Before being in a one-parent household and having to become more responsible for each-other's well being, taking care of the kids was primarily mom and dad's job as I am sure it was in most households.
Both my parents worked so taking care of the bills was a shared responsibility but when it came to actually being hands on with physically caring for my brother and sister, I only remember it being primarily my mom's responsibility. Everything from cooking meals to overnight stays at the hospital, giving baths and making sure drugs were administered when due was all mom. I'm not saying my dad did absolutely nothing at all in this regard, all I'm saying is that I do not remember it being otherwise. When they got separated and divorced, for sure it was all on my mom's shoulders, even the financial aspects of it. Don't ask me why that was!
Fathers can absolutely do more than just be financially responsible when taking care of children with sickle cell or dealing with any other health issues. In Africa and perhaps around the world, it is always seen primarily as the mother's duty to care for the children at home while the father goes out to make money even if she also has a job or runs a business. That may have been how things worked in the past but should certainly not be so today. Even when there are no health issues to fuss over, a father's role in the lives of his children is not be taken for granted. A father is his son's first hero and his daughter's first love so he must be extremely mindful about not doing things that would disrupt or distort this image his children have of him. How he takes care of his spouse, runs his household and raises his kids in partnership with their mother are all very crucial aspects of being a dad that can't be ignored.
Health practitioners are also now intentional about working with fathers in their involvement with the health and development of their children; for both residential and non-residential fathers. The importance of this is reflected across a child's mental, physical and emotional development. Even though it is the general belief that men would rather channel their emotions into wanting to fix the problem rather than wear their feelings on their sleeves, men are actually more emotional than they let on. For the fathers who stay present for their families emotionally and financially, please know that you are recognized and appreciated by me, your communities and I'm sure your loved ones. If you find on the other hand that as a father with children living with health issues, you are unable to (or find it challenging to) be the source of strength your spouse and children need, please consider these factors:
1. Your partner needs to see and feel your support in every way possible. It is just as hard for her as it is for you and it is important that you both go through things together as a unit.
2. Your children need to feel that your love for them is not altered or different because of their condition otherwise it could impede the process of recovery or in the case of SCD, management of their condition.
3. If for any reason you are unable to be physically present with your children, always make certain to re-assure them of your love and devotion to them. Let them know that your absence has nothing to do with their illness and as soon as you are able to, you will be with them in person.
Children need to feel love from both parents at all times and not just when they are sick. It fosters academic achievement, emotional wellbeing and behavorial adjustment whether both parents are in one or separate households.
Welcome to a brand new week guys and let us all remamber to send prayers, support and best wishes any way we can to all survivors of breast cancer and to those currently battling it as we speak this Breast Cancer Awareness month.👭
Always Love 💖