Fathers also need to balance home and work

May 13, 2007

by Latha Vidyaranya

It is the second Sunday of May. It is Mothers’ day. In all newspapers, magazines and web sites, you see advertisements asking you to celebrate Mother’s day in your own special way, gifting your moms a nice dinner or a jewellery or whatever you can get her with love…
I happened to read a nice article and thought I would share some of the feelings expressed in the article, which any mother anywhere in the world would agree with.
Any successful woman who has reached some significant height in her work place/ entrepreneurship is asked the first question – How do you balance your work and your home? Mind you, nobody asks a successful man if he has spent some quality time with his kids – because no Indian male is ever expected to do it! But every working woman, even in this 21st century, is expected to be a perfect mom and also a perfect home maker. If she is not, then she has to bear this heavy cross upon her shoulder all her life experiencing guilt trips every moment she tries to relax or tries to further her career. Anything going wrong in the family, the society points a finger at her as if the fathers are in no way accountable.
On this Mother’s day, I would like to call upon all fathers, all going-to-be-fathers and all men to take an unspoken oath of equal parenting. Let all men pitch in equal time at home, at parenting and ease the burden she is carrying. Let them pave way for the lady of the house to come out in to the world of work and express her creativity and her individuality. Let her also develop an identity of her own that is not strung to the apron strings alone. Let man celebrate the arrival of woman and I am sure the lady will love him with all the gratitude and we would be sending out a subtle message to all our male kids to take pride and pleasure in equal parenting responsibilities.
Moms, dont you all think this would be the greatest gift the society can give to her on this Mother’s day!
Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks to all fathers in anticipation of their cooperation!

Also read: A son need not be like his father

(Latha Vidyaranya is a Special Educator and Counsellor and has founded ‘Empower Counselling Centre’ in Malleswaram, Bangalore.)

11 Responses to “Fathers also need to balance home and work”

  1. praneshachar Says:

    Latha Vidyaranya
    kudos to you for a wonderful write up. you have shared something very special. Yes it is true mother is expected to take care of children and she should also be home maker.
    Of late things have changed and may not be yet at the speed with which it ought to be. When both partners are at ease and understand each other this clash will never come. today I know no. of men share the house hold work though not exactly half the load. society structure needs it today and if one has to lead a happy life it is the need.
    In certain cases where ego clashes start then there will be a problem. There are quite a no. of women even though working wants to do all themselves on the other hand there are men who think their job is to only work at office even though betterhalf also works sometimes much more responsible job than him. It is basic attitude which will decide these things when both are perfect with their attitude to life nothing comes in the way.
    I assure you things will change and change for better
    all the best and happy mother’s day to all mothers, mothers to be and all others for various reason are not fortunate to be mothers but give their motherly love affection various children in various areas. long live mothers!

  2. Veena Says:

    Nice write up and an Apt view for the current Gen!
    Reminded me this article in kannada…


  3. Justin Says:

    Hah you should try being a father and mother I have been brinign up my daughter as both for a few years now.

  4. I suppose most societies in the world are patriarchal. The dogma states that men should be working to feed their family while women should stay home and look after the house and the kids. When the society started to realize that men and women are equal, women were soon given the chance to work but still they’re expected to retain their duties and responsibilities at home.

    I think women have nothing against this long-time fact. However, fathers should give due reverence and appreciation to the women who are builders of homes. A little thank you, treat to some fancy restaurants and the likes will do. Mother’s Day is the perfect day to celebrate her motherhood.

  5. Prabha Says:

    Could not agree more with you Latha.
    I dont think men are in anyway capable of what mothers are able to do. They are not hardwired for multitasking or ready to take the uncertainities of the day like moms are able to. Oh, I am not trying to bail-out all the men….I am just trying to say if they can just put a consistent effort to share, takeover, give a break, be a team player…..JUST CARE….then everyday would be celebration!

  6. pArijAta Says:

    Nice Writeup. Thanks.
    Women have traditionally been looked at as housekeepers. As Praneshachar says, it is all a matter of attitude.

    There was this serial being telecast on one of the kannada channels. The TV happened to be on, and I happened to watch this for about ten minutes. The dad is at a wedding, and mom is at home, getting ready for work. The small baby is wailing. The mom calls her husband to come home and take care of the child, so she can go to work. The husband asks her to wait, but she cannot wait and there is a big argument. True, I did not know what had happened before, and I did not care enough to follow this, but suddenly, this Mother’s day, I remembered this scene on TV.

    In many serials on TV, the career-woman is portrayed as selfish and non-motherly. I am not a feminist, but these portrayals irk me to no end. What is wrong if the dad babysits, while his wife attends an important meeting? or if he gives the baby his/her meal occasionally?

    True, men cannot multitask like women. But they can learn, surely! And I don’t agree with “oil painting…”, that treats in fancy restaurants and the likes will do… They are nice, but what mothers (afaik) would really appreciate, is some help around the house.

  7. latha vidyaranya Says:

    hi everybody,
    it was heartening to note that the article on ‘mother’s day’ and fathers sharing the parenting responsibilities was well received by the readers and men have also agreed with the sentiments expressed in it. if the article has helped atleast a few men to think in a new direction and brought in a change of heart and attitude, all of us have a cause to celebrate!

    only when women were let into the male bastions, people realized that a woman is also capable of doing many of the jobs done by men. similarly if men are allowed to do the equal or all the parenting, do we realize their capabilities. i think most of the time it is us women who stop men from doing things at home fearing “what others would think”! while men take pride in the fact declaring that their wives are engineers, doctors or even pilots, we feel ashamed to admit that we let our husbands scrape the coconut or grind masala or change baby’s diapers! yes, the change has to first set into the female psyche. then only can men accept and admire the change.

    it would be a true celebration from both the parties then!
    thank u all.

  8. S. K. Kiran Kumar Says:

    I fully endorse Latha Vidyaranya’s observations.

    S. K. Kiran Kumar
    Professor of Psychology
    University of Mysore

  9. […] Fathers also need to balance home and work […]

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