Sunday, January 2, 2011

Why This Gal Would Make a Great Dad

The title came to me, mostly because of the old-fashioned breed of dads who believe that they are supposed to bring home the bacon, while the mother should be doing the housework and taking care of the child(ren). Even if the women are working, these men expect that she should be the one dealing with the chores and all the work that comes with having a kid. Some men help out a little but they are much more interested in playing with the baby and setting some rules rather than deal with the negative, and more tiring (and not to mention tedious!) stuff.

Yeah, there are some dads who share full responsibility, and there are even men who prefer to be stay-at-home dads while women pursue their careers. But these are the exceptions. 

My mom left work when I was 2, missing me too much to leave me to my grandmother’s care during the week. Frankly, there are times when she wishes she never left. And growing up, I was half-grateful, half-resentful that she had left her career. Some aspects of being at home full-time made her miserable and while she’s been a good friend and a good mom, our relationship wasn’t always easy. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend who shares many of my views when it comes to romance and having kids. Although she is not dying to have a baby, she worries that she might regret it later when she is old – which reminds me that I forgot to add this to the wrong reasons to have a kid list

There is no guarantee your kid will turn out all nice and sweet and he won’t check you in to a retirement home the first chance he gets. Even if your kid didn’t check you into a retirement home, there is no guarantee she won’t move to another continent or that she will outlive you. 

OK- these grim thoughts aside, it is an incredibly selfish notion, if you're having a baby just so you won’t be alone later in the future. You should have babies only if you are ready to take on all the risks, as well as the emotional and financial responsibilities that come with the territory. And remember, the ability to love unconditionally is a must.

Knowing all this, my friend is still torn between having a kid in 5-10 years and having no kids at all. We’ll see what the future brings but she thinks that she would also make a great dad.
The feminist in her (and by feminism, I mean believing both sexes are equal) thinks that women should have the option to deal with their careers while men take care of the baby. But  while the thought is appealing to a certain degre, the reality is much more complicated. Why should any individual – man or woman- give up on his/her dreams and ideals? Or make ultimate sacrifices?

The best thing to do is to know yourself and see if you have what it takes. Frankly, I don’t. I am too selfish, idealistic and passionate to take the passenger seat to my own life. So while I do have the potential to be a dad in the old-fashioned sense, I am not made to be a parent.

So, how about you? Do you have the guts, means and the personality fit for one job that you can never retire from?