When I was a little girl and used to play with my dolls, I would always make the mummy doll take care of the kids while the daddy doll used to go to office. Circa 2017, when I am a mother myself, where is the daddy doll today?
A father is a little girl’s best friend, the first guy to show her what the man in her life is about — the one who holds mummy together through bad times. Let’s hear it for dads.
In some ways, dads do have it easier. They don’t get morning sickness, the bloated belly, the epidurals, or the stitches, or even the post-partum blues. Maybe that’s what makes dads so awesome. They don’t have to be the caregivers or the nurturers. So, they are the cool and fun people that kids always get to see.
The only person who can make things a little easier for mom is a dad.
It's the mums who nag – about dirty clothes, uneaten meals and skinned knees. The dads get to tell kids to go ahead and have fun, eat junk food, have cheat days on homework and just give mum a hard time once in a while.
So do we at all need dads?
Yes, we do.
In fact, that’s exactly why he is needed. As a mother today, would I always send the daddy doll to office? Not really, anymore. I would want him to be my photographer; my philosopher and guide, yes the devil’s advocate if you please, because motherhood is really tough. And the only person who can make it a little easier for her is a dad.
Dads are the perfect foil to mums. They are the ones who work as arbitrators, negotiators, peace talk holders when talks between you and your terrible toddler break down on potty training, the ones who have that much-needed cup of coffee ready for you, when you are at the end of the road, the one who soothes your exhaustion with a goofy smile.
Dads, are not the most responsible people around. Fatherhood is fun and games mostly, as most dads are only supposed to bring home the bacon and let mummy worry about how the kids are.
But, is fatherhood really changing as we all evolve. We have all heard of yummy mummies, but where are the yummy daddies?
Where are the soccer dads? Why the PTA ratio in schools is still one dad for every four mums? Is it because we are still sending the daddy doll away?
In many ways we are absolving fathers from the entire process of fatherhood. While mothers are made to worry constantly about their role in the upbringing of the child, in most cases, there is complete silence on fathers.
There are no classes for fathers, no support network, and even no way to decide how a young couple will divide the care-giving between them for a baby.
Yet, fathers get to be the ones whose names the children will bear, the ones who will be the legal guardians for the child, while the mothers are usually sidelined when it comes to this.
Fatherhood is not a small thing to be referred to only when we want to watch cute jewellery ads of daughters being given away in marriage by doting dads, or young kids looking for higher education funds. Fathers are no longer just ATM machines, or Gabbar figures mummies use to scare errant kids into discipline.
I’ve seen many fathers also play out this balancing act. It’s not easy for sure, a father whose time is divided between work and his family, struggles emotionally just as much as the mother. I’m sure it can’t be easy. It’s the little moments that make for some great memories, which the father definitely does not want to miss out on.
It’s the same for fathers everywhere. Let’s start giving them their due and try to understand that in today’s world, apart from giving birth and breast-feeding, fathers can do everything else that mothers do.
But are we ready to accept this perfect balance in the family?