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A lot of expectant fathers think they have two jobs—you know, the one that begins the whole pregnancy process, and then the one that starts nine months later. But the reality is that even though moms are the supreme bearers of physical responsibility during pregnancy, men can play big roles, too. So print out this page and leave it on his nightstand. He won’t have to read your mind, and you won’t have to nag.
Some of the best parenting advice I’ve ever heard has come not from doctors, psychologists, teachers, parenting experts or mothers. It comes from Dads whose kids are grown. Here are some of the gems:
Jim, father of two sons, says, “Raise your kids so you can stand living with them for twenty years and so you’ll enjoy it while you’re raising them.”
Before we had our son, my husband barely noticed babies. When we were out and about, I’d coo over every bub I saw, while my husband would kneel down to pet—and, more often than not, have a conversation with—every dog we passed. Our friends started having kids about six years before we did, so there were plenty of babies around, but my husband kept his distance.
I am reminded constantly that my son has a whole life that I know little about. Just this month, he’s started counting to 10. He’ll randomly just begin counting whatever it is he’s playing with, be it soap bubbles or toy robots. I have never sat down with my son and taught him to count to 10. In fact, I’ve never even brought up the subject of counting, period. So, I can only guess that this is what he’s learning at preschool—along with how to identify a circle and where sharks live (Answer: the ocean, along with whales and goldfish).
1. From the very moment she announces her pregnancy, she’ll be the center of attention — not you. Get used to it.
2. When the baby comes, they’ll both be the center of attention — not you. Aren’t you glad you had nine months to practice going unnoticed?
3. Your house is too small, it was always too small, and to suggest otherwise simply proves that your brain is too small.
I was reminded last night when I got home from work how much I love the word “mama.” Every night when I walk in the door, my son looks up from what he’s doing and says “mama.” He says it with a slight breathiness and excitement; with an emphasis on the first “ma” and the second “ma” seemingly running to catch up with the first.
Hormones make the world go ‘round. Women have always known that, but some of the guys are just catching on. Or so it would seem by the hormonal firestorm that’s burning up headlines about men, testosterone and fatherhood. A study released this week says men’s testosterone levels go down after they become fathers and stay down for a while if they’re hands-on dads who nurture and care for their children.
Nominees for Father of the Year are plentiful in every town in America. They don’t have celebrity status or a public platform. They won’t get a trophy or a headline. They’ll just go quietly about their business, raising their kids and loving their children’s mother, despite the odds, the best way they know how. They’re the guys who make every day a little more solid for the people they love. A couple of fathers in the news right now could learn a thing or two about responsible, compassionate fatherhood; about being a big man by doing the small things right.
“I’ve been spending too much money getting lunch out,” Aaron said forlornly last night. This is a sad state. I am a lunch lady for crying out loud. This means two things: I have not been cooking meals frequently enough for Aaron to have good leftovers to bring to work; and moreover, I have not been taking good care of my number one honey.
When it comes to the fears and expectations about new parenthood, men and women aren’t always on the same page. And it doesn’t help that much of what divides them often goes unspoken. Here, a few brave couples talk about the issues at stake. Plus, 9 things dads can teach moms about babies.
Some women envision their birth-day as a time to invite anyone who is close and dear to them into the birthing room—mother, sisters, partner/husband, children, in-laws, next-door neighbor—and yet other moms feel most comfortable with only their husband/partner in the room. Ultimately, there is no one right way, but rather, the way that is best for you.
1. Support is a key element to a woman having a positive birth and postpartum experience. As a birth partner, identify the resources you have for informational, emotional and physical backup early on.