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Shared parenthood

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Dr. Sheikh Arshid Ahmad
When my first child, Sheikh Mohammad Darim, was born, I was filled with beautiful moments, which meant that, I was enlisted in one of my favourite memories. First four days we both better half and me spent them beautifully but sometimes, when I saw she was exhausted I would try to help out by showing her newborn off to bed. Patting head and was encouraging her “Don’t worry,” you have a joyful moment.”
I would start taking excessive care of both better half and newborn and working to comfort her and before long birth of newborn gives a sense of shouldering new responsibilities as a father. I was running down the stairs at least ten to fifteen times a day during our stay at the hospital.
I was in urgency and I saw that my better half as a prim parity said, “What are you doing O, my baby!” It was as if she just had to know exactly what was going on and what she could do to see around her. I also wanted to know the chance of becoming the father and the chance which I was given by Almighty Allah. I needed the time and space to work it out as a responsible and lovable father.
What I didn’t realise before my newborn how it could be important in my life and I perceived a bit from my better half’s behaviour was much more about to know how it is important to be a father. I didn’t understand the pressure after the marriage as it crosses now two and half years and instantly I came to know how to become a competent father. The intense need of newborn has brought up in me an order from the drastically altered world.
However, I think where to start as reasonable and responsible father, while my better half has done in a pretty way as she got a direct line to her baby. A father’s connection is important out of mother’s norms and I went all along through the language of the my better half (as a mother) and in the beginning, the father-infant relationship can never totally exclude all the world phenomenon.
When I start to build a strong and lovable relationship with the baby, I must remember that it develops only within the context of the mother-baby relationship. I came to know that it was out of my control but newborn baby’s mother helps me to accomplish all this relationship.
There, in the society when we needn’t to think about the gender roles. This is clearly divided and babies were seen by everyone as social anomalies especially in the territory of mother. But now, fathers have tried hard to invade that territory and wrong notion cropped into the mind of fools and in our culture, now-a-days most of fathers want to be and are expected to be involved with their babies of every gender. That’s good, but we should keep in mind that some of the realities from the past still hold true today.
In the modern educational era, women are excellent socially and biologically programmed to be good parents much more strongly than men are. Mothers expect to be “in charge” of babies of every gender and in most families, they assume that role early on. When a father moves in to pick up the baby, he’s moving into a new world of having responsibility.
As a father, the first thing to recognise is the intense nature of her relationship with the child. The baby is love, falling in love with the baby is dire responsibility. Clearly it is not exactly how to start loving a baby, but the emotional intensity and the blood relationship help in clearing the path to love the newborn.
Observant fathers pick up on this responsibility and quickly get a sense of developing relationships. This is a good thing the emerging mother-baby relationship needs to be supported as mother is treated as confidential and pre-schooling lap, in between fathers can play an important role in fathering the baby and taking every kind of responsibility to ensure that the newborn must be socially, emotional, ethically and mentally strong. This is when a father can become an “intruder” if he doesn’t watch his step in fathering the baby.
In few days ‘encounters I learnt a lot (although I didn’t fully understand) that the relationship between my better half and our baby was probably crucial and emotion based. The mind and body of all family members are intimately connected. That kind of physical response, combined with the strong emotional connection, means that most mothers respond to a baby’s distress more quickly and strongly than fathers. That’s what crying babies calm down in the lap of mother than any member of the family. If her baby was in distress, she was in distress. Every kind of action is quickly responded by her whatever the baby is importantly doing.
The mother was right to respond to those cues. But, at the same time, I also learnt how to comfort the baby. This dynamic relationship plays out a little differently in each family. It requires an adroit balance: father must patiently persist in establishing his own connection with his child, while at the same time supporting and respecting his partner’s relationship with the baby.
I feel the responsibility of father that with a new baby, there are two essential tasks: taking care of him and getting to know him. Looking after babies involves relatively simple skills. You need to feed them, interact with them, comfort them when they’re upset, keep them reasonably clean and give them a safe, comfortable place to sleep.
Mind you, the skills may not seem so simple the first time you’re confronted with a little mass of waving arms and saying lovely words. Most importantly use ethical kind of words in maintaining the upbringing of the new with integrity of moral values and aspirations. However, baby care is easily learned by almost anyone who is willing to (or has to) get in there and do it but maintaining the right kind connection purely based on morality concerns.
In fact, the two are interdependent: You get to know your baby partly by handling and caring for him. At the same time, knowing him makes you more attentive, which enables you to better understand and respond to his needs. And all of this helps you to bridge a bond with your baby.
To be involved in caring of the baby the father does not need to do too many big things. The small things that a father can be engaged with in caring the baby are sufficient to have a positive influence upon the child and his development, while also ensuring that the mother feels supported as well.
Something as simple as providing help in changing diapers or being involved in holding the child or playing with him or watching over him can go a long way in ensuring that a father is an active participant. Frequently fathers may shy away from a task such as changing diapers as it seems to be a messy process. However, it is perhaps one of the easier things that can be done by a father and does not take much time either.
The children are a gift from Allah (swt) and Allah says in Quran “Wealth and children are the adornments of the life of this world.” – [Surah Al-Kahf, Chap18 Verse 46]. The best gift we can give to our children is a proper upbringing. Parenting really is the hardest job ever. So what effective approach can parents follow in upbringing the children who can be successful in this world and next?
I realized that Islam has provided some wonderful guidelines for parents in order to raise our children.
“Play with them for the first seven years (of their life); then teach them for the next seven years; then advise them for the next seven years (and after that).”– Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).
To be a successful father may Allah help me in guiding my newborn as per the guidelines of Quran and Prophet Mohammad (SAW). Ameen!
(The author is a scholar and hails from Kuchmullah Tral)


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