I was dutifully reminded by Facebook that the 18th of June is Fathers Day.
Disclaimer : I am not a big fan of these various days that greeting card companies came up with to boost their sales. I am a firm believer that you do not need a specifically designated day in the year to celebrate the special people in your life. Having said that I still felt this intense urge to do something for Father’s Day this year. Because, common let’s face the truth, our poor daddies are hardly ever given the due credit they deserve. Agreed that moms are the superman of the story (and it is a world wide known and glorified fact!) but let us not forget that there is no story if there is no Lois Lane to the superman. I acknowledge that it is a poor comparison but one that stands true!
The countless online blogs and insta stories feature the amazing heroics of mom, which being a mom I know are absolutely justified. Mom bloggers are a remarkably powerful force in the internet ecosystem and an empowering resource for new mothers like me. But let’s not forget, behind most well put together insta mommy is a sweet little daddy taking those countless adorable photos of the little ones and us.
I became a mom a little over 6 months ago. It wasn’t a surprise, it took 9 whole months for our 7 pound bundle of joy to arrive, so I should have been prepared right? Wrong. Irrespective of what you do professionally —PARENTING is the toughest job there is. PERIOD. And it is called that for a reason, it is not mommying or daddying its a combined effort, thus someone actually came up with an altogether new word for it.
Coming back to us, I was prepared for the superficial changes that combing through endless ‘parenting’ books had warned me about. What I wasn’t prepared for was the emotional roundhouse kick to the face that being responsible for a tiny little human, was delivered to me. But what made those countless all night feedings bearable was our sweet daddy doing his bit. Sometimes propping up pillows to help us out and sometimes making lame jokes to pass time. He has dutifully been there for every doctors appointment when our little man was still a tenant in my tummy and every vaccination since buba arrived! I totally wuss out when it comes to holding baby bee down for vaccinations, its our super brave daddy who does the honors while I am bawling my eyes out at the door! Since our little love has arrived daddy has always been there for all our milestones and all our adventures. He is my calm face and Riaan’s giggle. It is just having him there, night after night, day after day sometimes sharing the burden, sometimes just carrying all of it by himself and countless other little things that he does to keep us safe and smiling that made this journey the beautiful memory that it is today.
I am an awesome mom and everything ( if I may say so myself.) but only daddy is allowed to be genuinely COOL. Irrespective of how much I love the hell out of the little one and slog my butt off day in and day out daddy always gets the biggest smiles and longest hugs when he get home.
You can comb through the shelves marked ‘parenting’ in your local bookstore and you’ll find only a few books on fatherhood. Because, apparently its not something that can be taught. We should take a hint from that.
The books might give the newbie daddy a slight edge – but the book doesn’t tell you how to maintain patience ( both his and mine) during the endless feeding tantrums or to basically give up sleep when the little bub has a cold. They don’t prepare you for the endless hours of rocking and shushing and rocking some more when little bee is feeling under the weather.
Fatherhood (and parenting in general) provides huge moments of self-doubt. What is important is how you overcome those and be a better version of yourself!
I guess the point is that you can read as many books as you like, but you’re never really going to be prepared—and that’s OK. Fatherhood is one of those things you figure out as we go, all you got to do is show up each and everyday and just be your amazing self!
Because as someone rightly said ‘Any man can be a father, but it takes someone truly special to be a DAD!’
So here is to our dearest daddy and all the other daddies out there who have played a friend, a driver, a teacher, a doctor, a cop, a waiter, a maid, a referee and every other possible role out there in the life of their little ones. Wish you a very very Happy Fathers Day!