There was a time when a typical father always used to be the breadwinner and disciplinarian in the family. Due to this, he was authoritative in his tone and action. The chauvinist father didn’t participate much in the baby chores, healthy growth and development of his child as much as the mother did. Entering into the kitchen was a matter of prestige for him. The wife would serve him meals on the table (or even in bed). A fatherly figure was only limited to monetary terms and feeding the household; and rest was handled by the woman of the house. Precisely, he didn’t do any of this as he was a ‘man’ and gender roles were pre-defined. Even though those dads loved and nurtured their children, they had a different way of showing it. But, times have changed and so have people...
With every passing era, there comes a new mindset and set of values. Today, fathers are more involved with the family and in the upbringing of their children. Also, they take part in the household and baby chores, help their wives with laundry and baby sit their kids to give their wives some space and mental peace... The reason of such a twist is that, with the changing world, information and altered emotions among men have evolved them as better fathers and caretakers.
You must be wondering which lot of men is this... Well, there are real men around.
This week, You! talks to some doting fathers. Let’s see what they have to say regarding their changing roles...
As traditional roles have changed, today’s men are more like their mothers than their fathers. Men are more sensible now as times have changed. The new generation dads are giving their children what they wanted from their dads, ‘their time and physical attachment’.
Even economically life has changed drastically; now both husband and wife have to have professional careers, so duties and responsibilities are equally divided between them especially after they become parents. Education has changed the understanding of a man being absent from the children’s life rather they want to participate in their children growing up so that the confidence of their child is not shattered nor do they want their children to develop inferiority complexes.
Respect for women in particular has also increased in men so that’s how they show their appreciation for their better halves by participating in their children’s lives even if it means changing their diapers to give their ladies a break from their hectic schedule.
Abid Saeed, 43, Banker
I believe fathers are no longer the authoritative figure demanding respect. They are now your sensitive, caring best friends at home. The new-age father has transformed into being ‘Daddy Cool’. He is the new ‘wonder woman’ of the house. Changing diapers doesn’t scare him, warm milk bottles are not boring. Raising a child is a fun yet serious business for today’s fathers.
Fathers these days realise they have an equal partnership and equal responsibilities as the mothers. The new fashion of fatherhood functions in collaboration with the moms. After our daughter was born, my wife, who is an ad professional, wasn’t getting more leaves from her office. This was when I decided to take a month off and stay at home. “I got to spend so much time with my child and spoil her. I enjoy fatherhood and that is the reason I don’t mind helping my wife with the baby chores.”
Ahmed Alam, 30, Civil Engineer
Being a busy corporate honcho, I travel a lot due to work, but whenever I get time, I make sure to spend time with my son, Ali. My father and I were best friends and I want the same relationship with my son. However, new-age dads are more involved with their kids unlike our fathers. No matter how tired I am, I always spend time with my 6-year-old. Just one look at his face and my fatigue vanishes.
It’s story-telling time when I can bond with him to a great level. We make up a story and tell each other, sometimes enact them too. I am even recording the audio version of Ali’s stories. It will be something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I love to do work related to my son and my wife appreciates that a lot. This involvement with my child even strengthens my relationship with my wife. Till now, my wife and I have managed things really well.
Bilal Khawaja, 40, Marketing Head
The importance of the father’s role in early childhood has been talked about since forever. And, it is now considered to be an important factor in a child’s overall social competence, social initiative, social maturity and the capacity to relate to others. Every child needs an involved and loving father. Interestingly though, sometimes modern society fails to fully recognise the father’s role in the family and stereotypically limits it to providing financial support. We are sadly diminishing the importance of a father’s position in the family and in the raising of children. When my daughter was born, I decided to put back those misconceptions. I took over the responsibilities and helped my wife in every possible way. Even today, when Alia is 5, I take care of her and her things, do her laundry and feed her. On weekends, I go out with her to grab an ice cream or play in the park. I make her socialise with other kids and be a part of the smallest things my daughter has interest in. Fatherhood is a beautiful feeling and I cherish it every day.
Khalid Ahsan, 29, IT Professional