How do men really feel about making the transition from regular guy to dear olÂ dad?
Kevin F. In the movies, you get the test results and there’s this lightning bolt, but for me it was more surreal. Women can feel these things going on with their bodies, but for a guy, no matter how close you are as a couple, no matter how much you’ve planned it, the baby isn’t growing inside your body or making you tired or nauseated.
Was that a problem for you and your wife?
Kevin F. She was a little ahead of where I was in seeing the baby as real, as part of the family. We didn’t have conflicts about it, but I was thinking, “Shouldn’t this be more real for me?” In some way, I don’t think the reality sets in until you see that head coming out.
Has your lifestyle changed a whole lot during the pregnancy or when the baby came? Are you missing out on things that you used to enjoy?
Don We’d traveled a lot already and done a lot of things — what we were missing out on was having a family.
Kevin F. I found myself thinking about things like money and investments, education IRAs. We’d go out for breakfast and I wouldn’t order coffee, and I’d think, “All right! A dollar-fifty in the college fund!”
Kevin D. With work and everything, it seems like I’m always fighting for free time now, and I wonder how much time there’ll be once we have a baby. But as far as going out and partying or anything, that’s not really us.
Billy Yeah, our Friday and Saturday nights were usually Blockbuster videos and a pizza. We’ve never been party animals.
Hey, I’ve got another full pitcher here. Anyone for a refill? [Beer mugs are thrust forward simultaneously.] What’s the one thing you’re looking forward to most about being a dad, or what were you looking forward to before you became one?
Keith Being a kid again — playing catch, making snow angels, throwing snowballs, doing silly kid stuff.
Kevin D. I know what you mean — like re-experiencing your childhood through your own child’s eyes.
Kevin F. Through your own father’s eyes, too. Becoming a father really helps to clarify your relationship with your own dad.
Kevin F. In my earliest memories, my father seemed really old, but he was about the same age I am now. And to me, he was like a god. It’s a humbling thought — how am I going to be worthy of the trust and affection my son puts in me?
Billy It’s a rite of passage, understanding your own place in the world.
What about your relationship with your wife? You’re really close during the pregnancy and delivery, but all of a sudden, there’s a baby with needs to be met.