School WhatsApp groups: fathers not wanted?

A haibun

Last week, my wife was added to a Whatsapp group called ‘Welcome to first grade’, but I was not. I should not have been surprised, I suppose, because just two years ago, when our daughter was entering her preschool-kindergarten program, this same thing happened. Of course, I admit that I was not particularly interested in that particular group back then because there wasn’t any serious discussion to be had there. “That’s ok – you can just tell me if something actually important comes up,” I told my wife, and she did.

However, our daughter is entering elementary school next year, where she will remain until at least sixth grade, and she may even continue through high school. The school that she will be attending is a special one, which puts a heavy emphasis on communitywide dialogue and parental involvement; it boasts a school community that I am very invested in being a part of; and its uniquely empowering, nondogmatic approach to Jewish education speaks to my depths.

Suffice it to say that I plan to be very involved with our daughter’s schooling in the coming years.

(By the way, I am the one who takes our daughter to school and picks her up at the end of the day; and I will continue shouldering this responsibility next year because the office where I work is on the way to her new school. Just sayin’.)

certain autumn winds
would blow proud leaves from their twigs
some cling stubbornly

58 thoughts on “School WhatsApp groups: fathers not wanted?”

  1. I think you should join the group! I would be happy for my husband to be in instead of me, then he can worry about having the right shade of crayons in the pencil case, etc ๐Ÿ˜‚ I kind of handed this over when we moved to Slovenia actuallyโ€ฆ

  2. I love your poem. The imagery it gives is vivid I can almost see it happening in real time.

  3. So awesome your feelings reading time ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜Šparents unconditional love makes children to success ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
    You are a lovely Dad and your daughter also ๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒนGod Bless ๐Ÿ™โ™ฅ๏ธ

  4. You’re absolutely right to make this observation. Matbe they just overlooked you but men should be absolutely 50:50. I hope your daughter isn’t getting herself into a mysogenist environment as she will face enough of that when she hits the real world.

  5. Step forward and assert yourself, David (she says in the most kindest tone, although it does sound bossy). Women are used to being invisible, particularly older women, and we’re well acquainted with making ourselves seen and heard.

  6. We have seen here schools taking only one parent, either father or mother, not necessarily mother, in the group.

  7. Love the Haiku. As to father’s, when we first realized our eldest son had disabilities, some of the helpers would talk to my wife and kind of ignore me, so I can relate to your experience. But that was 40 years ago.

  8. bravo – like the haiku and the essay; PS have you told the school? (I often find Brits at least use like fb to vent instead of taking the least bit of action) – good for yout and thanks for writing. PS can I ask You don’t HAVE to read it (or anything) – is my post on attitudes on vaccines invisible for some reason? I have put it on top of… but it does not show in my view even

    1. I’ve asked my wife to request that they add me to the group – should be taken care of, and I’m less concerned than irritated.

      P.S. your vaccine-related post is not invisible.

      1. Well if you exclude a group based on sex, sexual preference, race or religion it is a form of fascism, not so much 3rd Reich kind of fascism, but fascism nonetheless.

        1. it’s true – but… there is a historic basis for this… for better or worse. Men used to be the breadwinners, etc., etc. That’s the way it was through much of human history.

  9. Thirty odd years ago I took my toddler to a recently renamed Parents and Toddlers session (previously Mums and Toddlers) and spent a silent hour being glared at as the only man there. I didn’t go back.

    1. yeah, we’re past that stage now, thank goodness – I’ve taken her to parent-toddler activities with other Dads in attendance besides myself ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. Good on you. Lovely haiku to end your prose. We have to break all the societal “boundaries”. Let fathers be fathers, for goodness sake. Goodness knows, they’ve been held from it long enough. (This mini rant comes after listening to an Aussie psychologist interviewed. He told the story of his own father who took him out for a walk in a pram when his Mum was sick. His kindly father was mocked and glared at for daring to push a pram. I guess that was in the ’60s?)

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