A mother carries the baby for 9 months, delivers her, feeds her and looks after her. As generally mothers are the primary caregivers of their baby, fathers often feel left out of the whole bringing up the child routine.
I had a confinement nanny who looked after me and my new born, post delivery, for 40 days. She taught me how to feed my baby, she massaged and gave her a bath, changed her and picked her up whenever she cried. Between her and me, my husband felt totally left out. I could see he was eager to spend time with the baby, but somehow the time was never right. That’s when I decided to take the matters in my hand. I advised the nanny to leave the new parents to take care of the baby in the night time, especially once my husband was back from work. This way, my husband got some much-needed time with her new born daughter; he changed diapers, burped her, played with her tiny fingers and toes.
As kids grow up and start going to school, they spend lesser time with their father. In such a scenario, how to ensure that father spends quality time with his kids. So, in this post ways fathers can spend quality time with their kids is discussed.
In the morning, your child is bright and chirpy; take this opportunity to spend some time with her. You can help her get ready, make breakfast for her and have it together.
Ask her what she plans to do during the day, if her school bag is set, whether she has finished her school work, etc. Show her that in spite of not being there the entire time, you like to get involved in her daily life.
Whether it is a 5-minute walk to the school or a 20-minute drive, take this upon yourself to drop your child to the school. Those precious few minutes are enough for you to strengthen your bond with your child. My husband waits with our daughter at the gate till the school bus arrives. Even in the short duration, I see my daughter smiling, talking or laughing with her dad. On most days, this is the only time she gets with her father; she knows it, and hence, insists on her father dropping her to the bus.
If my husband is planning to come late in the evening (past our daughter’s bedtime), he makes it a point to call our daughter and let her know in advance. He talks to her about her day, what she would be having for dinner, whether she played with her friends, and rings off with the promise that he would see her the next morning. This makes her feel special and cared for, while on the other hand, my husband comes to know a bit about our daughter’s day.
Kids love to hear stories. Fathers can include storytelling session in their night time routine. As a young child, I remember my father to be a very busy man. He was setting up his own business, and that took up quite a lot of his time. However, he made it a point to tell me stories every night – from Alibaba and 40 thieves to moral stories from Panchtantra, Vikram-Betal and stories from Mahabharata and Ramayana. Today, I narrate a lot of these stories to my daughter, and thank my father for the story bank that he helped me build.
Most fathers won’t know who is their child’s class teacher or would have never met her. Make it a point to attend the school open house to interact with your child’s teachers and get some insights into your child’s performance and personality. Furthermore, attend the Sport’s Day or the School’s Annual Day to not only cheer for your child, but also to prove to her that you care.
So, you are extremely busy over the week and don’t meet your kids on most school nights. Well, it’s a shocking but grim reality in most metropolis in India. But, you can always make up for the lost time and opportunity on the weekends. Plan a picnic, prepare a meal together, visit a restaurant, catch a movie at the theatre, go for walks with your child or take her to the park. Don’t want to do run of the mill stuff? There are various weekend events that include nature trails, hiking, cycling, etc. Choose one that suits yours and your child’s interest and go for it!
Always remember, your kids do not ask for money or expensive gifts, all they want is your time, love and affection. So, make conscious efforts to be available for your children.
Anshu Bhojnagarwala is a mommy blogger whose parenting blog - First Time Mommy is featured as top 10 parenting blogs by BabyChakra. She is mother to a talkative and equally cute 6-year old, Aanya. Anshu shares her sweet and sometimes tart experiences of motherhood in her blog. She believes in the power of homemade food and clean eating, and spreads awareness through her blog.