A father changing his son's clothes is nothing special, Sharmila Faruqi tells Iqra Aziz

A father changing his son's clothes is nothing special, Sharmila Faruqi tells Iqra Aziz

We need to stop celebrating men doing the bare minimum when it comes to raising their own children.
04 Sep, 2021

Instagram is a place where we celebrate personal success and achievements — both large and sometimes very, very small — and often see other people's posts and sigh in reluctant jealously. Well, that isn't the case for Pakistan Peoples Party leader Sharmila Faruqi who isn't having any celebration of the bare minimum.

She commented recently on a post by actor Iqra Aziz and made that clear.

Aziz posted a picture of her husband Yasir Hussain changing their newborn son Kabir on Instagram.

"A pamper and clothing change session before leaving for work," she wrote. "PS he changed Kabir’s clothes for the first time, I am so proud of you Yasir Hussain, you’ve helped me so much in this new phase of my motherhood from pamper changes to holding him while I rest for a bit, and making me breakfasts," she wrote.

And while all of that is very lovely, it didn't really impress Faruqi, who is also a mother.

"I’m so glad your husband is hands on but it’s nothing to be proud of or anything special. All good, involved fathers do this for their kids. My husband bathes, changes diapers, feeds and takes our son for his pre-school if I’m at work or unwell. And he loves it," she wrote.

We understand what she's trying to say. Parenting is a job for two people, not just the mother. In our society, fathers often take the backseat when it comes to the actual parenting bit, therefore when a father does step up, it's seen more as help, not a shared responsibility. But if it takes two people to bring a child into the world, the responsibility for raising and caring for the child should also be shouldered by two people.

Changing a diaper isn't a revolutionary act, nor should it be seen as such. As Faruqi pointed out, all good and involved fathers do this for their kids. They don't deserve a pat on the back anymore than mothers do for raising their children.

While we're glad Yasir Hussain is also taking responsibility for raising his child, that's the bare minimum. Instead of praising fathers doing one of the thousand things mothers do for their children every day, perhaps we should start normalising fathers taking a more active role in rearing their children. That goes for all father, not just actors.