Equal Parenting - That's how it should be
Guest Post,  Parenting

Equal Parenting – That’s how it should be. Guest post of the month by Ritwika Roy Mutsuddi

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“You are so lucky that your husband changes your kids’ diapers, feeds them, makes them sleep, holds them, takes care of them”. “I went with my friends while my husband babysat our child.” “I am so fortunate that my husband plays with my children.”

Aren’t these very common cliched sentences we get to hear often?

Why is the father put on a pedestal if he takes care of his child or shares the duties with the mom? Doesn’t the child belong to both the parents? So, why does a mother raise the children while the husband babysits them? Gone are the days when bringing up a child was considered to be only the mother’s responsibility.

Though there were instances where the fathers would be hands-on dads. But in the majority of the cases, Indian fathers took the tag of breadwinners too seriously and felt it was solely the mother’s duty to take care of the children, come what may! 

Times are changing, though still a long way to go. Nowadays parenting is a shared responsibility of both the parents, just like everything else in married life! Since the time, the couple discovers that they are going to bring a bundle of joy in this world, both start preparing themselves for the big day and big responsibility ahead.

I and my husband discovered the joy of being parents very early on in life, rather within the first year of our marriage. My husband was more confident that we will be wonderful parents though I was more nervous and jittery than him!  

Well, 17 years back there was no Facebook, mobile was not so prevalent. So, we used to read up books together, tried surfing parenting websites whenever possible, went to the doctor’s visit together with in-numerous questions, had tears of joy looking at our baby in the 20th-week sonography, our heartbeats would increase with joy every time we heard his heartbeat on the Doppler.  

Finally, the big day arrived.  I had a C-section, so my husband was the first one to hold our bundle of joy. From that day till this day, he has been my biggest anchor and strength in bringing up both our children. They say it takes a village to raise children; in my case, the village was only my husband. Frankly, if the partner is involved you need no one else because ultimately the child is the parent’s responsibility.

Not just physically, he helped me emotionally too, tolerating my days of depression, anxiety, anguish, anger, restlessness, impatience; he still does!

From cleaning meconium-stained nappies, changing diaper (he did much better than I did), to taking care of them while I could rest, to carrying my roly-poly babies and having shoulder pain in the night, trying to calm me down when I get too hyper with the kids, to taking care of them while I would try to concentrate on my “work-from-home” jobs, he has shared every responsibility and I strongly believe that’s the way every father should be!!

It’s been 16 years that we both have been parenting; raising kids of 2 age groups, 2 genders, but in sync with each other.  We have our difference of opinions, but we try to sort those out amicably. Parenting is not easy, more so in these days and times. But when you know that you have a strong partner who is always holding your hands, you gain a lot of confidence in the most adverse situations.

The kids learn to respect their parents, believe in equality of genders, learn to imbibe good (and bad too!) traits from their parents, emulate them a lot, learn to believe that nothing is impossible if there is love and faith in each other.

I still find many disillusioned women who lament that their husbands go for vacations while they are attending to the sick kids!  The husbands are annoyed if the babies cry in the night; they find excuses if they are asked to take care of the kids for even an hour or 2. I wonder why? Mothers are as human as anybody else and also the child is the responsibility of both the parents.

Whether a woman is working or a stay-at-home mother, the fathers can ease a lot of tension. He can bond well with the kids, strengthen the bond with the mother of his children. And this is possible only if he accepts from day 1 that bringing up the child is both the parents’ responsibility.

A happy wife will be a happy mother and the child will be raised as a happy child. For a healthy and happy family, sharing and caring of both the parents is really important.

About the Author:

Ritwika is a social media expert by profession and a blogger by passion. Parenting and women are her favorite genres and she writes about them avidly. She is the wife of an awesome husband and mom of a 16-year-old strapping son and an 11-year-old vivacious daughter.  She resides in the City of Dreams, Mumbai and her mantra in life is “Its never too late to reinvent.”

 

Ritwika, Guest post author

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Mayuri Nidigallu
January 18, 2019 12:24 pm

These are the questions I bite back each time I hear men, who play an active part in parenting duty , being glorified! Isn’t it natural for the Father of the child to help, or want to help? Once the husband and wife form a unit, child rearing not only becomes easier, but gets the partners closer too.
So glad you shared this post by Ritwika on your blog, Vartika.

Neha Tambe
January 18, 2019 1:36 pm

These are some great points. I agree that men take the tag breadwinner way too seriously! I think its time we start including kids from a younger age to close the age gap.

zainab mabood
zainab mabood
January 18, 2019 2:54 pm

Fathers are equally required to play the parenting role. Being on the same page, in raising your child is undoubtedly important. But, also taking care together. sharing responsibilities is needed.

Shilpa Garg
January 18, 2019 4:03 pm

It’s weird that in the times that we live, fathers are glorified for being involved in parenting their children. Of course, this is because of centuries of traditional gender stereotypes. It’s time to normalize a father’s role in parenting.

Rakhi Parsai
January 18, 2019 6:53 pm

I totally agree with Ritwika. Equal parenting is much needed today. With equal contribution in raising kids will indeed result in better individuals.

Aritra Chakrabarty
January 18, 2019 7:03 pm

I agree, equality must be accepted by the society as normal first, then only it can become permanent. A gender equal atmosphere will raise kids with the same values, n they will contribute to make a stronger society.

Geethica
January 18, 2019 7:45 pm

Ritwika has described the parenting journey so well. A baby brings responsibility to both the parents and should be taken care of mutually.

Jhilmil
January 18, 2019 8:10 pm

How beautiful, happy to know that even 16 years before couples believed in equal parenting. Now, most of the dad’s know their role and are quite active in raising kids hands on!!

DrAmrita
DrAmrita
January 18, 2019 9:24 pm

Parenting is always supposed to be shared. This is a post after my own heart. Some serious insight to help new parents.

Kavita Singh
Kavita Singh
January 19, 2019 12:10 am

This is what we need today. Equal parenting is something that is a mandate to keep the family happy. Sharing responsibilities and giving each other support is key to positive parenting. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Tina Basu
January 19, 2019 4:55 am

Equal co-parenting is very important – kids learn from both and its a healthy household of positivity. I always ask my husband to give him baths over the weekend or take him for sports

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