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You are here : home > Raising Children > Related Articles for Raising Children > Paternal Musings

Paternal Musings

A mother creates the child; she bears it for nine months. The bond between mother and child develops before birth. Ostensibly, she is the better parent.  

So is it my fault?

I am prepared to be pregnant, if only to save my wife the suffering that is mentally, if not physically, as tortuous for the father.

But, say as much as I may, the wife says I am saying this because it is not possible for me to do what I have offered myself for.

Call it the absence of pre-natal bonding, but I found that coming to terms with my baby took me more time than it did my wife.

She seemed to trapeze with practiced ease the rounds of nappy changing, potty washing, bathing and more, while I still haven't managed bathing my daughter though she is a year and a half old now.

I call my gawkiness a genetic aberration; my wife calls it a lack of commitment.

She is working, so am I, so we spend as much time with our baby. There is no unfair advantage of more quality time with her, except before birth.

I have tried to think up as many explanations to my incompetence vis-a-vis my wife, try as much as I may.

There is one more explanation, apart from the pre-natal one. Don't mistake me as chauvinistic, but I think I could be a better dad if my baby were a boy.

I know as I was a boy once, what a boy wants, see the world through his eyes, a world defined by me in a way that a guy sees it --- of playing sports, watching porn, chasing girls, cycling, swimming and climbing hills. I have never seen the world through the eyes of a girl, although there were several girls I loved, but never loved them enough to see things the way they saw it, until my baby came.

I ask will she play golf, read Ludlum and listen to hard rock?

My wife never does, but could I or should I teach my daughter to do the things I like to do?

Although I admire my role models, do I now need to study female role models? Who would I like my daughter to emulate?

I am sure she will go her own way and define her own rules. 

It is my duty now to see from my baby's eyes and define and study closely the world of women leaders --- of Thatcher, Rowling, Sarandon and the standards they set.

My wife drowned out the arguments.

"Philosophy is okay, but cannot take away from the immediate reality of changing nappies, feeding from the bottle and doing it well," she said, and was right.

I tried hard and without being immodest, I must say that I was reasonably okay by my standards, though not as fine as my wife.

She heard the baby cry in the middle of the night before I did, and do. She is up and away from bed much before I am, or to make matters worse I was frequently even slower than my mom-in-law in the next room.

I am good at several things, playing golf for one. But, couldn't figure out why my wife was better at this. Golf is a languorous sport; parenting is not.

I went through another period of introspection and arrived at another answer.

I like to delegate, provided the work is done well.

I want the best for my daughter, and there is no one better qualified to look after her than my wife. So I have delegated and am happy about it. I discovered this when my wife was away on a business tour. I was good, better than ever, never gentler. 

I think my mother-in-law sensed it, but has kept it to herself as in her eyes only her daughter is number one, which is fair enough, as long as mother-in-law is not number two.

But the tragedy is, my wife will never know my real prowess, as whenever she is around I delegate. This could be genetic. (I wish I had not read so many management books.)

I have decided I will never beat my wife, but should at least better my mom-in-law.

She is good, I am better, but my wife is the best.

And that's the way it remains.

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17 Comments
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Raj.7 years ago
very nice article.
 
 
 
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Divesh.7 years ago
hey! having a girl child is equally gud....
u can obviosuly fulfill all the dreams u want to see in your son.
 
 
 
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Leena.7 years ago
very nice article. but i have told my hubby too whenever he failed that its lack of commitment. tho i admit that my husband is very good with my son. other than birth and breastfeeding he has done everything with utmost patience & no complaints ever. but hey, it is always nice to see the world from the eyes of a child of opposite sex. i like ur delegation theory!!
 
 
 
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Laila.7 years ago
hi.. i was a bit surprised at a particular statement u made. i am a girl, and i play golf and tennis. i have read robert ludlum.. bourne identity, ultimatum etc etc, david morell - rambo first blood etc, clive cussler or whatever, and have long since outgrown them and am now reading rage by salman rushdie. yes i do listen and appreciate hard rock.. none of the things u have described are particularly masculine territory. in fact, these days, there is little that is. there is no reason you cannot introduce your daughter to your interests. it will only help broaden her horizons.. and yours! i don't mean to critisize.. i enjoyed reading your article.
 
 
 
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Bun.7 years ago
nice article. even after all good intentions most fathers fail to get 'totally involved'. its more effort for a dada and more spontaneous for a woman. i think if all couples accept this fact, it wud be a great family environment. i guess the universal rule is to just try your best and accept that you can only change yourself and things around you upto a certain extent. your wife and child will appreciate always if they know that you tried your best
 
 
 
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monisha sen.7 years ago
while i never think my husband is good enough to take care of the children, i have come to accept that he is relatively capable. even if he does things differently.
i guess i have to accept icecream and kajus will form a major part of the childrens meals when he is on duty. on the rationale that they are nutritious, for instance.
 
 
 
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a mom.7 years ago
i think your wife is right in what she says. my husband is more bonded with my baby girl than i am and he has always been more responsive than me so this article is just about a personal perspective as i see it and not a universal thruth.
 
 
 
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Anu.7 years ago
this is the most stupid article i have ever read....

if you cannot understand the requirements of your child because the child is a girl it is ridiculus .. have you not seen a mother understanding the requirements of a child even if it is a boy ?

all that you say you have not been able to do ... my husband does it very comfortable ... looks like you are not genuine in your actions ... thats all
 
 
 
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Nidhi.7 years ago
i don’t understand, why don't you guys accept the fact that girls are the best? enough of the excuses that since you were boy so know what boys want... because i am pretty sure after your next child even if he would be a boy you still would not be able to be the best and its your wife who would be is the best. so try to understand; why she understands what her son wants to listen, what he wants to play no matter she is a girl.

man this need commitment, dedication and love from heart which you guys don’t want to offer. you can never understand that or rather never accept that "girls are the best". they are not selfish and are very adjusting, whether it’s with her extended family or her kids…

but still i would like to appreciate that at least you tried to think, “why you are just better not the best”, believe me you could be the best if you try to be by your heart, only thing you have to do is to spare some of your time and commitment towards your kids or extended family members. and you would then be the first one to rush in the middle of night and would see sparkling thanks in your wife’s eye. don’t just delegate it to your wife, if you want to offer the best to your daughter…beleive me you could do that too, its not impossible
 
 
 
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Radha.7 years ago
i guess the article was written in a light and jolly mood, and it was fun to read it with the attitude of not being judgemental! to all the mothers who commented so seriously, take it easy. the man is trying hard to extract something for himself from the totally new situation in his life. his girl is very young right now and he will be amazed to know how his 3 yrs old daughter turned him into playing princess(with him as prince)and dolls and cooking in her toy kitchen....... let me tell you one thing, long before you introduce your kid to your personality and hobbies, they show you their's and its you who need to learn their interests first.so hang in there, it won't be long when your daughter will come to you complaining about her mother and will say on her mother's face that she loves you more than her mother. atleast thats my experience. my daughter forgot about all that she had with me. now at age of 4 she publically announces that she loves her father more.
 
 
 
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