The Joys of Fatherhood

Children are a lasting joy and fatherhood is an experience that is to be treasured.

Together parents serve as the boat, the rudder and the wind in the sail of their offspring helping them to worthy destinations. As a result of their different biological constitutions and the way their brains are hardwired, mothers and fathers play different roles in raising children. However these roles often overlap.

Whatever these roles, they should be complementary. And as long as these roles work in harmony towards a common goal, raising children gives both parents equal satisfaction and in fact it brings parents closer.

However parenting is not without its disadvantages. The freedom that couples had before children came along is curtailed. Their time is no longer solely theirs. The carefree life they once had is now weighed down with some responsibilities.

For millennia men have been the hunters-gatherers who believe that putting food on the table is their sole responsibility. But with more and more women working there is an overlap of traditional responsibilities.
That said we have to acknowledge that parenthood brings with it an entirely new experience and a hitherto unknown joy. And although both parents are involved in raising children, fatherhood is however a distinct role.

Fatherhood is the beginning of a new realization: the big things in the life of fathers are actually the little things that greet them with a hug when they enter their house and call them “daddy”. These simple expressions of love melt away all the difficulties of tedious workdays.

Generally children look up to their fathers as teachers and protectors. We have often heard mothers say, “Ask your father.” Women feel that men are often better equipped to answer the tricky questions that children sometimes ask. “I’ll tell my father about you,” we hear children say all the time. This role of teacher/ protector gives the self-esteem of fathers a new boost.

Even though children may seek advice from their mothers, they look to their fathers for guidance and handholding. The feeling that children look up to their fathers to guide their careers is invigorating.

Responsible fathers give up their bachelor lifestyle. They curtail unnecessary spending and wandering about with friends because there is a more pressing demand on their resources. This determination and the will to see that their children succeed teach fathers a new sense of tenacity and gives them the strength that no gym or trainer can give. This anchoring role transforms fathers from being selfish people into selfless individuals.

When fathers were bachelors they lived from day to day dealing with events as they happened. But as fathers they begin to plan for the different stages in the life of their children. They don’t wait for things to happen. Instead they make things happen. Fatherhood makes better planners of men.

Fatherhood is an experience to be treasured.

A friend of mine made millions working in Saudi Arabia for seventeen years. Imagine my surprise when he told me one day that he is jealous of the life I have.

“Don’t be silly,” I said. “I don’t have half the money you have.”

“Seriously. I may have made a lot of money, but I missed watching my children grow up,” he said. “All those years to be treasured – I just let them slip away. Not all the money in the world can buy me that.”

Trust me. The joys of fatherhood are too precious to be traded for anything else in the world.

Prabhu Lazarus

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