A term I have come to start despising is ‘hands-on father’. Just because a father is involved in the upbringing of his children, plays with them, tends to them, feeds them, bathes them, puts them to sleep, why do people say “oh he’s such a ‘hands-on father’“? Honestly, he’s being a father, isn’t he? I didn’t think it was just a mother’s responsibility to do all this. It is also his, isn’t it?
We have got to get over this mindset- that anything a father does for his children (besides earning and spending for them) is oh so amazing. He isn’t doing something new. It’s his job too, they’re his kids too. If he changes the diapers, or runs behind the kids in the grocery store, or warms up their milk for them, he is doing what he is supposed to- as a parent.
Because we grow up with this mindset that fathers don’t really have a role in the everyday chores related to their kids, even the men who do take part in them start behaving like they’re doing their kids and wives a favor. They’re not. Children are the responsibility of fathers just as much as they are of their mothers.
Unfortunately, this mentality has percolated through the generations and does exist in the minds of many men even today, especially in our desi communities. But there are men who understand their role as fathers and are willing to be part of their children’s lives every day in every way they can, and I appreciate them. Because they aren’t doing anyone a favor but their own selves- by fulfilling their responsibility, and being a part of their children’s lives in a way that their children will remember them for.
Also, are mothers who work full time ever called ‘hands-on mothers’ for feeding, bathing, tending to their kids?