Dads do it all the time.
I admired New Zealand Prime Minister (then candidate) Jacinda Ardern when she hit back at journalists while campaigning. As a young woman, they felt it was OK to ask her questions that would probably be illegal in a UK job interview, grilling her on her intentions with regard to having a family. She pushed right back, asking how silly the same interviewers would feel asking a man the same questions.
We just expect that men can balance being Dads with working, because we just expect that they won't be the main carers.
(I give you one of many deeply culturally embedded reasons for the gender pay gap.)
But in a delicious plot twist, New Zealand voters did appoint her Prime Minister, and to her surprise, she did fall pregnant!
Heading off her critics early, her announcement included a full structure around how they'd arrange their parenting duties (he will be primary carer), who would deputise in her absence, how long she'd be off, and how contactable she'd be during her leave.
I've never seen a Dad feel the need to do this, but hats off to her for being organised and realistic enough to accompany the news with enough information about 'what next' to stymie any panic before it started.
I live for the day where this is just normal, for Moms and for Dads.
Until then, trailblazers like Jacinda Ardern (I wish I'd had her case study to refer to when I went back to work at 6 weeks) are the ones who will normalise balancing work life with family life, just by doing it.
“Clarke and I are really excited that in June our team will expand from two to three, and that we’ll be joining the many parents out there who wear two hats,” the 37-year-old wrote. “I’ll be prime minister and a mum, and Clarke will be ‘first man of fishing’ and stay at home dad. I think it’s fair to say that this will be a wee one that a village will raise, but we couldn’t be more excited.”