When people talk about raising families, the role of mothers is often the first thing they think about.
Which is natural given that mothers raise children and spend time nurturing them.
But without fathers, a child’s life can be quite difficult.
Today, as Samoa celebrates Father’s Day, the role of fathers like 53-year-old Sasala Tauaneai Moemoe, of Salesatele, Falealili, will be brought to the fore.
He is among the many fathers in Samoa who work tirelessly every day to develop their families.
Speaking to the Village Voice yesterday, Sasala’s wife, Tupito Moemoe said she is grateful for her husband and the father of their children.
“He is a father and a mother at the same time,” said Mrs. Moemoe.
“He does all the chores around our house even chores that belong to a mother like cooking, collecting of pandanus (laufala) to weave fine mats and mats, doing the laundry, washing dishes and even building a roof for them to live under and all that, he does it all.”
“The only thing he doesn’t do is weaving.”
Mrs. Moemoe added they have six children but her husband would rather do all the chores.
“I know everyone is different especially fathers but for my husband that is the kind of person he is,” she said.
“Our whole village knows what he’s like.”
For Sasala, the word father means being a pillar for his family.
“He is the backbone of any family, church and village as a whole. I know the Bible says fathers are the head of the family, they are the breadwinner but most families nowadays the mothers are the breadwinner.”
“So I believe that is the true meaning of the word father because of the work that he does within the family. He also sets a pathway for his children and family to follow, he is the provider and most especially the protector of his family.”
“That is what I am doing; I am basically setting an example as well as a pathway for my children to follow so when I am no longer around they know that this is the pathway that I have setup for them.”
Sasala said none of his family members are employed.
“This is our way of earning money, through my wife’s weaving and my plantation,” he said.
“This has always been our way of earning and this has help put my children through school, now that they have their own family it is still continuing.”
“Its hard work and life is so hard, but the Bible says if we don’t sweat, we don’t deserve to eat and that is basically it. Life is and always will be hard but it’s how we are able to get through it that matters the most.”
“If we just sit around and complain we get nothing, but if we work hard we might not be able to see the blessing, but surely our children will reap from our hard work.”
Sasala dreams of nothing special to celebrate Father’s Day because he is grateful for the gift of life.
“This is the greatest gift and that is the strength and the life that God has given me,” he said.
“I am thankful that I have made it to another year of commemorating Father’s Day. There is nothing more that I want, I have my family and I am strong.”
He is encouraging fathers in Samoa to be thankful for what they have.
“Whether it is little or many, you just have to be thankful because there are people around the world who don’t have what we have and that is the love from our family.”