When my wife was pregnant, I was nervous. I knew I was on the brink of the most monumental transition in my life, and the men around me were not helping.
Did your wife ever get a case of "baby blues" after having a child, or does she have them right now? She might not be alone.
Hollywood celebrity Matthew McConaughey recently made the following comment about his 14-month-old son, Levi: "He’s getting bigger, more fun, smarter and craftier by the day." Toddlers are great at keeping their dads very busy, and their growing craftiness can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a cause for concern because they can disappear very quickly, sometimes into very unsafe environments. Have you had that experience?
One of a father's key roles, from the moment he becomes a dad, is resource management. It's part of the vital task of providing for his family.
When Gary first held his son, it was awkward. The child cried and he didn’t know what to do. It was obvious that his wife already felt a deep affection for this new member of the family. But Gary didn’t know what to say, and there was no rush of emotion, no glow in his eyes.
Many new dads are blindsided by how many adjustments they are asked to make for their new role. Usually they have not grasped an important truth about fatherhood, and that’s understandable. After all, there are plenty of veteran dads who haven’t accepted it either. What is this simple but profound truth? It’s not about you.
How well do you know your child's developmental needs? A recent study at the University of Rochester discovered that about one-third (31.2%) of parents of 9-month-olds are "clueless" about child development milestones, such as when babies talk, learn right from wrong, or can be potty trained. Some moms and dads have unrealistic expectations for their children’s physical, social or emotional growth, and become frustrated. Others underestimate those abilities and prevent them from learning on their own.
Research continues to reinforce the notion that children benefit from having playful fathers. One study in Germany several years ago examined specific ways in which fathers and mothers cultivate close attachments with their children during the early years, and which of those early parental practices lead to deeper, long-term attachments during later stages of childhood.
I fantasize about the life my wife and I would have if we were free to travel wherever we wanted. If we were free to go out to dinner together, see a movie, go to museums without worrying about who is watching our children and feeling guilty for leaving. The time we would have to actually talk, share our lives, getting to know each other all over again. I imagine we would be doing so many fun and interesting things together rather than arguing over how we will figure out where to live and how to afford it while sending our kids to school for the first time. The stress of having children, trying to do what’s best for them, providing for them is a dominating force in our relationship. Without that, I can only imagine what our relationship would be like. Becoming a parent really has changed everything and there are times when I’m left wondering about all that I am missing.