The women’s majlis: Let’s hear it for all of the fathers

I am my father’s daughter. My father is my hero and truly one of my best friends. He has shaped me in so many ways.

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I am my father’s daughter. My father is my hero and truly one of my best friends. My father’s humour, language and interactions with people are what I believe shaped me into the person I am today. He has shaped me in so many ways. I find today that I use and pass on many of his teachings and habits in some way.

He always wanted me to be able to stand on my own two feet and not depend on anyone else. He worked hard to ensure I had the chance to study abroad and experience many of this world’s delights. He always encouraged me to travel the world and experience cultures and traditions.

There were no secrets ­between my father and me. If I asked, he would tell me. If he asked, I had to tell him. Now, I’m a mother to two boys, but I’m still his baby daughter. His importance in my life is what drives me to ensure my boys know the importance of their father.

Without my husband, my son would have never been exposed to the endless outdoor activities he participates in, or learn to manage other tasks, such as problem-solving. My husband is always appreciating, rewarding or even treating our children in ways I don’t or haven’t. He brings life to the family and children.

While it’s true there’s no “perfection” in the way we parent, and many of us have flaws, it’s those experiences that shape us. We try our best. Families will always have struggles. I was once told that 86 per cent of parents today parent differently than the way they were parented. I took that to mean we took on the positive things from our childhoods and left behind those that weren’t, then added to them or adjusted things.

Today, I feel my interaction with people and my communication skills are the result of my father’s teachings. He taught me to always try my best; to question, to reason and to always make a case for anything I wanted. This taught me to negotiate and it also taught me there’s no harm in asking. I will never know unless I ask, so ask away, he would say.

My husband taught me to not expect – when one expects and doesn’t receive, they feel let down, which can be hurtful. I did expect a lot and when I gave and didn’t receive, it hurt. But a blend of their teachings has taught me to have thicker skin.

The men in our lives should not be underappreciated. I need mine. ­Father’s Day is only a couple of months away, and I feel it has been downplayed in comparison to Mother’s Day. So why don’t we change that this year? Appreciate our fathers and our children’s fathers – for their value, their love, their support and their pure awesomeness. In the end, I am my father’s daughter.

Khawla Saleh is employed full-time and a mother-of-two. She’s currently in the final year of a doctorate in child public health.

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