It’s a Mom’s World

The Mom gets a pretty raw deal. To start with, there’s the actual carrying of an infant to term. There is no analogy for a man. Outside of contracting a disease that plays havoc with your hormones and having a tumor weighing on the order of eight pounds in your abdomen and then trying to pass said tumor through your more sensitive bits, there’s no possible way a man can really fathom the process. By all accounts it’s a very unnerving, sometimes wonderful, typically uncomfortable proposition. Once the child is born, its apparent the process has wreaked no small amount of havoc on your general physique. If you are breastfeeding, you are then, by necessity, up every few hours all night long for a few months to respond to a hungry newborn. And then, all to often, let’s be honest, the lion’s share to entirety of the responsibility for raising the child is hefted upon their shoulders. Throw in a day-job and you’ve got a party.

But that’s not what we’re hear to talk about. What of Dad? Browsing through the staggering amount of on-line and print material related to childbirth and childrearing, the answer is clearly, “Who? Oh, that guy. He’s got a chapter over there in the back.”

These books take the standpoint, a priori, that the father is an afterthought. Entire chapters of content will bear the impression of being written for both the parents in mind until a throwaway sentence drops in, “Try to encourage Dad to do this as well.” Or “This is something the father may enjoy doing with the baby from time to time.” There are little breadcrumb hints scattered about that suggest that you’ll need to prompt a father to give a rat’s ass about his child. He will need to be cajoled and convinced that his help is appreciated and that it might even be fun to hang out with a baby.

Books that are for fathers tend to be thin, or primarily focused on humor in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge, stand-up comedy in the 1990s “What’s up with women, huh guys?” kind of fashion.

This is my principle impetus for this blog. I wanted to create a resource for Dads in any phase of their Dad development. I wanted to write something that assumes at the outset that you are or would be the kind of father that wants to help out. You want to be involved because it’s not your partner’s child that you are allowed to see (well, the court’s may have deemed that to be the case for some of you—but I can’t help you there), it’s your child together. It was created via a joint effort (sexiest way of phrasing that ever) and will be raised the same way.

But at the same time, you are still a guy. Nay. A dude. You have hobbies, fears, concerns, expectations, a job (maybe) and these are all things that are part of the process. Sure, once you and your partner are pregnant it becomes basically the only thing you talk about. It’s an omnipresence, a nine-month time bomb. It does not, however, become your entire life. Even if you’d like it to be, the outside world marches on and you need to remain lockstep with it.

I’ll be covering it all. I write this thing three times a week. I’ve got six months left until the baby is born and I can’t imagine I’ll have less things to say about the process once I’ve been through it and there’s an actual child in my hands. You can expect a great many posts about all of this. There will be a pretty good breadth of topics, from observations to what amount to diary entries to tips and tricks, but I want my central message to remain the same.

You’re a Dad, and you’re not alone.

  1. #1 by Júlli on December 9, 2009 - 8:58 AM

    Yeah I’ve felt pretty much the same way. It’s especially annoying when the really good books, that do cover the whole process in good detail (the What to expect books spring to mind) are really aimed at women and treat the dads like you mentioned; an afterthought.

    But yeah, right back at you… we’re not alone, even though the literature seems to exclude us.

  2. #2 by Jessica Olson on December 9, 2009 - 9:41 AM

    Right on, Michael. I always hated those stupid little “encourage Dad to assist in the bathing process…and blah blah blah.” bubbles on the side of the page. Lame! Be real, the only thing Dad truly can’t do is breastfeed! I’m certain that you (and definitely Brandon) will put those books to shame.

  3. #3 by Seth on December 10, 2009 - 9:08 AM

    I am quite looking forward to following this series of posts, I think it will be a great insight into Dad’s POV in the whole process. As someone who is able to express himself quite well using the written word, I think your posts will be quite good indeed. Who knows, putting this entire collection of entries together could result in a great future publication. =)

(will not be published)