I was inspired to write this post after reading “It’s possible mums do love their children more!” Rod over at Modern Dad Pages (MDP) talks about the bond that develops between a mother and child right from the moment she realises she is pregnant and it got me thinking, when does a man become a dad?
Having had two babies, I felt like my journey as a mother started when I saw those words ‘2-3 weeks pregnant’.
My responsibility as a mum started then, it was my duty to create the best environment possible for this little embryo to grow, everything I ate I scrutinised, everything I drank I regulated, my prenatal vitamins were taken religiously. I was constantly keeping tabs at what stage I was at, what was happening and all that I could do to create the optimum developing environment. As my body changed, as I felt each little movement I became more and more connected to this little person growing inside of me. My first and last thought of each day was my baby. But what about men, what are their thoughts? When do they start to see their responsibility as a parent? When do they start forming that connection?
Rod over at MDP says that for him becoming a dad was when he first held his eldest son,
“It’s hard for a man to truly realize what is happening during pregnancy and our lives for the most part are unchanged till birth”
I guess he’s right, no matter how much reading material we thrust into the faces of our partners, no matter how we describe what we are going through, no matter how many pictures we show and how many times we get them to feel the kicks, hiccups and punches from within they can’t ever fully understand or appreciate what we are feel and experience when we are pregnant, how can they?
Our responsibility, as mothers, starts right from the moment we see that positive test, no that’s a lie, it starts way before then – from the moment “we” decide we are no longer preventing but are now ‘trying’ we begin to cut down what we drink, take the folic acid supplements and eagerly await the non arrival of mother natures monthly presence. But what about guys, when does their responsibility start? I’m not discrediting fathers or dads-to-be out there who have supported their other halves from the moment they found out “they” were expecting, some may have shown support by joining their partner and quitting drinking in solidarity, others may have become protective and held their partners hand through every appointment, recording every moment. But others have seen the nine month countdown as an opportunity for a ‘designated driver’ for the nights out, not feeling their responsibility until the final few weeks approaches and furniture is bought and assembled, little outfits are lining the wardrobe and the hospital bag is packed – they are now on standby.
“When you start shopping for your expectant baby it does start to put a perspective as to what your next chapter in life will be.”
I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for guys, we as women and mothers start the journey right from day 1, we are invested, connected, emotionally bound – some days may not seem real for us at the beginning but as soon as we see that first scan, see the flutter of a heart beat we are bound to that person growing inside of us. We wait eagerly to feel the first flutters but guys don’t get those moments, they have to wait until that little bundle is finally handed to them for them to really start their journey;
“There is nothing more beautiful than holding such a tiny delicate little person in your hands and knowing they are completely dependent on you.”
I don’t know whether I can agree that mother’s love their children more – but I do feel we have loved for longer, we became a mother long before our baby was in our arms but can the same be said for all the fathers out there? I am not going to speak for the dads and proclaim I really know what they think because I don’t but it would be great to have more of an insight into “When does a man become a dad?”