Piers Morgan revealed a disturbing view of fatherhood Monday when he attacked James Bond actor Daniel Craig’s method for holding his one-month-old daughter.
The underslept Craig was photographed wearing his one-month-old daughter in a baby carrier, while walking around New York City. Morgan shared the photo on Twitter and accused Craig of being emasculated.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 15, 2018
On Tuesday, Morgan doubled down on his bizarre mission to correct new fathers, tweeting that the proper way to hold a new baby is in one’s arms.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 16, 2018
As the mother of three young daughters, I believe Morgan misses the mark here on numerous levels. First of all, the idea that holding a baby in one’s arms is “the right way” to hold a baby, for a father or anyone else, is absurd.
Any parent who’s spent time caring for a newborn (and isn’t wealthy enough to have a stable of full-time help) knows that newborns need to be held constantly. Those first three months are what Dr. Harvey Karp refers to as the fourth trimester, when the baby would still be in utero if she had her way. Since she can’t still be in the oven, however, parents who want a calm, happy home quickly learn how to recreate the womb.
One of the very best ways to do that is with an ergonomically friendly baby carrier. Three kids in, I assure new parents that there’s no better way to effortlessly soothe your new baby than to wear her everywhere on your chest. That way, a parent can accomplish necessary household tasks that go beyond keeping your new child alive and content.
You have the use of your hands and arms while subtly reminding the baby of the glory days in utero, when she was always snug, happy, and warm. Babies sleep well and are supremely happy in carriers. In other words, there is no good reason for loving parents to shun baby carriers.
Morgan’s charge that baby wearing is emasculating has several of its own problems, starting with his insistence that men do it because “they’ve been ordered to by their wives.” Does he truly believe that men regularly act only while taking orders from the women in their lives? Or that men aren’t inspired by love to nurture their young children? That’s an ugly image of marriage (and family). Of course, if Morgan really wants examples of women willing to abuse, emasculate, or openly hate all men, I recommend he peruse some recent opinion pieces in The Washington Post.
While playing an international super spy on screen, Craig appears to be a fairly typical involved father in his real life. In an era when 24.7 million American children are growing up without their biological fathers at home, we should be appreciating, not denigrating, every father who’s making an effort.
Considering that Craig and his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, could afford to pay numerous nannies to raise their daughter, they deserve credit for being directly involved with her care. (See Craig’s tired eyes, and veteran parents will recognize a new parent desperately in need of an uninterrupted night’s sleep.) Baby nurses may have oodles of experience, but no one will love and cherish a helpless baby as much as her own parents will. When she’s old enough to know the difference, I suspect Baby Weisz-Craig will appreciate that.
Further, fatherhood isn’t emasculating. It’s the living, breathing definition of manly. Sperm donation may be quick and easy, but fatherhood is neither. It’s a major physical, emotional, and spiritual commitment. It’s also rather time-consuming, if done properly.
Clinical psychologist Brett Copeland says: “Fathers encourage competition, independence, and achievement. Mothers encourage equity, security, and collaboration.” These are all necessary ingredients for a healthy childhood. Confident men recognize they have a significant role to play and unique lessons to offer.
Abandoning one’s children is weak, but embracing involvement is a sign of strength. It’s real-life heroism. Every man should know his offspring and have a strong and enduring relationship with them from the outset. There is nothing more traditionally masculine than for a man to protect and help care for his own children. Craig appears to instinctively understand this. Perhaps if Morgan studies Craig’s off-screen parenting for a few more years, he will too.