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How does it feel being a father?

That’s a question I’ve been asked countless times in the past 10 (ish) months. Usually, I lean on conversational responses and move on (mostly because those asking, for the most part, aren’t really asking as much as they are making conversation). “Great”, “Amazing”, “Indescribable”.

Yesterday, when a friend asked me what it is like, I decided I was going to think through my answer a little bit.After a while, I thought I had an accurate enough response.

“It’s like getting your dream job, and then being on duty 24/7” I said.

“So is it worth it?” my friend asked

I’m not sure how to answer this particular question. I mean IT IS a dream job, so, you know, there’s that…

Then there’s the 24/7 thing. Of there’s no off day. And apparently that’s for life.

Then there’s the more perceptive response: is WHAT worth WHAT? If you think about it long enough, the question presumes that the inquirer and the respondent have established a baseline of what the cost of being a father was/is/will be. But they haven’t and there are so many layers of that to unfold, not least of all being whether there is, in fact, a cost that was paid to be a father (or if the respondent interprets whatever was done to become a father as a cost).

Finally, there’s the million-dollar question I am learning to ask myself before engaging in discussions; to what end?Whatever answer I give won’t change my station in life as a father, and I’d be completely foolish to presume that my perspective would be objective enough to be used by another human as a yardstick or guide in making their own decisions…

To cut the long story short, I haven’t yet responded. The best I can currently come up with is the timeless Ugandan classic:

“It depends…”

But I’m afraid that may be interpreted in all the wrongest ways possible.

So mbwenu… stay home, stay safe.

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Written by Ganzi Isharaza (1)

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