Archive for January 31st, 2011

January 31, 2011

It really is a myth that women are the only ones who can serve as a ‘primary’ caregiver to a child…

by Rod Smith

Dear Rod Smith

I want to write this letter anonymously to protect the identify of my son.

I read your column of 26 January 2011 in The Mercury with great interest and really wish to comment.

It really is a myth that women are the only ones who can serve as a ‘primary’ caregiver to a child. Its ‘first prize’ if both parents are available and share the parenting responsibilities (even though they themselves might not be joined in a romantic or marital relationship). I am, in the same way as you, living testimony that men are totally able to provide for all the caring needs of an infant child. I reconciled with my son’s mother two days after he was born. He is not my biological son (although none of the family is aware of this) and since we took him home from the hospital, I have provided for virtually all his needs (material, emotional, developmental). His mother struggled to bond with him after his birth and with my support we worked through this period and I did my best to ensure that its effects on him are minimal. During this time, and even to now, I play the most significant parenting role in his life (and this does not mean his mom does not have a wonderful and loving relationship with him).

I believe that the myth that men are not capable or competent to nurture young children is institutionalised by views such as those expressed by the writer of the letter to you and this is as a child which leads to men being denied the opportunity to build strong and meaningful relationships with both their children and the mothers of their children. On the other hand I do feel that race can have its own dynamics, but need not necessarily be an impediment to good parenting.

Durban Dad

January 31, 2011

I was so inspired by your column I wrote a book on the subject of divorce

by Rod Smith

Hi Rod,

You probably won’t remember, but in the past you have very kindly printed some of my letters to you in The Mercury here in South Africa, and you have even E-mailed me directly on a couple of occasions. Much appreciated!

Just a touch of news, I was so inspired by your column, I set out and wrote a book on the subject of Divorce, and the shambolic events which take place when one doesn’t quite know what to do, the procedures and all the other elements which make up this sad happening. The title is, “Divorce, a beginners guide!” Much to my great surprise, the book was immediately accepted for publication! Talk about beginners luck!

I would consider it a great honour to send you a copy once the printing is complete, if you would like a copy, please let me have your postal address.

Once again, thanks for everything!


Spike Farrell.