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My eight-year old son has been coughing for five days and already missed a day and a half of school. So I brought him to the doctor to have him checked. When we got at the clinic, there was this little boy who was screaming. It didn’t look like he had a shot. He must be just having a bad day. He was with his father and two brothers. The boys must be aged from two to five years old. The father looked frustrated but calm. It’s usually the mother who brings the kids to the doctor when they are sick. But in this day and age when women are also busy with their careers, it’s no longer uncommon to see men do the motherly duties. I admire men who step up to the plate.

My husband would once in a while bring the kids to the doctor or the dentist when he’s available. But ONLY NOW and ONLY WHEN it’s convenient for him. When our kids were a lot younger, it was always me who did it. It was me who would take a day off from work to look after a sick child. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I love my children and I didn’t mind taking care of them when they were sick. But there were times when I would have appreciated the help. But when I would ask him to take a day off instead since I already had so many absences, he wouldn’t budge. And it would lead to fights.

Most of the time, I would tag along all three children with me on the bus. And I tell you it wasn’t an easy task especially during the winter months. It’s a good thing that my kids are four and five years apart. My oldest one was able to at least hold the hand of his younger brother while I carried the youngest one.

I couldn’t understand why my husband wouldn’t accompany me and the children, not just to the doctor’s but even on shopping trips. He always had his own lakad, his own errand or invitation to a friend’s house. There was a time when I thought that he was embarrassed to be seen with me. Or perhaps he was embarrassed to be seen with his children. I thought that maybe he didn’t think that I was pretty enough, or our children not cute enough to show off to his friends whom we might chance upon on these outings.

Most weekends, he would be out by himself or with a friend and at night would be drinking at somebody’s house. And I would be left at home with the kids. I felt like a single mother during those times.

Oh, how I resented him. Even until now, when I am on the bus and I see a mom by herself with at least one small child, I am reminded of the hardships I went through when my kids were still smaller. And I would be overcome with these feelings of pain and resentment that have built up over the years.

I am not writing this to bad-mouth my husband. After all he’s still the father of my children and he had changed to a certain degree. Although he still goes to his own lakad. And I am quite aware that I have my own faults, too. I just hope that if there is any father out there who is reading this and acting like he did, that he realizes that parenting is a partnership and he should be helping his wife not just in looking after the house, but also in looking after the children. And not ONLY WHEN it’s convenient for him.