By Emilian Kayima
June 15 is International Fathers’ Day; it is a day less recognised by many in Africa. This is one of those days that pass almost unnoticed yet men too would want the day widely publicised so that we are noticed, recognised, appreciated and pampered by loved ones as it usually happens with other important days of the year. Haven’t we earned it yet?
When I was still working with Child and Family Protection Unit, we did a lot of listening, counselling, arbitrating between families and I almost concluded that there were more “wars” in homes than there are within and between different states in the world! Many homes are on fire, some deserted, at least emotionally! I wanted to be a better father, a role model.
Why are homes no longer safe havens? Do we fathers have a role to play to change the trends? Some people even say that if fathers chose to, a positive change would be realized immediately.
As women are demanding their rights without winking an eye, men should understand this phenomenon and support them.
In the modern home, we have introduced hired care givers. Many of these little girls are indeed troubled girls. They harbor psychosocial issues that need professional helpers’ intervention but they never get it. Instead, some men add insult to injury by sexually harassing them on top of exploiting them economically!
Many times, the names we give them are derogatory. Think of some in your local dialect.
Some women have complained in different forums that their husbands behave as if they are absent husbands; leaving home early and coming late in the night. But men are not happy either.
They accuse their working women of many things including infidelity, failure to take care of the family, “feigning” (mark the word) stress and fatigue every time hubby wants to sound caring and concerned. Do you get the drift?
Do we know what children are experiencing amidst the squabbles of you wives and husbands? You wouldn’t want to hear it from third parties. You will surely be able to firmly and fairly manage your family and be a good father-at least starting with fathers’ Day.
There is a way out already. Remember when you were dating and what you used to do for each other. What stops us from rejuvenating that?
“Men are born hunters…”a colleague intimated to me recently. Who are hunted and when and why should hunting end so soon upon catching your prey at the church alter?
Actually, men can be better fathers by continuing to do the hunting till…Dating your wife is a beautiful thing even though we are sure there are many more demands than there were then; children to nurture, school fees to pay, bills to pay, social obligations to attend to and many more others.
Sparing a little time is ideal. It is sweet if it is done with deep thoughts and love.
There are initiatives we can think of in terms making fatherhood more relevant. I am sure each of us would want to raise morally upright, health, wealth and independent minded children. These would give us responsible citizens.
Do fathers bathe children, play games with them, take them to school and pick them? How interacting with their teachers and friends and then helping children o their homework? Do we get physically and emotionally involved in their world?
Is this a joint venture for dad and mom? Try jogging with mom and children, gardening together, asking for joint solutions in case of challenges in a family.
Fathers ought to stop breaking themselves thinking for the entire family yet there are resources we are not tapping!
The writer is a police officer working with Land Police Protection Unit