Have you noticed that in many households, it is the mothers that do most of the parenting? The fathers just provide financial security to the family in such cases. It could be because of the archaic upbringing that many people have had. I sure hope it is changing with our generation.
That said, a little background about me: I was born very late to my parents. My mom and dad were 38 and 40 years old when they had me. Unfortunately, my mother passed away when she was only 53. I was in my 11th standard then.
Let’s say that my parents probably over-parented me until this point. I was a very spoiled child in certain ways (not the snobby type, mind you!), I just did not know how to take care of myself. I did not know how to properly comb my hair for school, polish my shoes and cook something basic if needed.
Up until this point, my mom was the prime minister of parenting and my dad was the president. I never went to him for anything except when my mom said, “Ask your dad”. So you can guess the chaos that was in the relationship between me and my father. We simply did not understand each other. We did not know each other. Even though it took us a while, we managed to survive in the same house without losing our tempers at each other and just not biting each others heads off.
Even though he missed out on actively parenting me for a few years, he learned quick. We shared a bond that many of my friends did not have with their fathers. They would have too if their fathers had played an active role in their lives. They would even feel jealous of me. My father’s style of parenting is a little unorthodox. It is mostly based on survival in the society. I was taught financial discipline in one of the most creative ways that I had seen. Cooking lessons happened like physics experiments and some house rules were in place. I was given more privacy than before and it was beautiful.
There is this myth that a girl needs a mother. Not really! I mean, it might have been more insightful to discuss my periods, pregnancy and birth with my mom than with my dad, but he did listen with both ears, took special care to give me more calcium and iron (because he thought those were important for a girl child) and most importantly he did not dismiss me saying, “these are things that you discuss with an older female”.
I like to call him my “thayumanavan”. He tried his best to fill my mother’s shoes. He might have never become my friend if my mother was alive. He was bought up like that in a patriarchal set-up. But in a way, I am glad that I got to know my father as a person. When mom was alive, I was supposed to be afraid of him and only approach him when the situation demanded.
Times have changed so much that I feel he could have made an excellent birth partner for when I had Aadhya, my daughter. He did what traditionally mothers are supposed to do after I delivered my child. Supports my parenting philosophy ( I am not sure if my mother would have understood), understands when I am tired of dealing with the child and is my child’s favorite “thatha”. Sometimes I feel jealous of the way he expresses his love towards his granddaughter. They are a team. And it is absolute riots with the two. Every time my daughter says “I love you” he reciprocates in kind.
time I tried to tell him that I loved him, he would shyly say, “No. No. Go tell your mom” (technically her picture). We have changed parenting to mothering so much that dads think they do not deserve their child’s love.
It is wonderful when dads are hands-on. It is so beautiful.
If you are a hands-on father reading this, I would like to say good going dad, you are doing well.
If you are a single mother/father who is reading this, I bow down to you, for you are doing parenting all by yourself and you are doing a great job of it.
If you are a not-so-single parent but parenting alone, I would say I’m sorry you have to do this alone even when you are not really alone.
To all the parents out there, cheers! Share the love.
A little about me:
I am Kumutha Chandrika Kalyanaswamy, kumsk on most social media platforms. I am a hobby blogger, married to a busy doctor, parenting a tornado of a daughter. I run a small business dealing with export surplus clothes called The Little Bananas – Baby and Women’s Clothing on Facebook. I am also one of the trustees of a Facebook support group turned NGO, Coimbatore Parenting Network. On any day you will find me sifting through pinterest in search of life’s meaning, just kidding I am just addicted to that app