Post-partum, tips for handling work life balance, etc. – we have often discussed some of the challenges a new mother faces. But we hardly talk about the challenges a new dad faces – Does a baby brings no changes in a new father’s life?
Fathers are, after all, humans, too, and they also play a principal role in their child’s life respectively.
According to an old article published in Psychology Today: Most fathers consider the Father’s Day as a reminder to them of the psychological changes that happened after they became fathers. They too realize they cannot be the same men they were before and they are growing into something new, scary, frightening, powerful, hopeful—a father.
Competing demands and expectations
Even the most understanding wife (regardless of working status) at times freak out as she feels that the father is paying more importance to his office than to them.
Thanks to our society, the office administrators think the 10-days paternity leave is more than enough for the fathers (Some organizations don’t even have the concept of ‘paternity leave’). Also, sadly enough there are fathers, who do misutilize these few days in chilling out with friends, but we all know about such so-called fathers, and we don’t want to discuss them today!
What about those men who really want to support their wives, and want to be beside their newborn?
Traditionally, the dads were the primary earners, and moms were the primary caregivers of the family. The society is changing and both the genders are trying their best to fulfil both the roles effectually and competently.
Once a baby comes in couple’s life, the father too becomes more concerned about job security, and they know their responsibilities are much more than earlier. They want to be the rock of the family, supporting their partner during their challenging times.
Marriage has a different meaning now
Married life changes after the arrival of a baby and that affects both the parents! Not just sleep deprivation, and work pressures, most of the couples also face a decline in their relationship satisfaction.
Haven’t any of your poor friends ever complained, “My wife doesn’t have much time for me anymore?” Or, “She is always so busy if only I could have contributed in some way!”
Or, “Man! Those days before the child came were so different!”
And, ladies, the thoughts like, “Oh yes! You hardly understand what your wife is going through, you men are so sick….” also cross your minds sometime or the other.
But, can we be a bit compassionate towards our partners whom we love so dearly?
Then, how can we forget the end number of arguments on parenting style? Most of the “we” time (which is so precious) ends up discussing what the child does, how to be good parents, how to take care of the little one’s needs…. And sometimes it also ends up with huge fights and negotiations. Men sometimes feel guilty, annoyed, and confused, trying to figure out how to support their partners.
Biological and hormonal changes in a new dad
The last one – Yes! We all are aware of the physiological changes that women go through after delivering a baby, but what about men? Entering fatherhood is a biological sea change in a man’s life he has not seen since puberty.
Few weeks after childbirth, testosterone levels start lowering as prolactin, vasopressin, and other hormones start increasing, to rewire a man’s brain and to make him ready for fatherhood. Entire areas of a man’s mind grows and develops in response to hormonal changes in the first year of a child’s life, which equip him with crucial skills to care for a newborn. This includes increased sensitivity to crying, a more profound capacity to bond emotionally, and more excellent responsiveness to another’s needs.
Just like it can happen to us, these changes can also lead a man into depression and cause his mood swings!
A word of caution
Marriage is a partnership – it’s not about who is contributing more and who is contributing less; it’s not a fight about who is more important. It’s a relationship, where we should not try to prove ourselves, and enjoy every moment of togetherness because life is not very long. And to a child – BOTH THE PARENTS ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT!