I can recall a conversation with an expectant Dad in a bar once who point blank declared that his life was not going to change at all when the baby arrived. That he would still have time to socialise, hit the bars, fit a round of golf in occasionally and retain the life he was accustomed to. In his words ‘I’m the dad’. As if he became immune from parenting from the moment he’d pulled his pants back up.
I now, with clarity – see the delusion in this sort of dissociative thinking. Perhaps it’s different with one baby? Maybe there are men who hang on to the idea of the old tradition of a past generation of men who let the women do all the ‘baby stuff’ while they had their slippers fetched for them after a hard days slog. I also get that it is a case of a personal decision between a couple on how they parent.
If I had suggested to my wife that was how I wanted the dynamic to be under our roof I would probably now be wearing my balls for earrings. In all seriousness our marriage would have failed from a lack of my willingness to step up to the plate.
I knew my life would change with a baby, at the discovery of three there was no question that with the arrival of them there would be little else in my life. And I needed to be prepared for that – and not resent my situation. Yes it’s tough, but imagine how much tougher it is for your partner who’s gone through the pregnancy, given birth and is now dealing with the hormonal battering and tiredness of dealing with a newborn.
I still meet men, new dad’s who are happy to let a mom do everything. From night feeds to nappy changes as though their job is complete. If your a new dad and mum’s dealing with your children, exhausted while you think your day at office was hard work and home time is your relaxation time, grow some onions and start supporting those who should be able to rely on you for support.
An attitude of ‘it’s not really my job’ is not only selfish but stinks of irrational entitlement and will breed festering resentments that will affect everyone under your roof. Becoming a dad comes with more than just a title. It is the ultimate opportunity to become the man your family needs.
So don’t be shy and roll those sleeves up, as you were probably reminded more than once during the pregnancy it’s all your fault (well, at least 50% of the situation is anyway)