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In the movie, there was a part Richard and Akpos came to visit their uncle Wilson at his home. They realised he was babysitting and cooking at once, his wife was busy giving out orders. Take out the trash! Feed the baby! Easy with the salt! Richy and Akpos could not believe their eyes. Uncle Wilson tried to explain to them that America was a lot different from Africa, but they weren't having any of that. They thought it was completely awkward.
So should dads be totally excused from house chores and helping out with child care just because they are dads? Or do they have a part to play? After all they are a parent too. Also, what sort of things should they do in order to contribute?
Parenting is a responsibility for both mums and dads. But for some reason, especially in Africa, the duty of parenting tends to lie more on the mums. Some dads however are really hands on with taking care of their kids while some are either too busy or not just interested because they believe its not their responsibility.
This aunt of mine, each time i visit or call her on the phone she always pleads with me not to try to be a super woman or super mum. She emphasises that i allow DH to take care of the kids occasionally,help in the little way he can and I should never assume he can't contribute in child care at all.
I was watching a family programme some days ago and a dad was interviewed. He expressed interest in helping out with childcare but he said that most times his wife doesn't let him because she assumes and believes he can't. Three mums were also interviewed, one said she doesn't really want to bother her husband as well as burden him with that sort of task. And the other mum said she was too scared to trust her husband to help out with the kids. The last mum who was a stay-at-home mum was almost freaking out at the thought of letting her husband take the kids out. Using her own words she said she was going to go crazy with worry if she lets that happen because she does not think her DH was capable. So technically, she watches over her kids 24/7. I wondered how and when she gets the time to do her personal stuff.
Well, mums should not necessarily share childcare or house chore duties with their husbands. But they can encourage them to do simple tasks such as:
- Changing diapers....gross right?
- Keeping an eye on the kids while she goes out to shop or do her personal activities.
- Dads can take the kids out to parks,shops or other places of interest so that mum can find time to de-stress and tend to other matters.
- Take the kids (boys) for a haircut.
- Supervise the kids homework.
- Load the washing machine or dishwasher.
There are lots of other things dads can help out with if they are willing to. Most importantly mums have to trust the dads with the kids, like my aunt says, don't assume or conclude they can't do it. It will not only give you the opportunity to rest, it also gives you the assurance that the kids can cope comfortably when dad is left to parent them. Most importantly, it develops love and a really strong bond between dads and their children.
Dads can do it too! Yes they can! Please drop your comments and suggestions in the comment section. God bless!