Where I come from, we naturally assume that no one can care for a child better than a mother. No one can do for you what you mother cannot do for you. Or rather in my brother’s words, no one can do for you what your father can not do for you. I know parents are the best thing or next best thing that can ever happen to a child but when I heard today of a debatable topic, whether a father loves a child more than a mother, I decided to give it a try to unravel so let’s learn together.
A mother births a child, having borne 9 months of discomfort and hard labor. Suffice to say that only 1 out of every 10 women survive child birth, I’d say that is a huge sacrifice for any woman to bare for the sake and love for a child. Now, whether that mother ends up loving that child above all else, I confidently say, is another issue entirely. I mean, I know of someone who has never spoken words of love to her child or someone who only puts her needs and comfort first even above the comfort of her children. Can we say that type of mother loved her child during those 9 months of discomfort and labor? Maybe. Or maybe it was only the idea of motherhood that drive some of us to want to birth a child.
Now where I come from, a man taking more than one woman is forgivable. So because of this we say, a father is to many as a mother is to one – her own. Because of this, we assume that a father has little or no sentiment and attention for a child perhaps because they are either too many for him to afford the attention to or he is busy trying to cater to the family. Yet I know of a man who willingly devoted all his life, time, love and resources to his children after their mother decided mothering was not for her. I know of a father who even after his daughters are married, he still wants to be involved and share their happiness.
While we have myths such as fathers being more attached to their daughters and mothers being more attached to their sons, I want to believe it is a parent’s duty to love and cater for their children equally. However that might be, in some cases, you can help but to be more endeared to one child more than the other if perhaps that particular child seeks to please and obey you far above your other children. Yet, the debate of whether a father really loves more than a mother remains an interesting unending deliberation. Up until now this debate can be easily won by a few known evidences which include:
- The belief that greater maternalaltruism is beyond biological.
- The belief that a mother is the best thing that can ever happen to a child
- We all know moneys given to mothers is far more likely to be spent in a way that benefits their children than is money given to fathers
- Mothers are naturally more inclined to cater for the welfare of the children than fathers
- Mothers will do anything to provide for her child
But in the African ideology, even from the many rhymes and poetry we have about mothers, it appears we believe that mothers love and care more for a child than a father. But I choose to advocate for the love of a father because I have seen what fathers, exceptional fathers, can do with their children. They can be domestic, they can be good teachers to their children, they can be playful, they can be serious, and they can be both a father and a mother. However, I think it is fair to say fathers and mothers experience and show love in slightly different ways.
I celebrate all the fathers tonight who are keeping it real in their homes and with their children. Lord knows the world needs better fathers. I honor the mothers who are being true to their calling as well. It’s not easy but it will definitely be worth it.