I’m not a sex-starved fiend. I’m not a born flirt either. I have a good relationship with my partner. We argue sometimes. We have to work at it. We’re not at the Kayne/Kim stage but then we’re not at the Gavin/Gwen one either. We’re like most parents I guess. We know we need to make more effort but sometimes are too tired to bother.
But be completely honest with me. Have you ever fancied another Dad? I’m not talking about YOUR DAD because that would just be weird. I mean a Dad that you see in the park. Or at the soft play. A random Dad. A Dad you don’t know. A Dad that just looks well put together and like the kind of person you would have fancied in your old life (before children).
I don’t purposefully go out on a hunt for Dads. And if I see someone I don’t go up and talk to them. I’m not a sleaze-ball. But sometimes it’s a nice diversion. It’s something to do. Let’s face it the playground is quite boring. There are only so many times that you can chuckle with glee as the roundabout spins around and one kid gets on and another gets off. Then a new kid gets on and the next gets off and this is repeated for forty minutes. Now and then it’s perfectly normal to look around and see what else is going on in the park that day.
For most parents the playground is the main social meeting point. It is the equivalent of the nightclub or bar. Of course it’s not appropriate to chat people up but sometimes it’s flattering if someone gives you an appreciative glance or says something nice about your shoes (but it’s usually other Mums that notice the small details).
Recently I was in a local park and I got talking to a Dad. He was tall and looked a bit like the Poldark actor. We were talking about winter hats. His daughter liked wearing a particular kind of hat. I told him my daughter hated wearing hats. He said he’d bought one with a Velcro strap so it stayed on all the time. I said hats made my daughter’s head itch. Okay it wasn’t ‘Fifty Shades’ but it wasn’t appropriate to talk about anything else. We were parents in a park.
But as I turned to leave this Poldark-Dad did a double take. Of course he could have done this for many reasons. He could have been feeling sorry for me (and my daughter’s itchy head with no hat). Or he could have been looking at the dried apricot stuck to the butt of my dungarees (very possible).
Or did he perhaps fancy me just a tiny bit?
I like to think it might have been the latter. I’m not going to act on it. It’s just nice now and then to feel like a proper woman. And I’m not on Tinder looking up profiles of Dads all day (though I am sure there are some Mums who are). I don’t roam around like a predator BUT it’s nice sometimes get a compliment from someone who isn’t your husband/partner/boyfriend.
All to often us Mums feel a bit functional. Like our sleeves are made to have noses wiped on them and our pockets are just for storing tissues and raisins. After pregnancy and birth our bodies don’t feel very sexy (or mine doesn’t anyway). And it’s a long way away from the days when you went to a bar with a purse, lipstick and phone in your bag. Now we are laden down with snacks and wipes and drinks and crap. Sometimes there are days when the only thing that gets a good squeeze is the Playdoh.
I’ve got into conversations with female friends and they’ve tended to vent their lustier feelings on actors. Is it any accident that every parent couple I know loves watching ‘The Affair’? Is it because it’s brilliantly acted, has a clever plot and beautiful location? (all true) But is it also because it has Dominic West and Joshua Jackson in it? It is because they are very handsome men? And Dads too?
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a bit of Dad fancying. There is something very attractive about a man who looks after a child and himself at the same time. There is something nice about a Dad that has raisins in his pocket. As long as it doesn’t lead to anything else… I don’t think it does any harm (and Dad mates are definitely out of bounds).
So I’m not going to beat myself up. If I fancy another random Dad then that’s fine. If we talk about hats for ten minutes that’s okay too. And if I get a small wink or a side glance so much the better.
We have to take our pleasures where and when we can. There’s no shame in fancying another Dad. We’re only human.