Parenting: Should Be Shared Equally between Both Parents

Do not fathers have equal responsibility in making preparations for the arrival of the child, which includes buying dresses, stocking food items etc? Is it only the mother’s job?

Few years ago, it seemed like an exultant iteration of the plan that was proposed by Maneka Gandhi — the extension of the duration of paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. But the explanation for the extension appeared to be quite misogynist.

To quote from the article:

Eight months of maternity leave is a necessity because in one month, the woman goes into the stage where she has to prepare for the baby’s needs which include taking care of his/ her clothes, food, and other essentials.

Do not fathers have equal responsibility?

Do not fathers have equal responsibility in making preparations for the arrival of the child, which includes buying dresses, stocking food items etc.?

Is it only the mother’s job? The first six months of the child’s life, is a huge adjustment period for the mother and the father? But it is rather unfortunate that the burden on the new Mom is more than that of the Dad, as he may not be available many a time to assist his wife.

There is no legislation in our country that requires companies to grant paternity leave for their employees. 15 days paternity leave is provided to Central government employees but companies in private sector are not obligated to provide paternity leave for their employees.

Expectation of our Indian culture is that mothers need to be good at multi-tasking. The ministry for women and child development ministry is offering no respite by restating the same belief. However certain companies have set out their own progressive policies.

As per the doctors suggestion, the minimum duration for breast feeding is seven months. This seems to be the significance of the eight-month maternity leave. But it is not only the needs of child that require attention.

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What about the new mother?

Does she not need good care after undergoing the vigorous exercise of childbirth?

Of course there is that section of men who are already doing a wonderful job in the roles of a family man— a wonderful dad, a caring husband and a responsible son. But then again we have yet another set of men who are totally different.

This is a familiar picture in several households. In the growing up period of a child, it is the mother who keeps the child constantly engaged, where as the father keeps watching something on the TV; attends to his office work or browses his cell at regular intervals, smiling at some less important forwards on his Whatsapp.

Adamant and troublesome kids do not appear to be the dad’s cup of tea when it comes to the question of relaxation after a tiring day.

The loving promises made during the days of pregnancy fly out of the window when the husband assures his wife that bringing up the child will be the collective responsibility of both of them.

Dads lose their patience when they have to deal with a cranky child. It is ultimately the mother who comes to the scene. Women are presumably not tired at all or at least do not admit to being tired, more so if the lady happens to be a homemaker.

As they [homemakers] are home always doing nothing but RELAXING…They never have challenges, unlike the men at work who are constantly battling with challenges. This is the irony of the situation.

With this kind of a scenario witnessed in several households, or at least majority of them, the least men can do is self-introspection. Are they fulfilling their responsibilities towards their families apart from their professional roles?

But the fact remains that nobody or no discussions can change the thinking of individuals. Time alone will help a person realize that there is a family working hard behind him in his successful race of Life.

Some time set apart for examining the daily routine of their soul mates will make them realize the chores a woman performs; the difficult challenges that she meets; the tough situations she handles daily at home and outside as well; the unexpressed feelings of hers—her hidden desires; and her beautiful dream which she longs for!

Doing things for people than our own self, and more so for that person, who is constantly running around on her toes to keep her folks happy and her home tidy will definitely make your better half happy.

This will enable her to sail smoothly along the arduous journey of life. Can not the husband treat her to a cup of tea; utter some words of appreciation at times; engage the children for sometime; to give her some breathing space.

Womenfolk have neither promotions nor appraisals for all that they do 24×7!

A man’s nature is different. His day ends at night and he sleeps pushing aside his problems. But for a woman even though her tired body rests physically, her restless mind will be full of thoughts planning her activities for the following day.

It is not that a man’s life is full of roses and that his heart and mind are peaceful at all times. Definitely not, but a woman’s life is more stressful and difficult. She constantly battles with her emotions, and at the same time, she wears several roles successfully—a multi-tasker!

Parenting should be shared equally!

The task of parenting is shared equally between both parents these days.

However when only one parent is involved, it is the mother who takes upon herself the task of child-rearing—even if both of them are working outside the homes for the same number of hours. But, dads do have a very important part in the upbringing of a child— and it is not just a mother’s job!

I once met a young guy, a father of two small kids, who had just returned from a holiday with his friends. I jovially asked him, when his wife would join her friends on an ‘all ladies tour’— to which he replied, “When the little ones get a bit older.” I was shocked by that answer.

Well, I just could not digest it— as I never could imagine my husband making me shoulder the entire responsibility of bringing up our children.as it is always a combined task in our home and just not me.

Is a father’s role just to provide financially?

My husband keeps telling me that father’s role is not just to earn money. He needs to shoulder the responsibilities at home too and participate in the household chores too— and also play an important role in the emotional, social and cognitive development of the children.

Involvement in the children’s’ growing up process is of utmost importance and he needs to be an affectionate and supportive father who is sensitive, comforting and accepting.

Gone are the days when women were fully in charge of a child’s upbringing. Come rain or shine, they were totally involved in the affairs of the children, with the father playing the role of a financier only.

Times have changed— besides giving birth and breast feeding the kid, there is no demarcation in the roles of the father and the mother.

So, Dads out there, be a supportive husband and an involved father and give your better half the much needed break as both of you are equal shareholders in the shaping of your child’s future!

Image source: sezefi via Getty images free on CanvaPro 

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