Joys Of Fatherhood Pains Of Motherhood

FatherhoodContributed by Ayo Iyiola-Olumide

Mums take on a lot in raising their children but only a handful of them get appreciated. When a woman is waiting to have a baby, all eyes are on her. She seems to bear the shame and pain of having no children even when the doctor confirms it’s his problem.

When she gets pregnant, she bears all the side effects of expecting a baby besides going through the awful pains of labour and delivery. Then finally the baby arrives and she’s the only one expected to nurse that child through sleepless nights. The guys are excited that they are now dads; they are on the phone to everyone sharing the good news of the arrival of a new baby. The emails come in cheering both parents but the mum is too busy to read any.

After the baby’s here, she’s still the one who would endure the awful side effects of contraception; she’s the only one whose heart beats in a funny way if she’s skipped her period by a few days. She follows up at most school events and you can guess, if her child has special needs, she has no option than bear this pain alone She’s the first to get up each morning, cleaning up the mess from the previous day and getting ready for the next day. Picking up toys and socks ever so often is no longer a strange phenomenon as her back is used to getting bent every now and then.

I think mums should be very fit after all the work they do trying to keep the kids and home together. Taking care of kids is a lot of work. Even when you’re ill, you’ll still find a way around though slower but you need to get the job done. Getting very young kids dressed and fed is just part of the daily routine. Unless you’ve got tons of baby’s clothes, you’re also washing and ironing clothes regularly. Meals need to be prepared. When you’re done, your baby’s turning her head away since she’s not impressed with the meals. You try something else and before you realize you’ve spent hours preparing meals and who’s going to do the cleaning up, if not you?

If you’re planning for a vacation, you’re the one calling up the hotels to confirm they’ll provide a cot or crib. You’re packing all the kids will need and there isn’t even enough space to get your pants in the same suitcase. You end up travelling there and they are the ones having fun and you’re still working even while on vacation. Getting her hair done is another issue. You shampoo her hair, dry it, comb it out and just when you’re about to get started on braiding it, she’s all over the place refusing to sit still and you wonder why you ever started this journey of hair styling.

Where are the guys, I mean where are the dads? After all, you both wanted a baby and you both made it happen. Why should the woman be the only one to bear all the burden of raising your children? The kids see more of mummy and wonder why a ‘stranger’ comes home late each day and plays with them only over the weekend. Some cultures have very supportive expectations for parents; they permit and ensure the roles are shared between both parents.

So, today, it’s daddy changing the nappies, tomorrow, it’s mummy taking baby out for a walk. That way, neither of the parents feels they have to bear all the work alone. In some other parts of the world, the woman is looked upon as a slave, the only person expected to do all the work while the guy plays around. The woman, most of the time has no earning power or influence and is forced to do all the work. Even if she’s almost falling apart, weak or ill, no one bothers to lend a helping hand.

I salute all the women who keep at raising their kids with the little they have and with all their energy. Some guys are so heartless, because their traditions do not permit them to do anything, they can’t even use their conscience or good will to assist. After such an exhausting day with the kids, they still expect their wives to prepare their meals, iron their clothes and even polish their shoes.

Guys, please wake up and face the reality that your wives are breaking down if they don’t get the adequate help from you. They watch TV while mummy is trying to get the kids to bed. They even plan outings with their friends when you still have a pile of laundry left to fold. I think that’s just too insensitive.

After you’ve spent hours getting the kids’ hair done, they have no clue how much energy and time you expended. All they do is take pictures and send to their family and friends. When it’s due for a change, they are screaming and complaining how you should have done it so long ago. They return from work and bombard you with questions as if you were the nanny they left at home. ‘How are the kids today?’, ‘Did they have a bath?’, ‘Has she had a nap today?’ All these and many questions must be answered as if you’ve been lazy all day doing nothing.

