Fatherhood is a great thing.
  • You have the opportunity to be a kid without the rules and restrictions.
  • You are the biggest person in a someone else's life. There is nobody stronger/smarter/cooler than you until such time comes when everyone is stronger/smarter/cooler than you.
  • You have the ability to give someone all you've learned.
  • You learn although you are not a total fuck up you can really screw things up.
  • You are reminded what selfless love really is.
  • The worries of work, society and other general downers of the world are really not that big a deal when you have ice-cream for dessert. The simple things are usually the best
  • Yes this sounds ripped off of a poster or some other annoying thing that you'd find in a Hallmark Store but I see so many fathers who don't realize how important they are. Granted I'm not perfect in anyway and it took almost loosing a child for me to realize what my children mean to me. Fatherhood is not entirely a state of bliss it's a lot of work and if you don't cry you're not doing it right.

Reflections on Fatherhood

Fatherhood is such a big topic I thought it deserved a more thorough write-up than the few nodes scattered around e2  - it's bound to have a huge impact on any man who goes into it, and of course, their partner. I'm going to try and give a brief overview of some of the joys and worries of being a parent.

 

Conception

Are there really any unreconstructed males out there who think this is the only part a man has to play in having a child? Still, this is obviously a time closely linked with a man's sexuality and virility, and failure to conceive might lead some couples to go down the IVF route. Others may have doubts in their ability to conceive which may affect "performance".

 

Pregnancy

Pregnancy and the run-up to the birth are a time of uncertainty and nervous trepidation for would-be parents, from the first blue line on the pregnancy test to the later scans and check-ups. Will the baby grow to term? Is it growing "normally"? Your partner will be in real need of emotional and sometimes physical support. And you'll learn all about acronyms like FHH (foetal heart heard]. Some couples will be unfortunate enough to have to live through a miscarriage, with all the torment this will cause. If all goes well, however, you'll start to plan how the birth will go - maybe a water birth or home birth, natural or with pain relief. If the baby is in the breech position, the birth may well be a planned caesarian.

 

Birth

And at last you reach the beautiiful moment where you meet your child. The labour may have been long or short, the birth at home or in hospital. Your partner will be exhausted, but both of you now get to hold and look in the eyes of the new person in your life, who will dominate everything you do for the years to come. Now is your chance to cuddle, sing songs, learn to change nappies, and get to know your child, assuming it is well and healthy. When you first see your child's eyes, hold them in your arms, and see their perfect face, fingers, and toes, you immediately fall in love with them, a love that will last all their lives, and yours.

Once you get home of course, you start those long nights of sleeplessness and feeding - even if your partner is breastfeeding, you should at least show some solidarity. Hopefully your baby will start to gain weight soon, something nurses are always watching for. You should also keep an eye out for signs of postnatal depression, which can lead to strains on a relationship. Above all, though, enoy your child! Hold them, kiss them, cherish them, love them!

 

Growth and change

As your child grows, they will change in all kinds of ways: movement, speech, play. He will first start to roll over, then to crawl, babbles will turn to true talking. Reading stories to him will give him an early start in learning, helps build a bond between you, and introduces routine at bedtimes. Eventually the delights of nappy-changing will transform into those of potty-training. Joys!

 

Learning

Soon your child will benefit from nursery school, which will help socialising and prepare them for school. Nursery will give them boosts in areas like reading, writing and creativity, speech, and mixing and making friends with other children. It is especially useful for only children. Nursery also makes starting school a much smoother process.

 

Memories

As my boy is only five, I'm not really qualified to advise or describe later developments as children grow and advance into adolescence and secondary education. One thing all parents share, though, is memories of their children as they grow up. There will be happy and sad ones, memories of birthdays, first words, walking, talking, times when they were hurt or ill, but all go to add to the bond you will have with your child.

 

 

 

It's obviously difficult, nay near-impossible to do justice to a topic like fatherhood in such a short write-up, but I hope I have given you some flavour of the early years of being a father. Thank you for reading.

Fa"ther*hood (?), n.

The state of being a father; the character or authority of a father; paternity.

 

© Webster 1913.

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