‘My whole life suddenly changed in that one moment when I held my little one close’
This was the confession of a new father the day he welcomed his first child. His reaction and expressions made us very curious to know the other side of the birth story – Fatherhood. We started chatting with new fathers and exploring their views on fatherhood and life after the arrival of their first child.
Here are a few confessions made by new fathers while chatting with us about their unique journey:
- “I didn’t bond with the baby right away.”
The experience of fatherhood is thrilling, but so hard at the same time. The baby is so helpless, and you’re so clueless, and you don’t have that strong chemical, hormonal and emotional bond with the child, in the same way, the mother does.
You spend the first six months of your baby’s life coping up this giant rule book. You have to learn everything—how to hold the baby, how to swaddle, how to change a diaper. You had never played with dolls or even babysat, so it was totally new!
- “Time alone with the baby was surprisingly profound.”
Even though I felt so lost overall, I was surprised by how spending time alone with the baby felt natural and surprisingly not scary. I remember the very first night we had the baby at home. My wife was in bed, and I had four hours alone with him. I realized that I got to pick out the first song he’d ever hear. I felt like I had a hand in shaping his destiny. Choosing a song on iTunes suddenly felt profound! I decided on “Penny Lane” by The Beatles. It was a magical moment.
- “I was nervous that my wife would like the baby better.”
Maybe it sounds crazy, but a great fear I always had about having children was that my future wife might like them better. In many of my friends’ families growing up, the husband was basically replaced by the kids. There’s nothing more primal than the love between mother and infant. I was absolutely worried about being dropped a notch.
- “Children’s books are boring.”
I love spending time with my baby, especially when we go on walks or play the guitar. But some baby activities are s-l-o-w. Many women seem to have a tremendous capacity to step outside themselves and see things through the baby’s eyes, like reading children’s books. But to me, children’s books are fundamentally boring. Like, mind-numbing.
- “I daydream about the future with my baby.”
I often daydream about my baby growing up: listening to music, taking him on boats, teaching him how to cook a great omelet, telling stories about “the old days.” I always picture us on hikes for some reason—even though I don’t really go on many hikes. My father and I used to sit around for hours some nights and plan my future, and I love the idea of being on the other side of that conversation. I also look forward to imparting lessons that my dad didn’t give me—like how to ask out women.