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Pakistan: Father's Day: New age dads.

Pakistan, June 27 -- For many people, being a father means ordering everyone around and creating a fuss at the slightest little pretext, a point which many self-respecting fathers would rightly take offence at. And for those non-believers out there, just like motherhood, fatherhood also changes your perspective on life.

The first time you hold your child in your arms, there is an automatic resynchronisation of your entire being.

No longer will your life be about just 'me'. From that moment onward everything you ever do will somehow be linked to your child's well being. You will find that you will start doing things that you never did before.

For example, getting up in the middle of the night to the sound of your child crying (even if it is only to lend moral support to your wife); pretending to know how to change diapers (by the way some of us do know exactly how it is done); testing the temperature of the milk in the bottle by shaking a drop or two on to your hand, etc., etc.

And above all your conversations are going to start drifting away from the regular guy topics to more family oriented ones. You might find that you actively seek out guys who have families of their own.

These are just some of the changes that you will go through and yet at the end of the day, you will be asked about your contribution to raising your child. Unfair isn't it? And yet most fathers face it as if a father is just the provider and nothing more.

Quite unfair, I say.

The fact of the matter is that, in today's modern world, parenting requires both parents to play their parts. Gone are the days, when 'Abbu' would come home after a long day's work and be left alone to unwind and gather his thoughts while all the ladies in the house (wife, mother, sister, etc.) fussed over him (with all due apologies) like a brood of hens over a rooster. Back then, 'Abbu's' job was to provide the funds for the family and that was it.

It was only once in a while that he would be asked to interfere in matters related to children - matters that had serious implications. This might have included bad results at school, a brawl, stealing and the like. And then 'Abbu' would unleash all his fury in disciplining the erring child.

The lesson taught, 'Abbu' would once again fade into the background and, as days and weeks and then years passed by and the child grew up, the frequency of the interaction between father and child decreased even further.

This is hardly possible in today's world where, in most nuclear family setups, both parents are required to work to make ends meet.

In such a scenario an aloof attitude as described above is highly unlikely. Today's father has to, by necessity, know all the basics of child rearing from feed timings to how to change diapers to the type of medicine the child needs. And as the child grows older, some fathers will also contribute to getting the children ready for school; some might even cook for the family once in a while.

Those who just can't wrap their minds around the fact that fathers these days contribute much more than just unsolicited advice, will give the argument that massis/nannies can be hired to take care of the child.

True, but there has to be a very high level of trust that has to be developed before you completely hand over your child to the servant.

The above argument in itself points out to how bad a rap fathers get when it comes to taking care of children. It's about time that this sort of thinking changes and fathers are given their fair share of the credit in bringing up children. No longer does the mother have all the time in the world to fuss over her children and a father's help is essential.

So this Father's Day, why not make it a special day for the person who, in his own 'mysterious' way, makes you who you are

Published by HT Syndication with permission from The Friday Times. For more information on news feed please contact Sarabjit Jagirdar at

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Publication:The Friday Times (Lahore, Pakistan)
Date:Jun 27, 2010
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