefully, it will continue in that in that way.

Naomi:

Sounds good. I definitely think that the future of parenthood, hopefully will look very different from now. And obviously, with active campaigns, and like you said, the impacts on the gender pay gap, the more that people are connecting and realising that these things are all interconnected, and they're not isolated thing. It's not that Okay, now, dads get more holiday. That's it. That's the end of their, into the stories. It's all very integrated thing. And yeah, I'm sure that Sports Day is quite a glistening memory for many people. Not necessarily the best memories for everyone. I don't know. Do they still do the dad? The dad race? You know, on the sports day?

Elliott:

Well, now we've COVID I've been training for it. So I'm ready. No I'm joking. I haven't been training for at all. But yeah, I'm very competitive. My friend Actually, he pulled a hamstring. Literally you he was like, he's not losing. He pulled his hamstring

Rebecca:

That's so funny. I know, a school. A friend og mine their school stopped doing the parent race. Because it was too competitive. Yeah, they were basically like, when we can't have the children see, you all. get into arguments with each other. So they just don't they just stopped it now.

Elliott:

My daughters in year one so she's yet to like, well, I'm yet to experience that. But yeah, I can imagine it but it's very competitive. You know, because especially with the men who can be quite committed anyway and don't want to lose in front of their children, especially when the children get older. But yeah, it's funny actually. Because my um, yeah, my daughter went to her sports day. And it's a weird one I had to kind of stop myself from making a big deal of it than it was because she was in reception right and for her it's just like, running around with an egg and spoon like it's not a big deal. But for me why remember sports day being was a massive thing, you know, is a big deal sports day. But yeah, when she was there, I was like, don't make it serious. It's a bit of fun. It's a sack race it's cool. Don't make it some big deal.

Rebecca:

Do you like sports day? See he hasn't even had one

Naomi:

No sports day? Oh, no.

Elliott:

Are you in year 2 or in year 1?

Naomi:

Year 2. No Sports Day what.

Rebecca:

Maybe they'll hopefully there'll be one this year. I think they tried to do something last year course it was COVID. But it wasn't called a sports day. Because obviously they had to stay in their bubbles of six. I know. It's very exciting. He can play with anyone he wants. He's very excited about that. Lets get back to the podcast by the way.

Unknown:

Chris, I think adds flavour.

Naomi:

Yeah, I think so yeah. Yeah, exactly. It was good to get the the Holy Trinity. You know, the podcaster parents and the children

Rebecca:

life now, right when we work from home and they're home.

Naomi:

the realism of it, you know, many people listening and there are background noises it's unavoidable. You know, we don't live in Sound Studio bubbles.

Rebecca:

It's definitely on purpose to get some attention. I know you do, okay.

Naomi:

I can imagine the big milestones, you know, again, not speak for personal experience. But like you said about the excitement of us being I imagine that'd be really exciting. Even if someone I know who had a kid first, but I can imagine that'd be really, you know, because you you remember yourself and then seeing that come around again. That would be that'd be very, you know, it'd be really hard not to take very seriously about this thing. Or even just, you know, if I could imagine, in a 10 billion years when another Star Wars franchise gets rebooted. Taking your kids to the next iteration of Star Wars or whatever it is. Next Marvel iteration would be nice

Elliott:

It's weird when programmes get remade. Like I was a big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan when I was younger. And then now to see like, turtles again, my daughter's into it. It's just like, wow, this is weird man.

Naomi:

They remade Muppet Babies I saw and I was quite a Muppet Babies fan, and they've remade that now.

Rebecca:

So I don't know what muppet babies is. Is that bad.

Naomi:

It was it was a very like non pop. It's basically

Elliott:

We're to old Rebecca, that's what it is

Naomi:

80s. As far as I think it's maybe from 1989. But for some reason when I was younger as well, they were still broadcasting it. But yeah, it was like a cartoon about the Muppets when they were babies.

Rebecca:

Sure. No, I get the concept. I'm just not sure I watched it.

Naomi:

Anyway, they've revived that on Disney. So with all new gender, you know, gender inclusivity

Rebecca:

Oh, that's cool, then. Yeah, exactly.

