Of all the jobs I have ever had, no job has been more rewarding and yet equally challenging as being a father. It is a job that I do with pride, but it is also a job that has cost me some sleepless nights and even tears at times.
It has been said in contemporary literature that “fathers want to do more for their children” and it may come as a surprise to those who have never had their fathers or father figures in their lives, but it’s true. The vast majority of men globally yearn for a good relationship with their children, as hard as it may be for some to believe. The narrative most of the time is that most men do not care about their children and are quite happy to leave the woman to fend for herself. That is not true. If given the opportunity to learn to be good fathers, a lot of men will take it up and run with it.
There are several barriers that make this challenging for some men. In a lot of developing and even some developed countries the restrictive gender roles of generations of old still apply to this day. Women are still considered better caregivers than men whilst men are considered breadwinners and less concerned about the care and welfare of the children. Such stereotypes have made it difficult for fathers to get a reasonable amount of paternity leave from their employers, thereby tipping the scales of the workload firmly on the mother’s lap. Yet that is something that most men have no real control over. Nonetheless, with the impact of the ensuing C19 pandemic a lot of men around the world have been observed to be taking up more unpaid care of their children.
As fatherhood studies develop globally it is becoming increasingly evident that a man’s increased involvement in fatherhood benefits the man’s own health and wellbeing. A father who is involved in his children’s lives promotes the children’s physical health and adaptability. Kids who grow up with an engaged and present father are less likely to drop out of school or go to jail. Even when it comes to teenage girls, they take less sexual risks if they have a strong relationship with their father.
Being a good father does not always mean you are there 24 hours a day. It is in the quality of your involvement and interaction with them. We must always remember that our children are always watching us. It’s not in what we say but what we do. Our actions speak louder than our words.
To all my fellow fathers, Happy Father’s Day Fellas!
The Roddy Chasewater Show