Boys, I know I neglect you. I have been told off on numerous occasions (well twice) for not mentioning men on my site. It's not like I want to pretend that you don't exit. It's just that I'm not really sure how to play it.  I'm sure most of you are lovely people but, without sounding like a bitter resentful ex, others are not so nice. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a man-hater, I mean my lil baby will be a man one day so I can't really follow that logic without creating a lot of problems for myself. Maybe if I had a girl I would be a bit more girl power. Last week in the car with my son and his half-sister I felt like I had a glimpse of what it would be like to have a girl....every time my son shouted directions we turned it into a song.

Stop
in the name of love before you break my heart
Go
GOLD, always believe in your soul
To the left
to the left, everything you own in the box to the left.

My son despaired. I felt like one of the spice girls. If I didn't have a boy moaning about my singing on a daily basis my life could easily become a girl power musical. If I didn't have a boy I might forget that men were once boys, with mothers, who loved them. Mothers who wanted them to be nice to girls and protect them, but also protect and take care themselves.

For each young mother, there is a father, some are young, others aren't, some want to be involved, other don't, some are jealous possessive control freaks, others aren't! For those services that want to support young families it must be hard to find the right balance. Sometimes services are accused of shutting men out. Sometimes support is only for single young mums, assuming that if a father is around they don't need any help. Sometimes the relationship can be part of the problem. Sometimes a couple are not better off together. But whether they're together or not, there is still usually a father out there somewhere and no one really seems to know much about them.

There is little research about who the fathers are and what their needs are, how old they are and how their life outcomes are affected. Just like young mothers they are far from a homogenous group and yet the stereotype would probably portray them all as feckless youths running away from responsibility. But I wonder how many are? I've heard many stories from young mums choosing to be single, not because they wanted to be 'single moms', but because they felt that the father simply wasn't a good role model for their child to be around. Surely at some point we need to look at what's going on. How did our expectations become so different?  And maybe, rather than telling these dads how they need to step up, we need to ask why society doesn't want to listen to them.... I know sometimes it's hard but maybe we need to try to listen to their own words, rather than turn them into a girl power song!

I hold Young Dads Project personally responsible for opening my eyes to the possibility that not all men are wrong all of the time!