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Ponderings

Babies Change Things

A lot of things can shift the way you look at the world. The big changes in anyone’s life are easy to point out. Birth, is by far one of the bigger things.  At one point you stare back at yourself in a mirror and you say “I’m a Father?” Or whatever noun you have become.

The way those changes affect you is the interesting part. How does becoming a father change a man? When do you internalize a role? Some people talk about the earth shattering realization and overwhelming love for a baby when they see them for the first time. I never had that explosive moment. (For my kids reading this later, yes I love you and always will) But I think it is very important to put out there. I read so many accounts of instant total unconditional love from the very first moment you set your eyes on a fresh baby.

I felt very ashamed to not have that experience. There was a change, My wonderful wife and I have a baby to take care of. A lovely little bundle of joy / insomnia. I can’t tell you how guilty I felt that that moment wasn’t there.

I loved this little baby, yes. But I felt like I didn’t know them yet. I would have done anything for them from the moment they were born, but I wasn’t sure what that meant. I still feel like I’m getting to know them, as an individual and what they mean to the family dynamic as a whole. And honestly it was harder the second time. The first kid has a full on explosive personality, and with the newborn being well new, its taking a bit of time to find the little quirks in her personality that make her unique.

The only reason I’m putting this out there is because there may be some other parent somewhere feeling guilty over their moment not living up to the hype. There is a huge build up with any baby. For a dad there is 9 months of waiting, not really being able to do anything other than help your wife do what she needed to do. For a man who is used to getting into any situation up to his elbows and working problems out until they are done, sorting issues as they arise, a pregnancy is a scary thing. We have no control, and when everything happens and the bright lights of the hospital fade, you have to get to know this new person in front of you.

The only advice I can give, if you were looking for it if not then try the veal, is to give it time. Kids are stressful, hard work. I’ve only been at it for 4 years and I know there is plenty of other fun ahead. But it is worth it. If you are having a bit of a rough go of things in the beginning then just take an extra second to go about your business. The start is rough, anyone who tells you otherwise is either a liar or very very lucky.