Naomi:

But yeah, I do remember that old teenage in the UK, they had to record Teenage Mutant hero turtles? I don't know if you remember that as well. Because they wouldn't have they didn't have the US one where they could have the word ninja in it. And then they changed yeah.

Rebecca:

You're said knowlegeable Naomi where's all this information coming from.

Naomi:

I just spent a lot of time online. And it's I think now is a good time to take a break. So listeners will be back shortly after this quick break.

Unknown:

diversifying is a purpose led career platform that is proud to promote opportunities for all, check out our website for job opportunities at diversifying.io. And don't forget to follow us on social

Naomi:

And we're back after the break. Yeah, we want to move on media. to that a bit about both of you kind of touched on it before about kind of diverse representation of parenthood. I don't know if you sort of cast your mind back to when you were younger. I'm sure the model of just parenthood on the image is apparently very different from now. And obviously you both touched on it with the adverts that you saw. Yeah, I don't know if you have. Yeah, if you wanted to share some I can see a very nice is that a pencil case.

Rebecca:

Right. Sorry, he's now mopping the floor

Naomi:

Oh, very nice. Yeah, I don't know if you want to share it or your experiences with that.

Elliott:

Yeah, sure. So. I mean, , I guess there's so many sides to this. There's a side of, personal experience, I guess. And then as a side of kind of what you see, media wise,

Naomi:

Public consciousness. I know, that's something that you definitely promote a lot with. Music football, fatherhood is one of that's one of the big kind of goals of your organisation at all. So,

Elliott:

yeah, yeah, I think I think shows show like diversity is, is key. And we try to do that, through everything that we do. You know, in our book, there's 20 different dads. And they're all different. As a gay dads, there's black dads, dads of all different ages, dads, that are diverse, you know, I think it's key when you're, when you're talking about something like parenting, there's never going to be just one version of that, you know, like, there's so many different versions of parents, and we will have our own different version. And some of that, a lot of that some of the time is shaped by some of our characteristics. So if you're an older person, if you have autism, if you're a black dad, if you're a gay dad, or Mum, you're going to have that's going to shape your, your experience, in some form, different for everybody. But it can play a big part in your experience. So I think for us, like one of the things that we do, through everything that we do, whether it's the book, whether it's our podcasts, our work in the media, is to make sure we're representing as much diversity as possible. And also telling the stories of those people. So when we were putting the book together was really important for me to have a gay dad in there, actually, because I felt like we can't say this is a book for dads and not have a gay dad repented, was really important that we had black dads represented, and not just the story of, you know, I'm a black dad, and we have a story of males growing up without a father and that kind of stereotype, but also to show middle class dads who are well off and doing very well and who are married. And, you know, show that perspective. So yeah, I think the media has got better actually, like, I wrote a piece for the independent in 2017. And that was talking about the lack of representation when it comes to black dads. And I think I'm not saying that article was the trigger point. Probably a part of, you know, a bigger campaign. But recently, I see loads of black dads on TV now, to be honest, like, in a lot of adverts. There's a lot of black people in adverts these days like me my wife will be watching it and there's a lot of black people in adverts. You know, I mean, not to say that we're done now. When that's finished, but I think there would there has been positive change in some aspects. But there's clearly a lot more to do. Lately the other channel four programming the other day, the programming on Friday, Black to front, I think it was called amazing. You know, that wasn't just parenting. But that was just so good. Like, even this morning, we're watching the big breakfast again. Like, it's just so cool to see. For me, seeing those black people on TV is so cool. I think Yeah, show my daughter made sure she watched some of it. And that's the sort of thing that we need for like, prospective parents to be able to see themselves in our media is so key. And to the point where now we we really make sure my daughter's room like she has a big variety of different books. And a lot of them are diverse in nature and have black characters because I want her to be able to see, you know, her in there self. It is really, really key.

