How does a man feel on his first experience as a father?
As a woman, I have noted many of the reactions of women to their first baby. But apart from saying whether a man was present or not present at the birth, one rarely hears of the 'emotional avalanche' that comes with first time parenthood. What can you tell us of this?
Having never been a father I can only speak from observation.
A lot of it depends on if the couple is married or happy together.
In some instances if the man isn't in love with the mother of the child or they're not getting along very well, or the man never wanted a child with her... some fathers distance themselves from the baby.
Clearly they view the child as an extension of the mother.
I've also seen men who instantly fell in love with a baby and even upon finding out the child was (not theirs) they were "all in" with taking up the mantel of being a father in that child's life.
Last but not least a man's age, his childhood, and his family history can have a bearing on how he approaches fatherhood. It helps if he had a good father role model.
(Through my wife) I've put four into the world. There's a surge of pride in beginning a new, healthy life but that's eclipsed by the tie between child and mother. Dad comes more into the child's awareness later, when it's crawling or on its feet.
It's hard to describe the feelings themselves. My own thoughts were on the health issues for their sake. I wasn't bothered about whether they were boys or girls. That seemed to be less important. A healthy child will - hopefully - grow to be a healthy adult and fulfil his/her own ambitions, as they are doing.
The first fell victim to 'cot death syndrome'. I was numbed, although the warnings were there in my family: the first of the eldest is fated. The rest are all right, as twelve of my great grandad's offspring proved.
The other three - they came into the world as boy, girl, boy, girl - have done well for themselves. They're happy with their lives. That's a reward in itself.
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