Becoming A Dad
Pregnant women experience a variety of emotions and life changes. Our life is forever changed when we become a mother. So is the case with our counterparts. Just like us, fathers do fear about this fatherhood. Life is never the same again for both mothers and fathers. Preparing ourselves for the tiring, stressful and challenging part of parenthood is the first part of becoming a parent (a father too). Fatherhood changes a man completely. Kids change their parents from being selfish to selfless. Many men begin walking the path of fatherhood the moment they first hold their baby.
14 February, 2020
When I gave birth to my son, I was under anaesthesia. So, the doctors handed over my son into my husband’s arms. Later on, my husband told me that he felt nervous to hold our son, as he had never held a baby before. He wanted to make sure that everything is fine with me and the baby. Then only he relaxed and finally felt the baby in his arms. He has undergone social and psychological changes after becoming a father. However, I feel that he has now become responsible in a way that he has never been before. My husband always wandered about the minute details related to a baby. He would ask me various questions about a baby, for eg. ‘what is the size of a newborn?’, ‘will I be able to hold our baby properly?’, ‘what if I am not able to calm down our crying baby?’ and many more. He considered himself unqualified for fatherhood and questioned his ability to take care of a baby. To this, I assured him that he was not the only one feeling that way and that we are not programmed on parenting, and we would slowly and steadily learn once our baby arrives. My husband could not wake up easily in the middle of the night. However, my pregnancy changed him. He told me, “kick me if I do not get up in the night”. Apparently, I did not have to use this trick, as our son managed to do this himself. Now my husband immediately wakes up even if our son turns his side while sleeping. He also extends a helping hand while I feed our son during the night. I feed him and my husband picks him up for burping and makes him sleep again. It is very helpful and thoughtful of a husband to practice all these things.
I know that no one is born knowing all this stuff about parenting. I keep telling him that the way we both have learned about marriage along the way together, we will learn about our baby in the same way. He need not to tackle every aspect and part of fatherhood at once. He was afraid if this would be the end of our independence and fun. To some extent, his anxiety and fear was true, however, parenthood comes with its own benefits and joyous moments and that we would get used to this new life eventually and we would treasure the time spent with our baby.
Practically, I did not expect much from him, as far as helping me with the baby was concerned. Apparently, he came out with flying colours in this phase of his life. He was always there when I needed him, during my phase of almost stepping into depression, sleeplessness, the trauma I went through when I was unable to lactate, bottle feeding our baby and till now. Our son is comfortable with his father if I am not around. He has made such a bond with his son that I am able to devote time to write and do my work. It is all because of his will and joy that our son shares such a special bond with him. Whenever my husband is back from work, our son’s happiness is worth watching. The brightness and shine in his eyes and smile on his face clearly indicates that he really loves and misses his father when he is out for work. After coming from work, he has to take our son out for a stroll to substantiate his joy and happiness. In my husband’s words, “I felt wonderful, amazing, joyful, proud and scary at the same time when I felt my baby for the first time in my arms. I started feeling responsible to take care of this tiny bundle of joy. I want to give him everything I probably can. I want him to be proud of me. I want to embrace every day and enjoy every moment spent with my son to the fullest.”
Before our son was born, my husband was not sure if he would be able to handle the baby, play with him or even calm him down. He was not aware and confident of his fatherly skills and instincts. Nevertheless, deep down my heart and mind, I believed that he would be the best person and father once the baby arrives. And yes, it happened the same way. Today I can proudly say that my son is equally (or even more) bonded to my husband as he is bonded to me and that, my husband loves his son the most. He is now a more responsible, caring and dependable person. He can’t imagine his life without his son now, as our son has become an integral part of his life and heart.