Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dad for the win! By Steve

One thing that gets lost sometimes when it comes to the pregnancy itself and especially after the baby, or in my case babIES, are born is the dad and what we go through throughout this whole process. I mean, we enjoyed getting pregnant, obviously there's no question there, but what happens to us during and after is much different than what one would expect.

I thought as soon as the babies were born I would see their faces for the first time, make the immediate connection that they were MY boys, and I would love them instantly and we would ride off into the sunset. Didn't happen that way. All of a sudden there are these 2 foreigners that I am responsible for and I don't know who the hell they are. Now don't take that the wrong way. What I mean is is that us dads don't have the bonding time that comes with being pregnant. Being able to feel them inside us. I am not complaining about this because having an alien inside me has never been on my list of "things I wish I could experience in life" but because we don't have those experiences we don't get to bond in the same way as mom. Whether it was a good pregnancy or a bad one there is a bond there. Knowing that they are real, living, moving, and that they are yours is something that the mothers experience almost from the beginning. All us guys can do during this time is hope we don't upset the mother and try and stay out of the way when needed, and be there when needed...and trust me if you confuse the one for the other you will be sent to timeout...aka the couch. A well intended helpful hand can be used to high five your own face in a heart beat if mommy isn't having the best of days.

Once they were here with us there is no time for introductions and small talk.  Nope. They need shit. They make it their job to shit. A lot. So Daddy has to make sure there are butt covers, aka diapers, to take care of said shit among a million other things that babies need. If you are not aware at this point babies need a lot of stuff...they literally didn't bring anything with them on this trip...babies are very poor planners.  So you do what you have too. In my case its work crazy hours 7 days a week and go to school full time on top of it all. So when did I finally start to feel a bond with my kids??? Great question...leads me to the whole point of this blog...

After talking with other dads, it seemed fairly common that it could take over 3 or so months for me to start really feeling an emotional connection to them. This is about the time that they start to smile, look at you and realize who you are, reach out for your hand, etc. They start to show more and more of their personalities. They start to become like real people...your real people. I felt bad at first before I talked to other dads because I thought something was wrong with me. I beat myself up thinking maybe something emotionally was wrong with me for not feeling anything in the beginning. However I found out it is very normal to go through this process and the best part of it is is when we finally do come around it's the most amazing feeling that only someone with kids can understand. The strongest and most manly of men can be brought to their knees with joy by the smile or laughter of a their child.

I leave you with the words of wisdom for all you fathers out there:
"No matter how badass or tough you are if a toddler hands you a toy phone, you answer that shit"

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