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Men Can Do It: The Real Reason Dads Don't Do Childcare, and What Men and Women Should Do About It [Paperback]

Gideon Burrows
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 May 2013
Why do mums stay at home and dads go to work? Why do women treat men like idiots around babies? Where are all the new fathers we hear so much about?

When he became a dad, Gideon Burrows didn't realise other men didn't do an equal share, or that he could have got away with doing far less.

On his journey to fairer fatherhood he encountered dismissive midwives and father phobic workplaces, fanciful media stereotypes and patronising playgroup mums.

In this controversial, frank and funny parenting memoir, Gideon Burrows discovers the real reason men don't do childcare. And what we should all do about it.

Not your traditional daddy to be book

On its search for answers, Men Can Do It reveals deeply ingrained fatherhood stereotypes, the role of the media, parenting books and celebrities, the politics of men and childcare, pregnancy and dads, and problematic paternity and parental leave legislation.

It questions women's attitude towards fathers, sceptical mums at playgroups and pre-schools, old fashioned employers and society's outdated attitudes to what fatherhood should be all about.

A book for fathers... and for mothers

Men Can Do It would make an ideal gift for a new dad or new mum (or a dad or mum to be). It offers a welcome antidote to the pastel-coloured, soft-focussed baby books that just don't ring true, and the madcap dad memoirs that just reinforce the idea that men are idiots around babies.

Revealing and challenging, but funny too, Men Can Do It shows what good parenting really can be in a modern world.

A note from the author...

I hope this book will show parents the how and why of a fairer parenting deal.

I hope it will provide inspiration to those who would like to do it, evidence for those who need to be convinced it is right and possible, argument for those who aren't convinced it's a problem, and practical ideas for those who just don t know how to go about it.

Please do reserve your copy now. I hope you enjoy the book!

Gideon Burrows

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: (27 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955369533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955369537
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 392,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gideon Burrows is a writer and non-fiction author. His latest book Brain Tumours: Living low grade is an informative and reassuring guide to living with a slow growing brain tumour. Gideon was diagnosed with a low grade brain tumour in April 2012.

His previous book was Men Can Do It: The real reason dads don't do childcare and what men and women should do about it is about shared parenting, and men's role with children.

Gideon worked as campaigns co-ordinator for Campaign Against Arms Trade before becoming a journalist writing on social justice, charities and public affairs. He was a staff journalist on Community Care magazine, then worked on various sector titles including Third Sector, Guardian Society, Social Enterprise and Municipal Journal.

Gideon founded in 1998 to provide editorial and copywriting services, and training on copywriting, marketing and media, for charities. quickly became the charity sector's leading editorial and writing training agency.

Gideon has trained hundreds of charities across the UK on every aspect of their communications work.

Gideon is also author of two books on the arms trade, publisher of the website, two editions of The Ethical Careers Guide, the business book Your Ethical Business, and the charity writing manual Write for Charity.

He is currently writing a book on cancer and rationalism. He lives by the sea in Essex, has two children, five bicycles and a comprehensive, though generally failing, vegetable patch.

Product Description


A highly entertaining plea for men to become great dads... An engaging manifesto: proof that dads can be capable and caring when it comes to babies --Oliver James, broadcaster, child psychologist and author of 'How Not to F*** Them Up' and 'Love Bombing'

Gideon Burrows perceptively and powerfully takes on the last taboo in childcare, challenging the very foundations of the contemporary debate about parenting. --Duncan Fisher OBE, co-founder of The Fatherhood Institute and

Witty and honest. A wake-up call for all new parents. --Hello! magazine

Men can do it and we need to talk about that more. A very timely book. --Fiona Millar, author of The Secret World of the Working Mother

