'I reject that': Duncan Garner slams the parenting gender gap

The AM Show 11/06/2018

Duncan Garner has called out fathers who expect praise for taking on parenting duties that often fall to women. 

The AM Show host said he read an article in Canvas magazine over the weekend about fathers who stepped into their wives' shoes for a week. 

Garner said on Monday he found the piece "eye opening" and said it made him realise how "little fathers actually did in the first place on the domestic front, and what a shock they got when they subbed in for a really tough week playing mum."

Welcome to the real world, lads 

"Apart from the underlying sexism that screams 'Hey, I've tried women's work for the week' it also screams 'Hey, I'm a man and I'm bloody useless'."

Garner said he rejects gendered parenting roles because "not all men are like that and it makes me angry."

Garner is a single parent to his young son Buster.

He separated from his wife, Deanna Delamare, in January this year after six years of marriage.

Ms Delamare has three other children from a previous relationship, and she is said to have moved back to Wellington after the split.

"It's no surprise to many of you that I live on my own these days - I'm a full-time 24/7 parent to my son Buster. It's a huge responsibility," Garner said, going on to list the "plenty of demands" required of him. 

"I'm his nurse, his doctor, and his rugby league advisor/defence coach; I'm his WWE wrestler of his choice, I'm a punching bag, a lunch-maker, and I make two dinners at night both for him," Garner said.  

"I wash his clothes, I clean up his mess, and I ask him to help and he ignores me so I ask him again and nothing happens. I'm his courier when he falls asleep and needs to be delivered to his bed which used to be mine, and I'm his sock-picker-upper." 

"Most of the time I'm his best mate that picks him up at 3pm without fail, and I'm also his bank manager, a very heavy debt-collector at times, and I'm his guidance councillor. I stop him falling into something most days that'll hurt him, and I'm his big warm guy that hugs him at night."

The Canvas article written by father Greg Bruce highlights the demands he experienced taking on his wife's parenting tasks.

He described "14-plus hours of physically and emotionally demanding tasks that multiply faster than they can be completed."

Garner said he rejects the notion that men should be praised for managing to take on the parenting tasks commonly associated with women.

He said he works full-time and manages to do "jobs that most of you as parents do, no matter what your gender."

Watch the full video with Duncan Garner above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone..