By Waqar Ahmed Fahad
A while ago, a famous celebrity who had shared on social media a letter to his granddaughters, was trolled badly. His letter was seen to be conveying his concern about the great legacy that his granddaughters need to carry and the decisions they would like to take in their respective lives. However, the letter and his sentiment were not taken in a good spirit by a few people and they bashed him left and right by terming it a highly patriarchal and dominating. In fact, his letter did not contain much male chauvinism but still did not go down too well with feminists, women’s rights activists and people who are look at the two genders in a fair manner.
In India, women are expected to sacrifice more in their lives than men. From taking care of the family to choosing between career and home, the woman has to make the choice (or sacrifice). In fact, a large number of Indian women never return to work at the end of their maternity leave. From changing diapers to bathing babies, it is mostly a woman who does these sorts of jobs. From cooking to feeding the babies, she does almost everything. From cleaning the house to managing the laundry, a woman is proven to be the best manager. But should she be left to do all these things alone just because she does not have any ‘permanent employment’?
Remember, a homemaker is also a permanent job, one that does not have a retirement age. No casual leaves, no half-days. Only work 24/7.
Our government appears to be more considerate than some men. The central government has been mulling over lessening the woman’s workload at home by providing paternity leave. Will it work? Yes. No. Maybe!
But a serving woman cabinet minister is skeptical, saying she sees no point in mandating paternity leaves since men will likely use it as a holiday instead of taking care of their children. How many of us agree with the minister’s skepticism?
There are some fathers who actually work very hard with and for their kids. Whether with school or with extracurricular activities, some fathers do it well. There are also some fathers who even take care of their entire family without it impacting their careers.
Here’s a piece of advice to those men who don’t pay much attention to hearth and home, who think their jobs are done as soon as they leave the office. Your job as a father, and husband, begins when you reach home and help your wife in the kitchen, when you help raising your child by giving your time and energy. Many men think that take care of their children’s financial responsibilities makes up for not spending time with them or taking an active role in their upbringing.
Remember, friend, this is your child. Your wife is not your maid; she needs your advice, suggestions and assistance in matters pertaining to the upbringing of your children. So don’t get occupied with your mobiles, internet, news or cricket matches as soon as you reach home. Join in the upbringing of your children; take an active part in your home. And most importantly, be present, so that your wife, who has made many sacrifices, never feels like they have gone to waste.
Waqar Ahmed Fahad accidentally holds a Phd in Film studies. unfortunately, he is a writer by profession and engineer at heart