The author looks at how society pays such high regard for mothers, and in turn, belittles the role that fathers play.
Ever since I have become a mom, my appreciation for the role of mothers has tremendously increased. Only now can I truly understand the trials and tribulations that mothers have gone through and will continue to endure. Their constant care and attention, lack of sleep, unconditional love, endless support to ensure that every step their child takes is a safe one.
Just like any other mother, I want to do what’s best for my children and I’m on the constant lookout for more information on the current “best practices” of motherhood. In all my research and reading, I’ve come to see that there is a ton of information out there on parenting and a lot of praise, all directed at the mothers. There are countless articles, quotes, and endless discussions on the struggles and efforts of mothers all with the aim of glorifying their roles. I am not saying that it is not deserved. Of course it is. But in all of this praise and adulation, where is the appreciation and support for the fathers? Do they not have just as much importance in the equation of parenthood? Why is it that Mother’s Day always outshines Father’s Day? There is so much hoopla around celebrating mothers on this day but very little noise made when it’s time for Father’s day.
Fathers have their own struggles that are certainly worth glorifying. Yes, it is the mother who gets pregnant, whose body changes, and experiences a range of symptoms and out of control hormones; but isn’t it the father who runs out at midnight because the mother absolutely must have that pint of mint chocolate ice cream that’s only available at the grocery store in some other neighborhood in town? Isn’t it the father who waits hand and foot on the mother to ensure that she is well rested and has enough cushioning to support her breaking back? Isn’t it the father who takes the lead on painting and setting up the new nursery so that the mother and her baby are protected from the paint fumes? And yes, while the mother endures the labour of delivering that bundle of joy, isn’t it the father who stays by her side, holds her hands as she squeezes it so hard, it might break? Yes, it is the father that wipes off the sweat off her forehead, and the same father that ensures she has as much comfort as possible in this miraculous moment in time.
And after that big day is the first day of the rest of their lives together as parents and as a family. The father is with the mother every step of the way to help in any way he can. The father runs all the errands needed, to ensure that the supplies, such as diapers, wipes, formula, and everything else are well stocked. And that isn’t all. The father is also a working dad, handling all the other responsibilities in life, whether shared with the mom or singlehandedly. He comes home after a long working day, hoping to put his feet up and just detach from everything, but he can’t always have that. That same dad also comes home to help around the house, to spend quality time with the children, to love and care for them, and to ensure that everything is still going smoothly. Fathers today don’t only go to work and bring home the money; they are also building a strong support system to ensure that the family is receiving the best care. The fathers are working just as hard in contributing to successful parenting.
Let’s not hold a grudge against men for something they are not biologically meant to do. They are here to play a different role – one that is no less important. We need to value them for who they are, and this is my humble attempt at showing appreciation not only to my husband, and to my father, but to all the fathers out there, working tirelessly to create a happy family life. This is to the unsung heroes in the journey of parenthood.