I'm Glad that My Girls See me Making Parathas
- Vivek Radhakrishnan
- 28 Jun 2017
It's fathers' day!
Like “mothers' day”, “valentine's day” and “a monkey’s uncle day”, it’s another occasion for every business to guilt-trip people into making some sort of purchase, more often than not, a pointless one.
What I am particularly happy about on this fathers' day, is that I didn’t get any “gifts”, and it was one of those days that left me thankful. Not thankful for what my kids said to me, what my dad did for me, or what Gandhi did for the nation, just thankful for the opportunity that I have on a daily basis to be a father to two incredible little girls!
My day consisted of making the girls breakfast (Dosas if you must know), getting them ready, blowing drying and brushing some seriously knotty hair, doing daddy’s famous mani-pedi, choosing outfits, making size alterations with 250 safety pins etc… Nothing groundbreaking, just the everyday stuff, the stuff that reminds me what my most important job in the world is, that of being Daddy!
Sure, I have a career, and like all dads, I go for hours bonded to some stupid iDevice or the other, stuck on endless phone calls, or caught up in never-ending Skype meetings. But here’s the thing, it's not just dads that have to do that “boring stuff”, it's exactly the same for mom! Two very career-driven parents, who do a lot of sport, and are also very hands-on and involved at home.
“How do you guys do it all?” we are so often asked.
Well, one of the answers is that we are very fortunate to have a whole bunch of help at home, backed by some very involved grandparents! But the other part of it is that we make sure to do the everyday stuff as much as we possibly can.
I have realized over time, that my most important job as a father is those small everyday things. I know that I can easily be distracted from these daily duties by work, sometimes for weeks, and then I try to make up for my absence by presenting the kids with a gift or something. But I know that doesn’t fix or change anything, it’s just the kind of thing we do to overcome our own guilt.
My wife and I take turns, one does morning duty, the other works out. The time I spend in the kitchen every other morning with the girls, making breakfast and packing school lunch, is what I live for. That, and dinner time around the little table talking silly stuff. Its real, it’s something we can never make up for later, it’s precious and what I’m so grateful for.
There are a couple of dads I really look up to, two very dear friends of mine who fill me with hope and inspiration. Both are incredible parents, and very involved with the upbringing of their kids. Because of the cruel and unfair ways of life, one was left a single parent, bringing up his amazing girls mostly by himself. The other chose to be a stay-at-home dad so that his wife could chase her dreams of an extremely demanding career. I often hear people referring to them saying, “He is like a mother to the kids,” and I know it might be well intentioned, but I beg to differ, they are like “fathers” to their kids! I say this because they are both men, and I feel we really need to address our preconceived notions of what individual parental duties are.
There are only two things that fathers can’t do; one is giving birth, and the other is breastfeeding. Everything thing else, from changing a baby’s diaper to paying for its college education can be done by both parents, and who does what should be a matter of choice.
I’m glad that my girls see me making parathas, packing lunch, and doing the dishes, just as much as they see their mom do the same. I’m glad that they see both of us working as much as we do. I’m glad that sport is something they see both of their parents immersed in, and I’m glad that they know both their parents can cry. Most of all, I’m glad that there is nothing particularly special about today, and that every day is fathers day for me.
Most of all, I’m glad that there is nothing particularly special about today, and that every day is fathers day for me.
For women to be able to come back to work from their breaks, the conversation needs to extend to men, too. We need more and more men to speak about their commitment to enabling the female half of our country's population to get back to work. We need more men to step up and share workloads equally with the women in their lives.
Because we want YOU back to work and for that, you need to start by signing up HERE.
Vivek Radhakrishnan is a father of two girls and a DIY (Do It Yourself) man.