hildren are sacred gifts from Above; a gift that one cannot seem to phantom what he or she did before being handed such a wonderful present – a baby boy, a girl, twins, Triplet, quadruplet, etc. Either rich or poor, black or white, enlightened or stack illiterate, this gift comes at no cost to having it except in some cases where there is a dysfunction in the reproductive system of one or both partners. But, the cost of raising these gifts varies from one community to another.
Raising a child is a deliberate effort that must and should be embarked upon by two individuals (usually a couple) who are bound by marriage and/or any form of agreement/consent (that is, a man and a woman living together as lovers). The latter, in most cases, poses a threat to the psychic of a child because when such an infant grows up, he or she might not believe in the institution called marriage since he/she was raised by couples who were never married.
Have you ever wondered why Mother’s Day around the world is notable and widely celebrated more than Father’s Day? In a Forbes article, data comparing Mother’s Day with Father’s Day spending patterns were revealed. It was revealed that Americans spend $168 on their mothers on average, compared to $120 on their fathers. That is a difference of 40%!
As a family man, you might feel offended by the statistic above. But, hey! Whether you like it or not, the fact that fathers come in second to mothers makes a lot of sense evolutionarily.
Fertilization occurs internally in most mammals like us—inside the female, whose body takes care of the fertilized zygote from the start. The fact that conception occurs inside the female creates an interesting parenting asymmetry right away. The following colloquialism nicely summarizes this asymmetry:
“Mummy’s baby, Daddy’s maybe.”
That is correct. Women could be confident that any babies they gave birth to were, in fact, their babies over the vast majority of human evolutionary history (with a few outliers due to very recent biomedical advancements).
Contrarily, men, have not received the same level of parental confidence. Because it is conceivable for a woman to have numerous male partners throughout her reproductive period, it is very likely that she will give birth to a child who is not her husband’s biological child.
Infants are born in a state in which they require a great deal of assistance. Because human infants are not particularly mobile, they have a specific desire to be picked up early in life. Mothers are far more likely than fathers to hold their children. Everywhere. As a result, the partner who carries the child the most tends to form a stronger attachment with the child than the partner who carries the child the least.
Mothers spend more time with their children than fathers all across the world. Because the seed of love grows upon the quality of time spent with the person being loved, the infant develops greater bonding, love, care, and affection for the mother in this way.
A good discussion is the foundation of a healthy relationship and is where it all begins. Men are always viewed as polite and silent (so it seems; I guess that is why they call every male adult a “gentleman”), whilst women are known to be good at chatting by nature. Mothers talk to their children more because they spend more time with them. The chances of a youngster expressing his or her thoughts, feelings, worries, and challenges to his or her mother are far greater than those of the father.
When it comes to caring for a child, mothers do not get a day off. Mothers wake up even in the middle of the night to console a crying newborn by feeding him or her, rocking the cradle, or singing lullabies to him or her. Not that fathers do not do so, but in today’s society, the father is always at work. And by the time he returns, he is too tired to be waking up in the middle of the night to care for his child.
Women by nature are caregivers. They are known to be more caring and loving than the men folks. And, basically, this is what a child truly needs as an infant to grow and develop into a responsible fellow in the society.
In this vein, I read a statement online from a man online which struck my attention and it goes thus: “Like many fathers, I am the fun parent, not the comfort parent. When my four-year-old wants to play outside, he calls my name. I’m his first choice for games and activities, and I’m proud of it. But when he scrapes his knee, or gets scared, or wakes up in the middle of the night, he wants Mommy”. He continues, “If my son needs comfort, his father is his second choice”.
This is a pretty typical experience, and it probably comes down to gender norms. Generally speaking, fathers are more invested in preventing harm in the first place than comforting children in the aftermath, researchers have found. And children, as they age, become less comfortable showing weakness around, and opening up to, their fathers. Meanwhile, their relationships with their mothers grow stronger. And, when a child is in need of comfort, the mother is the first person who comes to mind, whereas the father is always a distant second.
When mothers console their infants, they are primarily concerned with the infant’s immediate distress. It is possible that fathers are more concerned with preventing future problems. The majority of nocturnal baby caring is done by mothers. Mothers’ feeding roles, on the other hand, may play a significant impact in their ability to deliver or engage in other nocturnal caregiving responsibilities. The purpose of a father’s nocturnal caregiving could be to ensure household safety and provide the best possible care for his family. But, what the child sees, knows and is concerned about is the NOW, part of the reasons the mother comes first in the life of a child.
Moms, like all creatures, have the ability to go against nature if they so choose, and some of them just have abnormal wiring that prevents them from building these attachments, but the majority of mothers, even if they wanted to, are unable to do so. It is what allows a mother to remain by her child till the end, even if that child has committed horrific atrocities; it is (typically) what allows a mother to keep time schedules, suffer bodily and emotional anguish, and demonstrate endurance even greater than a wounded desert soldier for her child. And, all of these is an innate ability of mothers that further bonds them to their offspring.
From the market to the office, women are still seen as having a “unique link” with their children more than the men.
But, in comparison to moms, how competent are fathers at knowing their children’s needs? One study looked at mothers and fathers’ capacity to distinguish their own infant’s cries from those of others, and found that it was directly related to the amount of time they spent with the baby — not their sex. Hearing child screams seems to change dads’ hormone levels, and hormone levels influence how they respond to the sounds, according to another research.
We also know that, while there are some slight differences in how mothers and fathers show awareness of their infants’ ideas and motivations, the level to which they do so is determined by the child’s relationship/security they develop with either parent later on as they grow older.
Although additional research is needed, the evidence thus far suggests that the claim that biological mothers have a stronger attachment with their children than other parents is difficult to prove. Because antenatal bonding, experiences, hormones, and even our own childhoods all interact to shape parent-child interactions, trying to ascribe the strength of these relationships on sex differences makes little sense.
We do not yet know everything about what makes parent-child relationships work, but being aware of the child’s experience and recognizing and reacting to a child’s needs in a sensitive manner appears to be a good starting point.