Washington: US President Barack Obama
says fatherhood has been one of his most rewarding jobs, even
when it meant taking up the role of a coach for his little
daughter Sasha's basketball team.
In his weekly radio and Internet address to the nation
ahead of Father's Day, the US President reflected on his own
role as a father of two young daughters while recalling the
pain of growing up without a father himself.
He called fatherhood "my hardest, but always my most
rewarding job" though he also acknowledged that given his job
the responsibility of bringing up his two children has fallen
greatly on his wife Michelle.
"I haven't always succeeded, of course in the past,
my job has kept me away from home more often than I liked...
and the burden of raising two young girls would sometimes fall
too heavily on Michelle," he said.
Obama said as part of parenting, he had even taken up
the job of coaching his younger daughter Sasha's basketball
team on Sundays and hoped such experiences in the long run
would help define the 10-year-old as a person.
"On Sundays, we'd get the team together to practice,
and a couple of times, I'd help coach the games," Obama noted
for the first time, in his weekly radio and Internet address
which this week marked Father's Day.
"It was a lot of fun -- even if Sasha rolled her eyes
when her dad voiced his displeasure with the (referees),"
"I was hopeful that in the years to come, she'd look
back on experiences like these as the ones that helped define
her as a person -- and as a parent herself," he said.
Obama also recalled missing his own father's presence
as a child when he was brought up by his mother and
grandparents. Obama's father had left the family when he was
two years old.
Sympathising with families in the present scenario
when the economy is down and said his administration had made
fixing the economy a top priority through efforts like
strengthening community and faith-based groups, and partnering
with businesses to provide environments where families can
spend time together, Politico said.
"And above all, children need our unconditional love ?
whether they succeed or make mistakes; when life is easy and
when life is tough," he said.
He also urged fathers to remember their "personal
responsibility to do right by our kids" by encouraging healthy
lifestyles and spending more time with their children.
First Published: Saturday, June 18, 2011, 23:37