Rebecca:

Yeah, I think that's I think that's so true. Like the when my son woke up on I think it was last Friday, wasn't it? So yeah, he woke when he woke up. Then I put the towel on and he was literally transfixed by Desmond's like he's never seen anything like it before. And I was like, this was so nostalgic, it was amazing. And literally my child that and then the big breakfast came on, and he was watching that, and obviously my gift again and AJ, they're just amazing. Anyway, really sort of regarius. And really hold your attention when they talk, if anything that they do. So he was just, I couldn't get him away from the telly. And he was just like, I don't think he's ever seen so much representation of himself or our family in like a 45 minute slot before school. And so yeah, it was it was it was absolutely brilliant to, to see that, and hopefully that things like that will kind of keep going for him. And we also work with with a guy as well, who is of mixed heritage as well. He has a little, little baby. And he was just saying to me, like where do I Where do I find all these things? And I'm sort of sending him links and I've obviously sent the details over to him as well like listen to this guy. But like, I think you have you had the author on the on the last podcast, the last webinar that I do want to do earlier they Jojo and Bran Bran, and

Elliott:

oh, yeah, Laura.

Rebecca:

So stuff like that is just incredible. And you have to make sure that as parents we are we are showing them the representation as well and just sort of seeking it out and finding out where it is and how we can make sure as you say, put the books in the rooms and put the put the posters up and you know, talking to them about different histories of like Caribbean histories or African histories or whatever so that they know that there is this this, this whole world plethora of different things not just one thing, which I guess is what we will maybe kind of talk on on lack of teachings when we were their age.

Naomi:

that I was just about to mention about Desmond's think about how I think it was before last year there was only five British TV shows are centred around a black family. Obviously one of them was Desmond's which was what was that? 80s I think

Rebecca:

early 90s

Naomi:

early 90s and then yeah, only five four other shows are centred around black British families. And I think three of them were made within like the last four years or something.

Rebecca:

Why are they not remaking Desmond's

Naomi:

There's definitely a call for it all the episodes are online

Elliott:

You'd know what'd happen though. We make it everyone be like it's not the same.

Naomi:

Peckham is not the same anymore, so

Rebecca:

It wouldnt be yeah. Plus a lot more hipsters I guess but

Naomi:

Well, in the back of Desmond's like, in his little shop, there just be loads of hipsters behind.

Rebecca:

They would everyone from Desmonds moved out to the suburbs anyway, is like this plastic bucket of Chevron, how can Yeah.

Naomi:

But yeah, it's great to hear how impactful that day was for both you and your families. And I think as well, you know our Boss Cynthia sort of mentioned that, it's, it's, it shouldn't be like that. It shouldn't be that one day is relegated for this, you know, we should see be seeing this all the time. And the fact that how meaningful This is, it just shows how big representation and why it matters so much was the people I'm you know, as you were saying, Yeah. Did you ever saying that how impactful that is for your children and how seeing those models growing up, really do shape. The world having those posters, having those dolls, having those TV shows, having those heroes is really important. I remember Yeah, the other day I saw one, I don't know if you've both seen shang chi, you know, the new Marvel movie.

Rebecca:

I think I know it, but I've not seen it actually, you know,

Naomi:

I saw this picture online. And it was, it was a child, like a like an Asian child holding a shang chi doll, and just looking at it. And I just thought about, like, that's just crazy, you know, a similar vein to what you've been speaking about is, yeah, that's crazy. You know, now we live in a world where children can buy these dolls, you know, there are those famous characters, you know, and I'm sure there's similar ones of all the other Marvel superheroes as well. But yeah, it's just crazy what the, how much it impacts how how much the children get, you know, you sit back with your son, that you've transfixed to the TV and how internally, there must be so many things going on. But the basic human side is that you see yourself, you see the impact of the hustle on young minds,

Elliott:

