They are often called the Haligi ng Tahanan, and that shows that fatherhood is really one tough job. They are expected to show strength even at the toughest times, be a sturdy guide through life’s challenges, and be the shoulder to lean on when things get really rough. Of course, they have to show a softer side, too: they are often playmates, self-defense teachers, and a fair sumbungan ng bayan if a sibling has done wrong.
Since men don’t really grab the phone to gripe and grouse to their buddies the way we women do, we asked them to speak out, spill their secrets, and get all mushy about their role in our lives since it’s, after all, Father’s Day. We talked to four fathers at different stages of fatherhood, to tell us their challenges and dreams for their offspring.
John Aaron Marifosque Mechanical Engineer/Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Professional Son: James Cassey, 10-months old
Classic delivery room basket-case: My wife had to undergo emergency CS delivery because her water bag was leaking. I was alone at the visitor's lounge the whole time, standing on a corner, anxiously waiting for the door to open. After what felt like hours of agony, the door opened and the pediatrician informed me that our baby was already at the nursery. Without a word, I went to the viewing window and saw my son for the first time.
I felt like my chest was going to explode, no words came out of my mouth and my eyes were almost teary. I was so focused on our son that it took several minutes for me to notice that the nurses have mistakenly put a label in my son's crib. The label was "Baby GIRL Marifosque". After a few minutes, the OB-Gyne came out and informed me that my wife was fine. That’s when I realized, I was so happy to see our son that I totally forgot to ask about my wife's condition!
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New-daddy challenges: After I saw my son for the first time, reality struck me and I asked myself, "I now have to take care of this baby but how am I gonna do it?" The only live creature I had to take care of in my entire life was an animal and it was inside an aquarium.
I was really worried that I might drop our baby or break his bones when I needed to carry him. We didn't have a babysitter -- I had to take care of our son, feed him, change his diapers and carry him until he fell asleep. I also needed to attend to my wife, who was still sore from the operation. I never thought I could do it, but I guess the cliche is right; ”When a child is born, a parent is born, too". I just acted on my parental instincts and I was glad I've been able to do my responsibilities to my wife and our son.