BEING THE NEW-AGE DADDY COOL!by Monojit Lahiri October 8 2023, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 57 secs
Monojit Lahiri traces the evolution of this creature from the one-dimensional pitashree to the hands-on Daddy cool!
In the award-winning movie, Kramer vs Kramer, Dustin Hoffman famously said, "What law is it that says a woman is a better parent simply by virtue of her sex?" Today, the preferred 'new man' is no longer the likes of the macho men like Sylvester Stallone and his ilk, but those who can play the role of a mother to their children without any qualms.
Young women, today, are increasingly getting turned off by things that are considered to be traditionally male qualities and are turning to those who are more caring, sensitive, understanding and sharing. The common feeling is that men who have a "feminine" side and are not afraid to project it, when required, are perceived as sexy and desirable.
However, not everyone is impressed by this trend. "Let's face it," argues an agitated elderly lady, "Mars is Mars and Venus is Venus and the two can never meet! All this big talk of men playing mom is hogwash! The genes of a man don't have what it takes to be a good mother. This talk about a stable job, solid support system and strong character makes no sense at all - will he be able to understand the working of a child's mind when she’s got the blues? And God help him, when a young girl is approaching the 'period' age! She needs a mom to navigate her!"
While not all find it agreeable, today's fathers see themselves as more involved and nurturing. They are cool, confident and comfortable in rocking the cradle and challenging the antiquated, socially-propelled rules that power the stereotypes. They are all for the new-age mindset that calls for hands-on parenting.
In fact, many corporate organizations are now slowly beginning to factor this into their policies by offering men paternity leave. For instance, Deloitte Consulting says that they are an "equal opportunities partner." IBM is another organization that offers paternity leave to all of its employees, irrespective of their position or designation. It entitles them to avail their leave within 120 days of their child's birth or adoption. Some of the executives who took the opportunity reveal that the paternity leave has helped them take their over-stressed minds off work and relax, while some have revealed that the leave helped them in bonding with their families.
However, like new mothers, it was recently discovered that new fathers can also suffer from postpartum depression. In an exhaustive study done by Dr Paul Ramchandani, an eminent psychiatrist at Imperial College London, it was found that at least four percent of fathers have clinically significant depressive symptoms within eight weeks of the birth of their child. He believes that high excitement and anticipation of being a father did not seem to take into account what a life-transforming event it could be.
New fathers can be tormented by a range of new-age insecurities such as, what kind of father will I be? Will I be able to cope? Can I support the family in the same way?' There is also a definite drop in hormonal rush and this is perhaps a way to make them less aggressive and more soft, gentle and better inclined towards family bonding.
Whatever the case may be, the new-age dad as a more involved parent in the child-rearing process is commendable and refreshing. With many celeb parents like Ashton Kutcher having led the brigade, it is a significant step forward in today's parenting.