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    Friday, November 16, 2012

    Thoughts on being a Daddy

      Yesterday, I had a good conversation with a friend about Daddy Stuff.  I remembered having this conversation with a friend a couple of years ago and it seems to be an ongoing issue in many relationships.

      The topic was: "When does a Daddy first CONNECT to his baby?"

      The answer is much different than for mothers.  Mom's (for the most part) feel an instant bond with the baby, once they find out something is living inside them and it's not just gas.

     Once that first "+" appears, the majority of women are hooked and they begin to feel all sorts of emotions towards this baby within their womb.

      Ladies and Gentlemen...most men are simply not like that.  Yes we get excited (sometimes scared) when we see the "+" on the test.  The women are crying and the guy is like: "Wow, that's cool!"  This reaction does get some dudes in trouble.  Maybe his reaction was more of a whoop of excitement, like I had, but soon we men feel disconnected with our baby in ways women don't understand.

      Seeing the sonogram is cool, hearing the heartbeat is AWESOME but there is still a sense of "I don't know this child. What am I supposed to do at this stage of their life?"  This sense is usually a "first child" problem because as men, we have no idea what to expect, especially if we haven't been around little kids much.  Most women did some babysitting as teenagers and so there is a sense of "understanding" that men do not have.  I for one didn't feel truly connected to my first child until I saw him.  MJ then was real, honest to goodness my son. I fell in love right away and wanted to love and hold my boy. Seeing our kids men really starts our deep connection and love for our children!

      Let me say this: IT IS NORMAL, don't think as a Daddy that you are some heartless-already-bad-daddy because you're not.  You just don't know the baby, you don't know what to expect and this is normal.  So, with this in mind, I have some advice.

    LADIES: Don't get mad at him when he honestly says: "I don't have the same connection as you. I'm excited but I am not as connected as you".  It doesn't mean he is a bad dude. If he doesn't read all the baby books or week to week stuff that you do, it's not that he doesn't care.  Understand your body is fully involved in the baby making process. He is "outside looking in" so to speak.  Cut him some slack on this one.  Once he sees that baby he's gonna be all in. Helpful hint: for the first baby, knowing the gender will SUPER help your man get better connected to the baby...even if it's not a "deep" connection.

    DUDES:  Support her connection as best you can.  Maybe read the "new week" (only once a week!) section with her about what the baby looks like this week, and what it's doing inside her body.  This helps the two of you connect, even if you don't feel uber connected to the baby.  Also, if you know the gender, start picking out cool clothes.  I was having a boy, so I made my wife get super-hero onesies and cool stuff like that.  It was fun and I was excited to make my son look cool!  Lastly, listening to what she cares about is always a good idea.  Hear what her excitements and fears are.

      Well, I hope this is helpful.  Daddy's, we have a super important role in our kids lives, so be ALL IN once the baby enters this world!