I don't know, I feel like the conversation in 10 years time is gonna be quite different to the conversation we're having now, I think the younger generation, so that kind of 20s to early 30s. Like, their expectations are a lot different working families did some research, and found that one in three families are looking to share caring differently and do things differently in their home. And overwhelmingly from that one in three, a lot of them were from the younger demographic. So I think younger parents, or prospective parents, their expectations are going to be a lot different from their workplaces. And the the quality of the relationship I think that new dads are going to want to have for their children is going to be you know, beyond what we've seen. And so I do think From a dad's perspective, I think it's only going to get to the point where dads are more and more and more involved in their children's lives. You know, don't ask me when and, and, and put kind of numbers and stuff on it. I don't know that. But I think the trend is just gonna keep going in that direction. And, you know, we try and play our part in that we try and fit it as conversations, share best practice, celebrate people create spaces for people to discuss the ups and downs of fatherhood. But yeah, the shift is the shift is massive. So it's very exciting. And like, as you said, Naomi is it does feel like a bit of like the time of the dad kind of thing, there was a lot of activity and a lot of conversation around fatherhood at the moment. And yeah, I was blessed to be a part of it really, and, and I'm able to now leave, I left my job, and I'm able to do this full time. So that just shows that there is a demand for, for, for from dads and from companies and just wider society and media to really think about fatherhood and parenting a bit differently.

Rebecca:

Yeah, I think that's, I think, yeah, very, very hopeful that all of that is is true. And, and that, you know, it would be it would be really sad. And yeah, it'd be really sad if things didn't continue to, like keep pace and keep going forwards. If something were to happen, obviously, we know we never know we never knew that the pandemic was gonna happen or whatever, you never really know what's gonna happen in the future. But if some if we took this like 10 steps forward, and it all seems to be going perfectly in the direction that we want it to and then something bad happens and all of a sudden, all men back at work 12 hour days, stop seeing your children and that would just be awful for every party, the dads, the moms and the children. But I think that sort of harping back to the the point I think you made a little earlier Naomi about sort of social media and the part that that plays in just making sure that actually the newer generations and my son growing up will see that you there are different ways of being a dad and there are different ways of being a parent full stop and yeah, there were some stay at home moms there were some stay at home dads there are some moms that worked hours there are some dads that were 12 hours so all about just finding what fits you and having no judgement. I think that that hopefully will be the way that we will be able to if we are going to work and leaving

it for 3:

30 to do pick during the school run that we haven't got all the eyes going oh you're leaving our nice for some you know and it's our when you come back from maternity leave and now like did you have a nice holiday. Yeah

Naomi:

Not really you're growing a human

Rebecca:

Push the human out and then just with with them for nine months so Naomi it wasn't wasn't a holiday, but had a great time. Thanks anyway. So yeah, I just I'm hoping the kind of the judgement disappears, and we can all just be the kind of parents we want to be, and be happy with it.

Elliott:

Yeah, that's all good. I think it's, um, yeah, we've definitely got, like a way to go. And I think when we're when we're talking about this sort of stuff, sometimes it is, we are talking about a subset of society. And there is a lot of privilege involved in that too, you know, but there are a lot of people who are not in a position to even think about this. They're not they can't even think about, like dads that aren't in position financially, a lot of time to be able to have this conversation. And also a lot of other things to do. Like we literally just been part of a massive childcare survey, alongside like moms that and pregnant and screwed and if you have an organization's and we did that survey to gather as much as data as possible. And the results are like, very, they're not, they're not shocking, but they're quite grim. Just in terms of the cost of childcare and the fact that, you know, for a lot of people, it's more than their mortgage and their rent. Yeah, very restrictive in terms of having, doing what we're talking about in terms of flexibility and those options. It kind of reinforces those gendered parenting roles. So there was a debate in Parliament yesterday around and that's going forward. But yes, there's, there's lots of things to fix. And even from the pandemic, we saw women took on the majority of childcare, even though dads did more than they've done before. Women still did the majority. So yeah, there's there's still like massive things that needs to be fixed. But I think, at the same saying that we have seen progress, and there is that growing number of families doing things differently. And ultimately, as I said earlier, like for dads, a lot of us don't want to live the life that our parents lived, to be honest, like, I'm so glad now I'm happy I, I get to do this stuff all the time, I get to run my community do talks, like my wife is actually the one with a stable job. It's like role reversal. But I get to do the pickups all the time I do during the week, you know, majority of childcare in terms of school pickups, and go Are we share bedtime or whatnot. So it's a great life, I have a whole full life. I don't think I'm going to get older and regret anything. And you know, it's such a blessing to be able to be in that position. And I think more and more managers realising Actually, you know what, like, yeah, we don't want to do that. We don't want to live that life. We want more options and flexibility.