I just think guys need to be sensitive with their words and empathize with a woman who has left all to take care of their children. Allow the mums to take the initiative. They really don’t want to answer those questions when they are obvious to you. It hurts when a mum is made to feel like a nanny as if she isn’t worth more than having kids and raising them. Most times, it’s not the occasional treats the guys give that make the difference, it’s the constant support that they love their kids and care about you.lagosmums fatherhood motherhood

Guys, when next you return from work, just say, ’thanks for looking after our daughter’ and trust me it will mean the world to us. Don’t ask too many questions and trust our judgment and decisions. We can’t hurt our kids not even when we get up from the wrong sides of our beds. Asking questions make us silly especially when you can either answer them or you’re trying to pry into why we have done what we did. Some guys don’t even give their wives any extra ‘treat’ apart from what’s provided for the upkeep for the home. You work so hard all year round and they do nothing to say thank you, not even a dinner out together or a weekend away. They feel their wives do not deserve anymore and should focus on the kids. Even those who give treats are either not consistent or do it with a bad attitude or do so like they are paying bills and you know they are not even grateful. That’s not really what the mums would like; they want to see you truly care by supporting them and sharing responsibilities..

After a hard day’s work, all they do is snore off in bed while you try to lull a sleeping baby to bed. You have bulgy eyes but they drive off to their hobbies the next day and hope you cope anyhow. One would have thought that they realize that raising kids could be so hectic, they’ll come back early from work but the opposite is true. They complain how hectic their own work schedule is. Sooner than later you realize that they’ve been staying back late at work to avoid helping out with the kids. At night, when the baby is so uncomfortable and would cry for a long time, the guys leave mummy to sort out baby as they continue their sleep in another room. They do not want to be bothered about a noisy baby disturbing their sleep time. The next day, they go on and on whining about how they didn’t have a good sleep the previous night and you wonder whether it was your fault. They issue matching orders hoping you can fix the baby and avoid another noisy night. You go to visit his friends or family and everyone is congratulating him on a good job on raising the kids but you remain there an invisible woman and no one says a word to you even when they know you have been working behind the scenes to keep the home intact.

Dads are proud. Have you seen one at the shopping mall showing off his son to a friend he has not seen in a while? He speaks on behalf of his son and takes all the glory for working hard to get his son up to this point. No mention is made of his wife apart from that she went shopping in the mall and would be out soon. It’s just not enough to provide the seed to have a baby and be called a dad. Be available and take some load off that mum in your home. Sometimes, I think, guys are scared of responsibility. Any little stress on their part, if they can’t pay for it, they will run away. Don’t hide behind that busy schedule of yours when it’s all about you running away from sharing the responsibilities of raising your children together.

Stand up and be counted as a dad who is responsible from start to finish. Some guys could be so insensitive, they claim they cannot afford to hire a nanny to assist their wives but they are also not available to support by being hands on with their kids or the chores. After all the stress the woman has to go through the first year or two taking care of the kids, the guy begins to ask for another baby. Why would someone be as wicked and heartless when his support level for the first child was almost negligible? For some guys, they want a van full of kids but are not ready to lift a finger to help with part of the house chores or even spend quality time with their kids. They want to show off their kids to their friends but are unwilling to even pick up toys at home. Why are you surprised that guys offer little or no help with kids or house chores?

Over the years, sons have watched their fathers leave early for work and return late and they have that modeled for them as what dads should look like. When they get married and their wives ask for help, they either ignore, or silently do nothing or blurt out in anger how their schedule at work does not provide enough time but all they are saying is ‘can’t you see that’s not a man’s job, poor woman!’

Unfortunately, you can never really see what type of dad the man get married to will turn out to be. They promise heaven on earth before they get married but watch closely after, they are everything but what they said The joys of fatherhood should not be at the expense of the pains of motherhood. Both of you can share the joys and the pains, the highs and the lows, the responsibilities and the treats of being parents without one feeling distraught while the other is not bothered.

photo source: reddit

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