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Usually, very few social media post attracts my attention but, today, Esiri Ukueku-Uduaghan posted the following on her facebook wall:

“There is no such thing as good MOTHERING SKILLS.

Apart from the task of breast feeding all that is termed mothering skills can be executed perfectly well by a father.

Mothering skills = Fathering skills= Parenting skills.

That term “Mothering skills” has been used by patriarchy to confine women to the kitchen, living room, other room and child care duties.

Good Morning residents of zuckerville

#sips coffee# “

After a few back and forth reactions from her friends, Esiri Ukueku-Uduaghan reiterated her earlier assertions as follow:

“Mothering skills = fathering skills.. there is no exclusivity of such skill

Except for breastfeeding, whatsoever a mother can do for her child, a father can, has done and is doing it somewhere today.

Read with Understanding..else you go off tangent”

Having read with understanding as she instructed, and having closely monitored her response to other comments, i was intrigued and forced to posit the following:

Abraham Idokoko Abraham Nice one, @Esiri Ukueku-Uduaghan….lol 😃

First, many statements in your post are in absolutely terms. Secondly, you seem to be subtly coercing every opposing view to either agree with you or be chastised.

Well, in my view, if you wanted to promote the extension of the liberal ideologies of gender equality to the sacred business of child rearing then, you should subscribe to the relativity paradigm of liberalism. Your views cannot be absolute.

Now, let’s take a look at your statements above:

1. If there is no such thing as good mothering skills. And if mothering skills are exactly equal to fathering skills. Then, you have implied that there should be no such thing as mothers or fathers, because they are the same and equivalent. It is from the perceived understanding that mothers and fathers exist and that they differ somewhat in their capabilities and roles that the ideas of mothering and fathering subsist. I hope you didn’t mean that because if you did, it means we should no longer call you a mother as opposed to being a father because the two are the same, either human (male or female) can play either role so well. So, you are just a parent, like any man, agreed??

2. Your exception of breastfeeding as a role a father cannot play is only partially correct. There is no anatomical reason to justify that claim. Both male and female have breast and have similar hormones. The female mammary glands grow bigger at puberty because of its physiological sensitivity to higher levels of certain hormones from that age. What is true is that with a few hormonal pills, any man can be made to enlarge his breast to produce milk like a woman. So, men can breastfeed too. Don’t ask me about the side effects of that. It shouldn’t matter as long as everything is about making the genders equal.

For the records, i am an apostle of justice and fairness for all humans, both men and women. Yes, what a man can, many more women have proven to do them better. No gender should be constrained to pursue their life goals of choice outside the home. But, that shouldn’t take priority over the unique responsibility each gender owes to their offspring. The liberal theories of gender equality should best be left at the workplace doors on our way home to our families. All humans were created equal but, we assume different roles to bring the diversity that makes our world beautiful. Neutralizing the diversity and uniqueness of our differing roles in family life in the name of enthroning gender equality and women empowerment will be taking liberty to the extreme.

Lastly, you are female and may possibly not appreciate the depth of the unique roles mothers play in the early life of their sons. Men who had good mothers know this very well and will strive to ensure their children get the same from their wife. It goes well beyond breastfeeding and no father can replace a good mother. It’s more instinctive than just a learnt skill. The converse is also true. #JustMyViewsThough, as usual.

As expected, my remarks were not left without response. She responded as follows:

Esiri Ukueku-Uduaghan said: “Abraham idokoko Abraham, i took time to read your lengthy response. It would be nice when you make allegations to give highlights. I haven’t coerced anyone to take my view in whole or in part. But this is a healthy debate, and if you have a dissenting view with the intention of rebutting my post, it most certainly should be one that is impenetrable. where it isn’t i will point out the flaws and where you misinterpret my post , i will clarify. If that is what you call coercing good luck to you on that. Oh yes, i do consider myself both a father and a mother, because i play both roles, i wish myself happy mothers day and happy fathers day every single year. Gay couples exist, comprising of two fathers or two mothers and are raising up healthy kids nonetheless.. so yes, I do believe the labeling of mother or father is basically for identification purposes of the sexes and not for distinguishing roles. Thirdly, I am yet to see a lactating man capable of breast feeding anywhere in the world, and so to the extent that i understand that a mans anatomy is unsuitable for this task, that remains a non option.. Fourthly, this post wasn’t about gender equality as much as it was about the capability of fathers to play motherly roles, which a lot of fathers around the world and even in this country are doing perfectly well. I insist there isn’t a single motherly skill that a father cannot exhibit, express and execute to the fullest capacity if he wishes to do so. Lastly, I am female and a mother of two wonderful sons, so unlike you i know exactly what it is I am talking about, yet as profound as my love and care for my kids are, i know for a fact that a man can deliver on this task and i have witnessed men do even much more for their kids. My post stands upon my observations and personal experience and i insist that there is nothing exclusive about mothering skills, a good and dedicated father can deliver on them, and many are as we speak. I appreciate your opinion but il have to disagree nonetheless.”

