So Father’s day is this weekend, finally. Every year on Father’s day or as the day approaches I have mental images of my dad and other dads in different attires ranging from super hero costumes, to doctor’s coats, chefs, and teachers because that is how I view my father, he is my everything.
Surprisingly this year when I think about Father’s day I can not help but have that very famous image of a man running after a woman in pursuit of a good time or sometimes a relationship and then running away from her after she has gotten pregnant.
I am not sure why this particular image resonates in my head this year but it is something that is begging for attention. Statistics show that the number of single mothers has risen in the past years, with more and more men being afraid of taking up the responsibility of raising children. In America alone it was reported by the Single Mother Guide (Single Mother Statistics 2014), that there are close to 10 million single mother families, now if this is the case in America imagine what the case is around the world.
This year Father’s day will to me go down in history as one of the most anticipated Father’s day because of all the hype and confusion of the actual date on which fathers are to be celebrated. I am pretty sure that by now some of you have already gotten your gifts and those wonderful breakfast in bed ‘surprises’ which you pretended not to know anything about as you closed your eyes in hopes of not ruining your own surprise until your little children yelled “Happy Father’s Day daddy”.
While many of you will be feeling all warm and fuzzy this Sunday, a good number of you will be filled with so much shame and feel like you on trial for murder. You may not show it on the outside, but I know that it eats you up that you are nothing but a ‘glorified sperm donor’ and yes not even the biggest bottle of Jack Daniels will make you feel any better.
I read an article in a South African publication where media personality Mark Pilgram described the word ‘DAD’.
He said ‘DAD’ means decide, announce and defend in that fathers are personality shapers because they are decision makers, announcers of those decisions and defenders of their offspring. Real Fathers are those ones that take the time out to show love, encourage and spend time with their children, not those that write cheques for school fees and child maintenance.
So many of you need to step forward and be father figures to fatherless children while most of you need to stop running away from responsibility, yes fatherhood can be quite daunting but lets face it we now in the 21st century and have so many aids to help one become a good dad from self help books, to blogs and even cell phone apps that offer pointers on how to be a good father and even love fatherhood.
Remember, real heroes are not those that wear capes, they are called dads, be one of those. Fathers have the responsibility of being there for their children regardless of whether they are still with their children’s mothers.
Abandoning your duties simply because you suddenly woke up and felt that the woman in your life is not who you want to spend the rest of your life with is not an excuse for you not to be there for your child physically.
I think men that run away from their roles as fathers should be publicly shamed, they should be stigmatized and made to feel worthless.
Many of you will feel that I am being way too dramatic in my statements but I feel that this is the only way that the message that one should not be a ‘hit and run’ father will be rammed into the heads of so many men in Namibia and across the world.