Do men inevitably turn into their dads? - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 16 May 2020

Do men inevitably turn into their dads?

This week my DM was full!
I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong because I had neither won the lottery nor shared nudes.
I peeped cautiously and realised the DMs were feedback from last week's article and men! wasn't it overwhelming!
The most memorable one was by this gentleman we will call Mkulima Hodari, who had two pregnancy scares, from two side flings, the month before his wedding to his now-wife.
As soon as he found out that they weren't pregnant, he blocked them on all platforms because he didn't want to risk again, and there was also the small fact that none of them knew he was getting married. Small details.
Most of the chats drove to a predictable conclusion. Money aside, all of us were scared of fatherhood because of the relationships we had with our dads.
If we were to have an honest conversation face to face, I would see their furrowed brows and sudden shift in body position with their eyes diverted.
It took me back to one of the best movies I've watched about Black dads. Here, actor Denzel Washington plays a working-class father who ekes out a living collecting garbage as he takes us through a rollercoaster of emotions through his phases as a father and a husband. The movie's end mirrors our real life.
In our era, most men feel that their children have abandoned them and only take care of their mothers. They are at a loss as to what went wrong.
Most of the men in the DMs had respectful but distant relationships with their fathers. All their relationships with their fathers got better with time but they never got past the odd handshake.
They all knew that their fathers loved them but their relationships never got beyond a certain point. I had a complicated relationship with my old man.
Complex being used to cover a host of ups and downs even though deep down I knew he loved me.
We became friends as adults. Before that, there was an impenetrable wall and as a man, I realised that my father was human, with flaws and all.
I realise now that he was just trying to figure life and fatherhood out but I know that there were things that he should have done better on and should have been more accountable.
But here's the thing, my dad's gone. No accountability will suffice nor will any apologies see the light of day.
For most people whose dads are alive, the apologies may never come. That's the reality. The discussion then should move to how we are planning to change this script.
The harsh reality check is that while my feelings are valid, what is my end game? You're a grown man and while you're afraid to have kids one day and if you're not careful, you'll turn into your dad.
We can only blame our fathers for so long before realising that we're adults and it's up to us to take full responsibility for our healing. We need to make decisions about the kinds of father we will be and be ready to be held accountable.
How was your relationship with your father? How is your relationship with your son? Can you see parts of yourself that you don't like that look eerily similar to parts of your father that you didn't like? What are you doing about it?

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