When you fall in love you feel good. You feel loved and you dream about living happily ever after with your knight in shining amour or the sleeping beauty you kissed to life. You tell all your friends that you have finally found magic in your partner’s eyes. You tell everyone who loves you and who is happy about your new found happiness that you have found Mr Right and you want to get married.
And you make love. Have wonderful, glorious sex. And the condom breaks or, after little or no convincing, you decide not to use protection. A month or two later you realize you are pregnant. This comes as a shock for many women, even after having unprotected sex. You cry yourself senseless and your loved ones become concerned as you retreat and withdraw away from them. The guys find comfort in the beers. They drink as many beers as they can afford as if they are saying good bye to alcohol, which they won’t be able to afford in the near future as all the money will go towards the baby….buying nappies and stuff. And then viola, one of those genius friends that rarely come your way realizes that you are in a dilemma and advises you to bail out. They tell you about this other guy who ran out on his baby mama while she was three months pregnant and didn’t have to worry about nappies no more.
So you decide to take your dumb buddy’s advice and bail out on your scared and pregnant girlfriend. She doesn’t want to go for an abortion because she wants to keep the baby. Nine months later you find yourself at the Magistrates court. Five years later, you are a disgruntled fellow who can’t stop telling other guys that women are trading with their kids at the maintenance courts.
Is it fair for a 20 year old girl who is impregnated by her school mate to drop out from school while the boy continues with his studies? Why should the girl bear the burden of parenthood alone? So this guy goes on to finish school and later gets a cushy job. All he does is buy candy and chips for the child, menial things that don’t contribute much to the child’s well being. Once again, the mother has to play the devil and approach the courts to compel the guy to pay monthly maintenance fees. The court orders the guy to pay a mere P400 every month. There is no consideration for the sleepless nights, the PTSD, the dark days that come with taking care of another human being, the clothes, the expensive nappies, the birthday parties…all the rigors of raising a child. The school fees, the combi fares to and from “sekale” and the school will never compare to the meager P400 the guy has to part with once a month. The truth is the guy spends far much more than that P400 on entertainment, wining and dining other ladies.
It would be nice if guys could man up and take care of their children. Maybe they should just reminisce and think about the days when things were rosy, when they were in love. American media recently carried a story about a man who left a child in a car for more than seven hours until the child died. Ross Harris said he forgot about his 22-month-old son, Cooper, who was strapped in the car seat. Some claim it was an accident. Others say it’s easy to forget a child in the car when you have to deal with a busy schedule or stress. Activists are running the world into a deep dark hole. Closer to home a woman recently killed her one year old and three year old before killing herself. And this is not a once in a lifetime incident. Let’s take care of our children.