16 Aug 2009
Remember we talked about how there is a divergence between the phases you have to go through, the ones your baby is going through and the one the woman in your life is going through. My job is to try to get an alignment by the time ‘the birth’ occurs because after the birth you are a father, the woman is a mother and your baby needs your care and attention.
There is no doubt that expectant fathers are not honored, nor guided or mentored into fatherhood. Often this has to do with the fact that your father wasn’t either so he was not able to give you want he needed.
Go back in your family history and find out how many generations have passed since men were taught how to be a father in your ethnic background … which may be more than one.
Then ask yourself whether that image of fatherhood is what you want for your family now. In other words, you might come from a culture where pregnancy and birth is ‘woman’s business’ and men know nothing and don’t want to.
However, you are now living at a time when dads are very involved and getting more so. This means you are creating a new aspect of culture by becoming an involved father-to-be.
Women in every culture must go through the biological, emotional and mental changes during pregnancy because they are pregnant. Women cannot avoid growing into being a mother. As mentioned you have to choose.
However, do not make the mistake believing that women love this transition. Even women who want a baby and want to be pregnant often struggle through the transition they are now forced to go through once pregnant. Imagining being pregnant is not the same as experiencing it. When we imagine pregnancy it’s a bit vague. When we experience pregnancy it is every single moment of our life.
Not only must women go through all the physical changes in their body, they also have to change who they are and grow the same qualities that you have to grow.
- Attention to detail
- Being able to see what needs to be done
- Growing a second set of arms (I’ll explain later)
- Growing two more sets of eyes (I’ll explain later)
Yup, you can laugh. You know the woman in your life may not have some of the qualities in abundance any more than you do. That’s one reason to use humor to grow together.
Becoming a mother requires as much of a personality shift for women as men. The physical part of pregnancy and birth is part of the species reproduction but the emotional and mental part has to do with human beings lives.
As a man you need to realize that becoming a mother is as much of a journey of self as it is for you but you have it lucky. You have a choice. The woman in your life has no choice.
Because so many families are just the two of you (or you and your other children) it’s vitally important that both of you work together to align these changes in yourselves. I know that I may be speaking to men who are not in a relationship but will still be part of their baby’s life. If you are going to be in your baby’s life then grow your relationship with the mother of your child even if you don’t plan on living together.
Let me ask you something. Did you have to learn to be a good lover? Perhaps you haven’t learned yet or perhaps the woman in your life hasn’t either. Now imagine this. What if you had only one time to make love … one time nine months from when you are reading this.
What exactly would you do to prepare for that one time? Would you just forget about it and assume you can wing it? What do you think the woman will do to prepare? Hum, this is an interesting question isn’t it? Is the birth of your child important to you? Is the birth important to the woman you are with? Is the birth important to your child?
No one really takes pregnancy and birth seriously. We assume that the transition into parenting just happens. Yup, it does but don’t we want more from life than to be thrust into such a monumental period of our lives by merely letting it happen?
So, don’t assume the woman in your life isn’t struggling with the changes in her body and mind. Or don’t assume pregnancy shouldn’t produce these conflicts within her just because women are the ones to become pregnant and give birth.
This blog will help you develop skills while your baby is growing inside its mom’s belly. You also need skills to be an effective help during The Birth. Here’s the best resource The Pink Kit Package (The Tool kit for fathers-to-be). This multi-media resource is essential to start learning at 24 weeks … or later if you are reading this later in pregnancy. Become a wonderful birth coach/support and Wow your doctor or midwife, your parents, friends and partner. Step up now.