To the hero without a cape
It’s Fathers’ Day. With renditions of “My Daddy strongest” and unapologetic Dad jokes doing the rounds, it’s yet another day to celebrate these individuals who aren’t really given as much credit as they deserve for their contributions to raising a family.
We asked some of our iQuanti dads their thoughts on whether fatherhood, according to them, had evolved over the years. And how the last two years and the work-from-home situation had affected their ideas of what a working dad’s contributions to his child’s development should be. Here’s what they said:
“iQuanti is the cumulation of all the values my dad taught me. He was a stats major and a data-driven person if there was one. He taught me math and I made a livelihood out of it. But there was also a lot of fun with Dad beyond math. We would head out on Sunday mornings to catch morning shows of old Hollywood flicks. I learnt a lot about the world from him as I peppered him with questions on the way back.
Rhea and I now often head out on weekend mornings to see museums—we used to do Museum of Natural History when she was young and have now graduated to Museum of Modern Art. I hope she can learn the same affection for life and learning as I got from my dad. I started iQuanti when Rhea was 11. So both iQuanti and Rhea grew up the same time and share the attributes I love about both of them—openness, entrepreneurship, and playfulness.”
“The perception of fatherhood has changed through the years. I grew up in a traditional middle-class American family; my father worked in a family business while my mother stayed home with my siblings and me. Fatherhood today is more often expressed in different ways: both parents working, single fathers, stepfathers, two fathers, etc.
The pandemic forced many of us to adjust our established household roles. However, despite the changes in the roles of fathers, the essence of being a father hasn’t changed. Ultimately, it’s his job to help his children become healthy, responsible adults. I strive to provide the right mix of pushing and supporting, grounded in love.
I’ve learned that 1) Kids watch and absorb everything! Be a role model, but authentically. They sniff out falsity. 2) Every father is human and imperfect. Forgive yourself and hope your children forgive your mistakes. 3) In many cases, fathers are not the sole parent. Partnership, communication, and alignment are essential.”
“Both my parents needed to work, but my wife is a stay-at-home mom, so we’re fortunate that way. Fatherhood has certainly evolved in that today dads want to be much more present and affectionate with their kids, using words of affirmation or by simply being present. But there’s also a huge pressure of being a dad in our society, and often we get no recognition for our contributions.
Balancing being successful, a good husband, and a good dad is difficult in any situation. I’ve been working from home for most of my career, and I’m thankful that’s given me an opportunity to be around. But I doff my hat to every father, regardless of whether he goes into office or is working from home; sometimes, it’s a challenge to be present when you’re trying to balance everything including time for yourself, which is often overlooked.”
“I remember my father drove 18-wheeler trucks from NY to DC, and I wouldn’t see him for days. Now, priorities are to be present for your family and kids. Working at iQuanti lets me be present for my family. Earlier, I got home barely in time to put my kids to bed. Now, with defined work hours and space, I get home to not only eat dinner, but also cook it and then get my kids ready and to school and back.
So, while I think fatherhood has evolved, there shouldn’t be distinctions between moms and dad when raising a family. Each has their own skills and contributions. I hope my increased presence lets my children understand how important it is to have around you those who support you. 4
“We were blessed with our daughter ’Shakti’ during the peak of COVID. With travel restrictions, no one from either family could support us; it was challenging. I think mothers still have a disproportionate amount of work while taking care of a child, but the work-from-home situation during the pandemic gave me a chance to help out my wife.
She and I worked tirelessly as a team, which brought us even closer and made us really confident about our parenting abilities. What’s more, I got to watch Shakti growing up. This has been one of our most fulfilling experiences as a couple.”
“Parenting has always been demanding. It’s just that the challenges have changed over time. Our parents didn’t have the convenience we have today, like online deliveries and information available on the Internet, but on the other hand they had a usually strong support system to raise kids owing to joint families.
The happenings of the last 2 years have been unfortunate on a lot of fronts. But it has been a blessing in disguise for me. I became a hands-on father and did not miss my baby’s small but significant milestones like the first laugh, the first crawl, or even the first tantrum!”
“Fatherhood has evolved since I was a kid. My dad’s primary focus was on providing food, shelter, and plenty of spanking to just to make sure we stayed out of jail – and it worked. I spend so much time addressing the emotional needs of my kids. I wonder if I am helping them become well-adjusted or just soft.
Our youngest daughter was born during the pandemic. WFH as she grew made me realize just how much I missed in the first 2 years of my twin’s lives while I was spending long hours at the office. I work just as much (if not more) now but I also get to experience those magic moments.“