Rebecca:

That's really interesting, actually, Elliot that you don't you don't think you'll get older and regret anything and the decisions that you're making around spending more time with your kid? I think that that's really, really important point. And then I think, I would hope that most parents would want to spend time with their kids

Elliott:

You know, time away from them is important to you, though. Seriously. Like, I need my me time. Yeah,

Naomi:

I think everyone does. You don't stop being a human. When you become a parent, I think a lot of time your role gets relegated to mother, father, caregiver. And, you know, people kind of lose sight of Oh, yeah, you need to sleep as well. And, but not for the first few years.

Rebecca:

And then some parents love and light for sure.

Naomi:

And I think you touched an important part as well about how this conversation is, you know, not accessible for a lot of people due to you know, financial reasons or maybe even accessibility within like a new country for a lot of immigrant parents as well. You know, in these kind of conversations that the more that we allow every kind of person like you said Rebecca to be able to be themselves and to be able to, you know, choose to parent how they want to that works for them and their dynamic, the more the better. It's going to be for everybody really, just before we end I just wanted to ask both of you what you there's an activity that you both like doing with your children the second you drop them off in school

Elliott:

for one so basically we all had a cold over the weekend. I've been coughing as you can see and and my dughter had a bit of a cold and she didn't want to do anything other than just sit on the sofa and cuddle me and watch movies. And to be honest, I was like, This is cool, man. We get to sit on the sofa all day. We watch them the bee movie hotel transylvania 2. and it was just like eating snacks chocolate just cuddles duvet on the sofa and I was like, you know what this is cool. Like this is nice. Obviously the other stuff the active stuff, but that was this really nice actually. It's nice when they're a little bit ill and they don't want to do anything. a little cold to be too serious.

Rebecca:

People are laid, but I think Yeah, you know what you're I think you're so right, just hanging out with him. And having him wanna be next to me, is probably my favourite activity with him. Like, obviously we go for walks, we ride our bikes, he likes to trampoline and whatever. And you know, I take him to rugby, cricket, whatever that's but that's a lot of him doing stuff with me watching. Whereas actually, when we're just kind of in a moment together, that's probably their bestest thing.

Elliott:

And as weird as they are when they're babies, they just need you all the time. And at that point, like yeah, it's nice but you know, he just by the way, like as I get older, they can see them become more independent. Like when they come back. where they need you is such a nice feeling like it is really nice.

Rebecca:

Yeah. All right. he made me like him again, now might give them a hug won't tell him up for interrupting us.

Naomi:

That was a very wholesome note. But yeah, I just want to say thank you very much for both of you for sharing your two cents about this, or shall I say two pence? Because

Elliott:

We're in the UK, two euros. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Rebecca:

Thank you. Yeah, honestly, as I said to you, in my LinkedIn, I've just been like stalking you on socials for a little while

Naomi:

She was like, put me in this podcast with this man. I want to be on the front.

Rebecca:

Page and stuff. And it's such a it's such an important message and love the book and everything else. So thank you. It's been an absolute pleasure meeting you. Thank you so much.

Elliott:

Oh, thank you. Appreciate those words, I really do.

Rebecca:

Thanks to Naomi too. But I'll speak to after

Naomi:

Its okay I'm only your colleague, you Nice to me during work hours, which end in five minutes. Thank you, both of you, I honestly, you know, I thought it was gonna be fun, but it No, it was really fun. And both you shared such you know, impactful things, but in a very human way. And I think, you know, both of you have such good messages about parenthood and what it means to both of you, but also to wider society. So I know you're cringing a little bit, Rebecca. I mean, it's something about Parenthood, it's probably going to be slightly cringy. You know, in all senses, but you know, both of you are doing very important work, which impacts Parenthood, obviously, Elliot you're doing, you know, work specifically around fatherhood. But also Rebecca, you know the work you do at work impacts a lot about policies within the workplace as well. So okay, I'll just Anyway, thank you for listening, and we'll speak to you the next podcast.

Bame Recruitment:

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