To avoid ambiguity, i made this last attempt to expound my position as follows:

Good response, Esiri Ukueku-Uduaghan!! Now you are putting your post in a clearer context by your last submission above. I deliberately left out of my comment, the two plausible context in which your assertions may be accommodated: the world of single parenthood and the reality of same-sex marriages. LGBTQI people constitute less than 5-10% of the population of the free world and single parenthood is an exception rather than the rule in our real world. So, what holds in those two scenario cannot be promoted as rule for 95% of the population. Since you consider yourself both mother and father then, we can understand where you are talking from. But, many of us do not, we are proudly fathers and our wives are proudly mothers just like our mothers were.

As for the idea of men breastfeeding their children? Aaaaah, you shouldn’t find any man doing that. Unlike women chose to believe, Men aren’t that stupid in 2017..lol. How will a sane man agree to take external hormones to do breastfeeding with all the potential consequences when he can work hard to purchase equally effective breast milk substitutes from the shops. Formula (baby milk) is much cheaper and equally effective. So, single fathers do formula milk for their children in practice!!!

And Esiri Ukueku-Uduaghan said “Abraham Idokoko Abraham and i’m fine with people being proudly whatever they are. All i’m saying is, both roles can validly over lap just fine. a man can be as nurturing as a mother, and a woman can be as protective and nurturing as a father. Gender roles exist for a reason, social conditioning and structure, however, its not impossible for them to be exchanged and executed thoroughly nonetheless. This is my point. Parenting skills can be learnt and administered by whoever. Mothers and fathers are not born with distinct parenting skills, they are made by the learning of those skills and societal conditioning.”

RoseOoohh, finally, with that last statement, Esiri and I were home with out relative view points on this topic and i had to say: “Dear Esiri Ukueku-Uduaghan, I fully understand your view points. Thanks for making us have a good discussion about this. My best regards to you and family. Cheers!!”

And Esiri Ukueku-Uduaghan said, “It was a pleasure having you on here Abraham Idokoko Abraham. Thank you.”

Hhhmmm, just when i thought i was done, Inikoro Rukevwe came by and said Abraham Idokoko Abraham, you have by far given the most mentally stimulating opinion on this issue thus far.

Thankfully, i asked Inikoro Rukevwe, to please, give all the credits to Esiri, for initiating this talk about the most wonderful of humans, WOMEN. The best among them are the ones we call “Mothers” (goes far beyond biologically birthing a child; mother Theresa is a good example).

Even in my dreams, i will refuse to accept that mothers are equal to fathers. Noo 🙅, can’t be!!!

Mothers are too unique to be made equivalent to fathers. Men can try doing mothering things like i do quite often but, they can’t truly replace the good mother.!!

For all intents and purposes, many men who do mothering things, do so, not to replace but to complement or cover-for, more often than not, gaps left by an absentee or inefficient or incapacitated or over-worked mother. This instances should remain an exception and never the rule.

I am sure Esiri Ukueku-Uduaghan is a great mother to her sons, and only they can tell if they would rather replace her with their father. An average son wouldn’t chose a father over a good mother, willingly; making mothers unique, special and irreplaceable!!!

God bless all good mothers including my dear Esiri..!!

CAVEATs:
1. My presuppositions above does not in any way preclude a father excelling in the roles and duties ascribed to mothers by nature & society. Infact, from generation to generation, no one has ever queried the mothering credentials of men..lol 😃 but, wisdom made men shield those credentials in favour of the unique bearing that mothers bring to child rearing.
2. My views above do not tolerate the oppression of women in any form, either in or outside marital relationships. Mothering is a different question from those i suppose.

However, for posterity sake, mothers must remain mothers and the uniqueness of mothering must be promoted, protected and perpetuated. Over and out!!!

I hope this was a good read for you and you will find points from our conversation valuable to your perception of the topic in context.

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