“We are lucky in Quebec to be at the forefront. Quebec fathers take more leave than elsewhere, are more committed than elsewhere, are more invested than elsewhere… We have come a long way, but we still live in a society where many people think that the parent best equipped to take care of children is the mother, says Samuel Tremblay, father of three children. For guys, it comes with the risk of being convinced […] that we are condemned to playing second fiddle. » However, the duo who have run the New Fathers blog since 2018 emphasize “that beyond certain biological skills such as carrying a child, giving birth and breastfeeding, [men] have all the skills necessary to take care of children from day 1 until the end “.

“The message that more and more men of our generation are holding is that family is their priority,” emphasizes Maxime Pearson. However, this discourse is not always reflected in reality, adds the father of two children. “When you look at a dad’s normal week, there’s still a huge amount of time dedicated to [paid] work. More than moms. » “We must rethink this relationship with work in order to bring greater balance to families,” says his co-author and long-time friend. It sounds simple, but in reality, it can be complicated. “Among guys, we still value a lot […] the one who works hard, the guy who makes money,” emphasizes Maxime Pearson. According to the duo, the best thing is to set limits and respect them, for example regarding the number of hours spent at work.

“Just as you have to protect your family time from work, you also have to protect all the other spheres of your life from just being a parent,” thinks Maxime Pearson. The birth of a child should not sound the death knell for romantic outings, days out with friends, or playing your favorite sport. “There is the trap of isolating yourself too much in the role of parent and grieving too many things that define you as people and that are part of your happiness equation,” he adds. Traveling, eating out, going to a festival: all of these activities don’t have to stop the day you become a parent.

Taking the five weeks of paternity leave offered by the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) is good, but daring to share the 32 weeks of parental leave between the mother and the father is even better, believe the two authors. “These are unique moments that will never come back. We’re all going to work 35, 40 years of our lives. Taking this break when our children arrive, these are incredible moments,” says Samuel Tremblay, who took eight weeks of parental leave after the birth of his last daughter in 2022. Not only does this help build the relationship with the baby, but it has positive effects on the couple. “It allows us to understand more the reality of the mother,” he notes.

Discussions about mental load are often very divided, observes Samuel Tremblay. “On the one hand, mothers who are “on edge”, sometimes with good reason, and who will accuse the guys of all the wrongs. On the other, guys who are completely in denial,” describes the author. “But we don’t have to find a culprit at all costs,” he continues. I think we need to find ways to understand each other and share this mental load. » And to get there, in his eyes, there are not ten thousand solutions: we must recognize the existence of the mental load (often greater for women) and discuss as a couple what we can do to divide it better, and even subtract part of it. “Sometimes, you can also be the rational actor who identifies unnecessary sources of stress,” the authors point out in their book which, although it is aimed at men, turns out to be a very instructive read ( and entertaining) for mothers too.