Dear Husband and Daddy/ Ayah/ Papa to our kids,
Today and always, we love you more than we can ever say.
It’s so easy to go unnoticed when mothers are the ones who are often celebrated. Today we want to take the time to acknowledge, appreciate and honour you.
I still remember those early days of parenthood and how hard and long they were. I struggled so much adjusting to this new role as mum that I didn’t realise that you too were equally affected. There was so much attention on baby and me, but so little support for you as a new dad- yet you did what you could to hold us all together. In those fragile times, you were our rock. And you know what, you still are.
Thank you for your quiet strength. For your stability. For your steadfastness.
Photo by César Abner Martínez Aguilar on Unsplash
And then came the sleepless nights and the never ending chores. Only you truly understand what it was like for us as a family. We tagged team sleeptimes, discussed various strategies and felt like zombies together! And when I struggled with their tantrums and lost my cool, you would try to get home early, watch the kids and prepare- ok fine, tapau dinner- even after a full day of work.
And when some aunty would criticise our parenting and I felt my temperature rising, you’d give me that look that said- let it go, we’ve got this. It reminded me that we were in this together. It’s hard to challenge the rigid ideas of gender that came from our upbringing but you decided early on to be the person you intend to raise. It wasn’t easy, there were disagreements and tears but we more than anything we fought for each other. You and I were partners, no matter what other people said.
Thank you for treating me as your equal. For valuing your role as husband and father.
Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels
Some days I look at you and I can tell that you’re going through hard stuff on your own. It’s been such a crazy year (or two). In one way or another, we’re affected by Covid, the endless MCOs and the uncertainty of it all. We’re all tired and I can tell you are too.
Working from home meant being with us 24/7 and while that sounded wonderful in theory, we all know what a struggle it was. You told me you felt our of place, you felt guilty for losing your temper, you missed your space and you wondered if that meant you were a bad father.
In case I didn’t make it clear enough, the fact that you wondered that makes you a wonderful work-in-progress father. It just takes time to adjust. A lot of us mums have just had more practice- we’ve been through the learning curve and we’ll help you through it- no judgment.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels
Clearly, the world isn’t an easy place for men who want to love well. The stressors are real and we’re often brought up not to ask for help. I see signs of sadness and anxiety that you try so hard to hide. But today, I want to tell you that it’s ok and it’s right to talk about it. That you can be honest and vulnerable and strong all at the same time.
That we love you for who you are- that includes your insecurities, your weaknesses and all the stuff you carry. We just want you to know you don’t have to bear the weight of it all alone.
Thank you for your courage to be vulnerable. For choosing honesty and humility in a culture that sadly celebrates indifference and pride. Our kids are so lucky to have such a role model.
Finally, thank you for choosing to love in spite of and despite everything else. For showing up daily, to the messy, the beautiful, the magical and mundane that makes up our family life. For getting up every time you fall, for standing up for what’s right and true, for making up even when you're not the one who was wrong to begin with. You inspire us to be better people every day.
We love you, we honour you, we’re so proud to call you ours.
Happy Father’s Day!