About the Author

Gideon Burrows is a writer and involved father. He didn't realise other men didn't do an equal role in childcare, until it was too late to change. Just like his wife, he spends half the working week looking after their children. Gideon has written a number of books on charity communication and the arms trade. He has also worked as a freelance and staff journalist for The Guardian, Third Sector, Community Care, The New Statesman, New Start and Municipal Journal. He has written for hundreds of charities, working on their websites, newsletters, fundraising materials and annual reports.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 16 May 2013
Ok where to start about how brilliant this book is...
Firstly it is a witty entertaining read - just what tired parents need! It really is a page turner and I never thought I would say that about a book dealing with parenting...
It is based on solid research, blows up the idea of the growing trend of dads in aprons (I wondered where they all were - thought it was just Wales that was missing them) and has given us a whole new idea of how to do things that will make family life ... well better for all of us.
If only we had read this before (or in the earlier stages of) having children - rather than when they are 5, 11 and 13. But it is never too late and we are inspired!
Highly recommended..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all parents 19 May 2013
By Gorga
I'm ashamed to write that, due to trying to juggle childcare for three young children and work part time, I haven't actually finished a book for years. This is the exception. The author has made this book an easy and entertaining read. His fluent writing style is accompanied by witty and honest confessions and his arguments are backed up by in depth research, adding further weight to the notion of fairer parenting. In fact, this book prompted a much needed discussion between my partner and I about how we might change our current arrangments for a better quality of life for our family. This included a bit of rebalancing all the way through to him taking a career break, with me returning to work full time. I would recommend this book to all parents to be, to prompt informed discussions before social stereotyping leads the way over rational decision making. I would also recommend it to all existing parents seeking a more harmonious and rewarding family life. The author clearly took the route to fairer parenting and makes it clear it's the best decision he and his wife made. Reading the Epilogue, this becomes even more poignant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative and thought provoking 17 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would recommend that all parents read this book. As the author admits it is aimed at 'middle class parents' which is slightly annoying as you can tell the author has fewer money worries than the majority of folk but I don't think my family is middle class right now and it still provokes self examination.
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By delilah
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've never written a review of anything on amazon before (and I've bought enough). But this book has given me so much food for thought - it is as much manual as manifesto - that I can't recommend it highly enough.

I was wondering why I read so much in newspapers etc about dads doing more hands on parenting/childcare these days - and yet most relationships I could see involved the mum being the main carer and the dad doing a bit at weekends. Why when most of my friends are fairly liberal and progressive in their views, when children came along, it all went quite 1950s - and why they all had individual explanations for why that was, adamant that they weren't sexist. Contradictory arguments ('it's because he's self employed/I'm self employed I have to look after the children while he works...' 'my job was much more secure/less secure, so it made sense for me to take a lot of time off or go part time...') - but all leading to the same scenario. Mum takes a huge step back in terms of work - often thinking it will be temporary, when it isn't - dad is put under pressure to earn more to compensate, works longer hours, becomes much less competent with the children than she is, and ultimately becomes more of a stranger to their own family.

This books shines a light on the sexist expectations and scenarios that come with parenthood - and how we are compicit with them, often without being aware of it. And certainly not meaning to be. It's a myth buster - and really radically assertive about the role dads can and should play. It's also an argument for a healthier, happier family life and the rewards that a close and caring relationship with your children can bring.

But dull and worthy it ain't. It's a very easy, entertaining read that's actually quite uplifting. You don't often get to say that about books involving sexual politics and parenting.
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By Kate
Having just had our second daughter I wasn't sure if I'd find time to read a book but this has been an inspiration over the last few weeks. I've laughed out loud and questioned my own and my husbands' contributions to our children's upbringing. This book has provoked many positive conversations about childcare in our household and led to a change in attitude and a change to the way we bring up our children. I highly recommend this book to any parent looking for an equal approach to family life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious book..! 22 Aug 2013
By Maria
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
From a females perspective I found this book very enlightening, particularly as my husband & I share our child's care. This book definitely made me think of the challenges that men encounter when out & about with their child care responsibilities. The writer brilliantly executes the humorous aspects with his witty sense of humour. My husband also read this book & found it equally funny whilst capturing those 'gender stereotype issues' around equal parenting.

A must read..!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!!!!!! 30 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an absolute must read for men, I commute to work on a very busy route and this book had me laughing out loud but also shed a few tears.
I feel Gideon must have secretly filmed my father skills and taped my excuses ( I have used them all ) Men Can Do It has made me rethink the type of father I am, I am a do all the fun things kind of dad , this is going to change, it will start with baby steps and hopefully can build a stronger bond with my children.
Brilliant read thoroughly enjoyed and learnt a hell of a lot
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