Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Mother’s Day and Father’s Day just went by and the whole world was crazy spending hard earned money of gifts that most of the time mothers and fathers do not appreciate or need. I leave my Lady in Red to write about the mothers’ point of view and I shall obviously handle the fathers’ point of view.
How one becomes a father:
Some of us became fathers by choice but others without even realizing it until they are told that the women they have made loved to are bearing their children. Whatever the circumstances one becomes a father, the fact remains that that person has a responsibility to at least an offspring! The moment the child is conceived in the woman’s womb, fatherhood begins, not only when the child is born.
What is entailed when you become a father?
The moment you are told or know you are a father, the first thing people around you expect, most of all your wife, is that you should be happy. Is there a lot to be happy about when you are about to carry such a heavy responsibility. Yes, fatherhood is a serious responsibility. You have committed yourself to many years of bringing up a child with your partner. There are many sacrifices to be made but there are also many moments of joy to experience which may last a significant number of years or forever!
In the initial pregnancy period, you have to tolerate your wife’s fancies and idiosyncrasies and ensure that your baby is carried to full term. You pay her special attention, you provide her with the much needed rest, you pamper her all for the sake of the child or hopefully because you treasure and love her as well and that she is going to give you the gift of your life!
When it comes to the time for the baby to come out, your role is minimal, you only have to ensure that your wife is sent to hospital in time or else you run the possibility of experiencing a very traumatic time if she has to deliver before arriving at the hospital. Some men are brave enough to accompany their wives during birth. If you are not, you then pace the floor outside the maternity ward wondering if it is going to be a boy or girl (nowadays ultra sounding would eliminate this anxiety for most fathers) and whether he or she would be normal and your wife safe.
Most fathers are happiest to see the doctor or midwife/nurse coming out to announce the birth of their child. (He won’t be so happy when he sees the bill and pays it.) Then, he takes a peek at the baby at the nursery through the glass window or is lucky enough to go to his wife’s bedside to see them both. This will be the time when you wonder whether the child looks like you or your wife.
Then begins your sleepless nights, anxiety moments when the child cries for unknown reasons and need for extra money to buy expensive food for both child and wife. You go to office half-asleep and your mind is always thinking of the mother and child. You have to distribute red eggs and roast meat if you are a Chinese after a month and you may even want to throw a big dinner.
These are merely the initial responsibilities. The main one will be a long financial strain you have to bear. Some fathers need to come out with half a million Ringgit to finance a child through school right up to university depending on the course your child is taking. Others will have to spend less. However, bringing up a child is not only about providing food, shelter and education. There are other costs like clothing him and buying him toys and giving him pocket money to spend. In pre Independence days, it was cheaper on a father to provide for these things but today with all the branded goods, sophisticated toys and special food and the things your children spend on for entertainment; it would simply cost you a fortune to support one child let alone many!
Finally, the responsibility of bringing up a child then is well-mannered and civic-minded. Here many fathers fail miserably. They tend to leave this to the mothers. Some fathers only play the role of disciplinarian or the final arbitrator in mother-child disputes. However, there is a crying need for fathers to be actively involved in bringing up a child let it be a boy or a girl. More so if it is a boy, because he has to learn manly things and if it is a girl, she needs the warmth of a father to show her what a man’s love is life in her future selection of a spouse.
So friends out there, the next time you feel the urge, remember, you may become a FATHER!

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