When I first found out mama was pregnant I read all the daddy books that were out there and tried my best to read literature that my wife set neatly on my desk so that I would see it when I got home from work. I learned some good things, became more understanding about the changes she was going through and did everything to help her out that the books suggested. The fact is nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen. All the books and websites gave great advice on what to expect when my wife was expecting and helped out more than I like to admit. They were invaluable in creating a better partnership during her pregnancy, but offered very little on what happens next.
I looked all over, and there is information here and there about being a first time father but what that information doesn’t focus on is what it means being daddy. I went back to my books, re-called all of my friends and sought out the golden rules from my elders on living with a newborn and a no-longer pregnant mama. After hours of searching and reading articles and talking with fathers I couldn’t find the answers that I was looking for. So I started this blog to give a behind the scenes look at being daddy, offer up my stories, theories, advice and updated knowledge even though I don’t know what being daddy is all about…Hey, we have to start somewhere.
What I learned today about being a father:
Back to work and everyone’s friendly for the first day, asking questions about child and mama and laughing at my expense because sleep is hard to come by and I look like a mess. Coming back to work after a few weeks off is hard enough, but going through the chitter-chatter of life amongst co-workers makes it just that much more difficult.
I work in a professional setting with many already parents and grandparents who are all interested in what I’m going through. I ask them questions about what their first years as parents were like, and what I learned is that none of my co-workers had the same answer.
Being daddy is unique for each man just as each pregnancy is unique for each woman. A few of the men I talked to seemed to remember nothing about the first few years of their kids, but had plenty to say about not getting enough sleep and reassuring me that, “It gets easier.”
“What gets easier?”
They think about my response for a second, they shrug their shoulders and reply the same way. “I don’t know. Being a father?”
What I think I know:
Being daddy is harder than most of us think. It’s not hard like being mama, but hard in a completely different sense with a unique learning curve that is more dictated by the man then anything else. It seems that no matter how many years experience one has or how much time someone has put into being daddy, they don’t really have the answer to how it gets easier, or what it actually takes. There is no simple, laid out plan to creating an environment in child’s first year that says this is what you’ll deal with and here’s how so-and-so will affect your life and here’s how you can be the best daddy for your child. It’s not there, I’ve looked! I’ve explored the depths of fatherhood from across the oceans of time and swam against its currents seeking out answers to being daddy! And ahoy! This is the best I can do…
In time, being daddy might get easier, and maybe what my fellow fathers are trying to tell me (that no book can) is that being daddy is like being naturally gifted at something, you don’t know why, you just are.