Celebrate mothers, but don’t demean fathers

Thursday, May 16th, 2024 04:00 | By
A Mother's Day card. PHOTO/Pexels

The strength of a woman, be it a mother, spouse or daughter, cannot be gainsaid. But in this hierarchy, mothers reign supreme. But of course! They bring forth and nurture humanity from conception. Therefore, it is only natural that mothers, maybe across the animal kingdom, are feted for doing God’s work.

Personally, I remember my late mother with a lot of love and nostalgia. Well, I got a fair share of thrashing from her, a primary school teacher, for my misadventures during the wild adolescent years. I must admit that were it not for her, I would have easily gone astray and missed out on my destiny. May she continue to rest in peace.

Hats off also to my wife and mother of my children, who has put in great effort in bringing up our children, especially our 14-year-old son with autism. No material reward can measure up to the task of mothers.

In the background, however, the other gender mulls the future in a society that is striving to demean their role and essence. As we celebrate our mothers every day, we conveniently forget they are our father’s choice. We ignore the fact that it is our fathers who made the first move to start a family, and went all out to put in the strenuous work to make the social project a success.

There is an analogy I came across on social media that captures the irony of this situation. A son went to his father and requested a thousand shillings. Unfortunately, that was the only money the father had that morning. But since his son insisted it could not wait, he gave him the money, less a hundred shillings that he needed to commute to work.

The son then rushed to his mother and asked her for the hundred-shilling deficit. She gave the son the money, after which he dashed out, praising her as the best person in the whole wide world. In his excitement, the son forgot his father’s great sacrifice to make him successful in his aspiration. He only saw the love and kindness of his mother for completing the picture. 

This is an experience that a majority of fathers can attest to. As the major breadwinners, even in today’s so-called modern world, fathers still pick up the bulk of tabs for the wellbeing of their families. They mortgage their very lives to ensure that they leave comfortable and successful families. But after the job is done, either by default or by design, it is mothers who are awarded the trophy.

Not that men want praises. They understand that they were “cursed” to labour for their offspring. Unless one is a deadbeat father, any man worth his salt strives to live up to his calling for progeny.

Indeed, men are not romantics. All a typical man wants is respect, most of all from those who have eaten, survived and thrived from the sweat of his brow and the palm of his parched hands. He needs his space to rule over his dominion.  

I know I have pre-empted what I would have said on Father’s Day, which is coming in a month’s time. But someone needed to say this sooner than later. Many societies have gone astray because of ignoring or undermining the role of fathers in the discipline of children.

Ultimately, effective parenting is a collabo! The two consenting parents must respect each other’s roles and not drive a wedge between the children and each other.

I leave you with the words of Genesis 49:26: Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. A father’s blessing is his way of saying that you have my permission and authorisation to thrive.

— The writer is  a PhD candidate in International Relations

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