Modern fathers are doing better than past generations- Mmiliaku Genevieve,

We celebrate the fathers of this generation

We have to acknowledge the fact that a great percentage of fathers of this generation are doing a better job of being fathers than the fathers of the generation that raised us.

I remember when growing up, you’ll see more of mothers in church struggling with their kids alone, while the fathers who are also in the same church conveniently sit apart from their wife and children in another part of the church. So that they will enjoy the mass/service uninterrupted by the children. I remember while growing up, we see more of mothers attend immunisation, school PTA meetings, inter-house sports celebration and any other school functions.

While growing up, many fathers (the ones who were present) were lords and masters in their homes. The only thing they did was provide money for food, pay the bills and lord over everyone. Even the penniless, irresponsible and lazy ones still acted like mini gods. Many children back then walked on eggshells around their fathers or trembled at the sound of his voice. They run to hide or quickly arrange everywhere, put off the TV and pretend to be reading once they hear the sound of their dad’s car at the gate.

Many fathers, while we were growing up, were nonchalant about their children’s personal lives. They never bothered to be close to their children, befriend them, help them with school work, etc. All they did was dish out instructions and more instructions. Many fathers back then were ignorantly too strict and harsh with their children and wife, in their quest to instil fear in their children and wife, which they foolishly misinterpreted as respect.

Many fathers then hardly lifted a finger to do any chore at home, or cook, talk more of care for their children, like clean their poo and all that. They felt doing such is beneath them as men and will make them lose respect.

But today, if I look around in church, I see young dads sitting together with their wives and children, helping to control the children and care for them and it is always a heartwarming sight to behold. I see many dads do school-run these days, attend school parties, functions and PTA meetings, hanging out with their family and making sweet memories in the lives of their children.

In my pregnancy days and when my kids were babies, I saw many husbands and fathers show up at the hospital with their wives for antenatal or immunization. More fathers are present in the labour room during the birth of their babies, many even join their wives or take turns to stay awake to care for their newborn.

A lot of men of our generation now take decisions about their home together with their wife, instead of dictating to all and sundry like most of our fathers and grandfathers did. It is indeed a beautiful development. Many of my friends who are married to men in their 30s and 40s testify that their husbands participate actively in the lives if their children. They participate in domestic chores, they are willing to learn and they are generally more loving and caring than their fathers were to their mothers.

It is not that men of our generation were raised differently from the men of our parents and grandparents generation.

No!Some of our brothers were raised to be entitled jerks with superiority complex too, just like the generation of men before them but many women of our generation now know their worth as humans who deserve better. We have found our voices are saying NO to bullshit! A lot of women of this time are not so afraid to speak up about what they think their partner should do or not do in their home and relationship. We are gradually breaking free from all the invisible chains our culture, religion and society used in chaining us down.

Many women of our generation don’t wear the ‘superwoman’ tag in the home that much anymore. They are ever ready to nicely or firmly ask their spouse to help out in the home and with the kids unlike most of our mothers and grandmothers who were raised to see their husbands as mini-gods. They were so submissive and even afraid of their husbands that they would rather die in silence while doing all the chores, providing for the family, sacrificing their all, enduring vices like infidelity, domestic violence and abuse, just to stay married and appear ‘perfect’ in the eyes of the society.

Many women of our generation now know they are equal humans and that their happiness and peace of mind matters too.So many begin early to put their foot down in their relationship and home and demand to be treated better. I personally have shared stories of how I had to put my foot down many times during the early stage of my marriage, which let my hubby sit up and start doing those things which the society generally see as the roles of women in the home.

Another reason I think we have better husbands and fathers in our generation is that many couples actually dated and knew their partner well enough before agreeing to settle down in marriage. They have cultivated good friendships with their partner before marriage, so the women are freer around their men unlike some of our mothers and grandmothers who their husbands were chosen for them by their parents, who were married off as teenagers, before they knew how to speak for themselves, or who met and married their husband within weeks, without really bonding with each other.

I also think many fathers today are doing a better job because they want to belong to the group of fathers whose children will speak highly of in future.Who no like better thing eh?

We all know how ashamed and full of regrets most deadbeat fathers of older generation are in their old age. No young man in his right senses will see the disgust, hate and bitterness some people feel when talking about their fathers on and outside social media, and will still deliberately do things that will put him in the same situation with his offsprings in future.

I think many men and also women of our generation are more open to learn and unlearn, are more sensitive, and not so afraid to question traditions and religion. It is a good development as we can see. We must not forget to give due accolades to feminism and human rights activism for all these little and very significant positive changes in our homes. There are still a lot more to be done anyway.

So I encourage everyone to keep saying their truths on and outside social media. People are reading, listening and changing for good, consciously or unconsciously.

As women, don’t stop speaking up about the challenges you face as a girl child, female, wife or mother in our society.As men, don’t stop speaking up about the challenges you face in our society as a boy child, male, husband and father.Your/our voices are being heard, people are learning, unlearning and improving. Most importantly, I encourage parents of our generation to raise better and less entitled sons and daughters.

(Culled from Mmiliaku Genevieve, Facebook)

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