Fathers are so important...

Fathers are so important. No? Maybe some people may not agree with me when I say this. Because, after all, what is it that a father can do for his child that a mother cannot do? Right? I agree. A mother can do everything for the child, from providing for the child to nurturing the child in the best way possible. She doesn’t need a man to complete her, not in this day and age. No.

But for a moment, let us come away from this man-woman debate and think in a different vein. Think of the fact that there’s no life without a father, literally as well as figuratively. Okay, if that is too cheeky, how about this: The mother gives birth. We all venerate the mother who undergoes insufferable pain to bring her child to life. But the father? Isn’t the father as invested in the baby as the mother is?     

It is the mother that undergoes labour pains. She is the one who actually undergoes the entire birthing process. A physical pain beyond compare. But her world is black and white - she has to suffer this pain so she can bring her baby into the world. But the father? He is the silent spectator in the room, his feelings conflicted. On the one hand, he isn't happy seeing his beloved suffer. If it were anyone other than his baby making her suffer, he wouldn't quietly stand and watch. But now he does. 

Standing guard. Waiting. Yes, the mother suffers insufferable pain! She howls! Clutches his hand tight. She bites him. Hard! And he? He isn't even aware of the bite. He is just waiting for the ordeal to get over. For his baby to be born safe and sound. If he could take the pain, he would, in a minute! And while everyone fusses about around his beloved, he stands there, stoically, willing it to be easy for her. Willing for the torment to be over soon. Yes, fathers are important, for that silent support, that quiet strength they will into the mother... 

And then when baby comes home, he takes over whatever chores he can so as to let the new mother rest. He happily shoulders the responsibility of changing his baby, walking with the baby, rocking the baby to sleep, even staying up to play with the baby if his baby is in the mood! The mother’s love for the baby is unconditional. But isn’t the father’s too? The guy who would make a face when someone else’s baby acted up or soiled their diaper; now is happy to get in the thick of things and doesn’t squirm about ‘getting his hands dirty’ so to speak. He does everything he can...if he could nurse the baby, he would, but he satisfies himself that at least his beloved gets that most intimate connect with his baby, something he can never hope to get. 

Of course, that doesn't stop him from connecting with his child in his own special way. He continues to be the silent support for his child as the time passes. He continues to be the rock his family needs him to be. And in the process, also sets an example for his children. He is the one they look up to when deciding how a gentleman behaves. He is the one who, through his conduct around the house and with his partner, sets an example as to how to treat women. His children, boys or girls, know, looking at him, what a noble man is like. Yes. Fathers are so important. 

Gone are the days when fathers were important because they gave an identity, a name to the child or provided for the family. Today, he is a hands-on Dad. He is involved in his child's life like never before. He is his child's buddy, his secret-keeper. He is as involved in raising his child as the mother is. He has truly become the ‘the second wheel’... and it does take two wheels for a bicycle to balance, does is not?

He is there, the quiet support. The second wheel that doesn't let the bicycle topple. He intention is not to undermine the mother. He is just there, available when he is needed. And even when he is not. 
Mothers always joke about how incompetent fathers are when it comes to household chores or around the children. Many complain that fathers do not do things the way they (mothers) do. A good many even feel offended at fathers being praised for some tiny little help they provide around the house. 
But the fact is, fathers are important. Because though they may not do something the way a mother does, but they do it in their own unique way. They do things for their children the way they know best. Mothers too, do things their own way, we always sympathise with mothers and say we shouldn’t judge them, that each mother is different and is only looking for the best for her baby. But most of us are quick to join in on the joke on fathers. Well, you know what, the joke is on us.

Because fathers are the yang to the mothers' yin. They are the pillars of strength their better halves need sometimes; and can rely on, at all times. They help balance the scales. They present a different perspective to everything. They are the "other side of the argument" and that is equally important. Children many not listen to what they are told and behave accordingly; but they learn a lot from what they see around them. And with fathers in the picture, they get to see that everything has varying angles. Every argument has another side. Everything can be done in different ways. It helps open their minds up. It makes them more acceptable. It makes them more tolerant. It helps them bond with the mother and the father, in their own unique ways. And this is so important for children’s overall growth!  

So, yes. Fathers are important. So this Father’s Day, lets accept the fathers in our lives and applaud them for their support, their solid presence in our lives, for their own special love and affection for our families. Let’s applaud them for being the best fathers as only they know how to be. Let’s appreciate them for their unique love. Because believe it or not, fathers, are, important.


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