Usually, whenever a woman gets pregnant she gets thrown a baby shower party by her close friends to celebrate her and welcome her to motherhood. Long ago, baby showers were strictly for women only. Meaning, men were forbidden to attend. This gave women a chance to speak freely to the expecting mother about the expectations of motherhood and being a parent.
During these parties, the expecting mother will be told, without censorship, the things she will be facing in parenthood and motherhood and how to overcome them. Noting most importantly, though, she will be told these things not to scare her off, but, rather, to help ease her way into this new stage in her life. Then, after the serious talks, it would be celebration time. The expecting mother will then be showered with simple but cute gifts, like clothes for the baby and fresh new towels, and they will all then play games, take photos and be merry.
See, I love this practice. I think it helps to prepare the inexperienced expecting mother on how to tackle any obstacle that may happen in this new, scary stage in her lives. An expecting mother will now know how to fold a dirty napkin when the baby has messed it up. She will now know what to do when the baby suddenly cries in the middle of the night unprovoked: maybe she ought to breastfeed it, coo it, or change its sleeping position. The anxiety will be lifted as a result, and the expecting mother, after the Baby Shower, will not only be equipped to be a mother, but she will also be ready to mother the baby with all the love and care she possesses.
So, what about the men? Why are they not trained for fatherhood? Is it because, unlike the women who need preparations first, the men are automatically ready to tackle this next challenging stage of their lives? I think not! Although there are many ceremonies for men when they advance to fatherhood, theirs are not as intimate as the women’s ones are, making them insignificant. Men go to bars, taverns and just get drunk, but without actually getting to talk about what it means to be a father and what it takes to be a husband during these new trying times.
Fathers just get a few pats on their backs, a few not-so-tight hugs from half-drunk friends, play a few games of pool, and that’s it. It is over! That’s why, I believe, you find that many relationships end right after the arrival of the new baby. Having a new addition in the relationships could strain any couple. The couple won’t spend their quality time in the same manner they used to before, when it was just the two of them, because they now have to adjust everything in order to accommodate the new baby. So, without a proper support system, preparation and alteration to their regular schedule, the couple is bound to break up.
Men should speak. Alcohol must be set aside for a while, and they must talk soberly about the journey ahead. Putting family first, prioritising your baby, being a role model to your child, and, most importantly, supporting your baby mama and your baby in this trying journey, should all be emphasised in our own talks. Your baby mama isn’t the one only who should be reminding you to buy your baby some formula and napkins while you are drinking with amajita. She shouldn’t remind you to be there for your baby.
When both sides are contributing, the society will be better, and the family structure will be strengthened. Women will not be expected to pull the weight alone because, since parenting is a lifetime partnership between a man and a woman, they shouldn’t in the first place.
If I, myself, happen to impregnate a girl in the future, I certainly expect my close friends to throw me a baby shower. We will call it Fatherhood Party. Of course, our party will be different from the ones that women throw, but what won’t be so different is the time we as men will spend talking. We will talk about everything. And, of course, it’s not like men mustn’t celebrate fatherhood anyway. They should. So what would stop me from celebrating that new stage in my life?
Tell us: Do you agree that fathers should have a ‘Fatherhood Party’?