Fatherhood in itself poses many challenges and one of the most important of them is maintaining the proper balance between being too harsh on your children and being too soft. There are some silent assumptions in the mind of a person who is likely to be the most new or expectant father. But some resources exist to help men bust the common myths prevalent in the society. All men have the power to change themselves according to the needs of the family and become the father they want to be. Here are certain fallacies and facts about fatherhood:
Myth-1: The feeling of the expectant mother is more important than that of the father
As a woman’s body changes during pregnancy and the main focus is on the birth process, it’s quite obvious to think that the mental and physical health of the mother is all that counts. But it is important to be concerned about the expectant father’s feelings as well. The father goes through the same feelings of apprehension and fear as that of the mother. Certain question that comes up in the father’s mind like: Will there be any medical complications during birth? How will our relationship change after this? Will I be able to pursue my carrier and provide adequate time for my family as well to be the perfect father? Most men refrain from sharing all these concerns with their partner, but the fact is that the women crave for this kind of discussions, and they realize that being a father is equally challenging. Sharing such worries and concerns with your partner will make the relationship more intense. The alternate ways are to read books about being a father seek advice from other expectant fathers or attend fathering class to address the excitement and vulnerability you are going through.
Myth-2: For newborns the mother is all they need
The intense connection between the mother and the child- especially during the breastfeeding period leaves the father thinking whether the child actually needs him. This consensus is getting outdated day by day with the change in dynamics and family structure. Looking after a baby is like taking up a whole new occupation- which might not come naturally to either father or mother. Taking care of your baby as a father after the baby’s meal is over, also gives the mother a chance to refill her energy after breastfeeding. You can even look after the baby while the mother is busy doing all the household chores. You can even help your partner occasionally to reduce her workload and concentrate more on the baby.
Myth-3: Fathers are rough to their child than mothers
It’s totally insane to have a thought that fathers are rough to their babies. A father can be equally sensitive to their child as much as the mother. The rough play that a father involves in with the child is important for the proper nourishment of the baby. The Fathers and Families Research Program conducted at the University of Newcastle, Australia in the year 2012 how horseplay between the father and the child helps to build concentration and self-confidence within the baby. Research studies show that when a couple hear their baby scream, both their hearts race equally fast, and when the father bottle-feeds the baby, he does it with equal care as that of the mother.
Myth-4: Men hardly take care of their children
It’s a complete myth that the father is not concerned about his child as much as the mother. It may seem that the job of taking care of the child is not performed properly by the dad, but the fact is that the father wants his child to take a risk and encourage him to extend their capacity to climb, jump, run and engage in other physical activities. These are all part of a plan with certain hidden benefits. Studies reveal that British fathers contribute to one-quarter of the parental work during the weekdays (an average of two hours per day) and about one-third of the work during weekends.
Myth-5: Fathers don’t help out at night
This is again a myth that dads don’t help out the child during night time. The fact is that it depends on the arrangement between the partners on who does what. If a baby is bottle-fed it is easier for the father to get involved. But even if the baby is breast-fed, the father can help out if the mother expresses milk in a bottle. This entirely depends on the mutual understanding between the two.
Myth-6: Men with children are unable to achieve their goals in life
Most people believe that a man who devotes more time to his family has to sacrifice a lot of expectations in life. But that is not at all true. A man equally dreams of being a father as much as a woman does. To a man, being a father is also an important goal of life, which they desire to achieve. More and more men are considering reducing their obligations to work and provide more time to their children. Many are just too good at maintaining a balance between the two and lead a planned and secured lifestyle.
The above discussion concludes to the fact that men are required to be dragged, shouting and kicking into parenthood, is just underpinned by a few myths created by the society. But fatherhood isn’t fixed. It entirely depends upon the need for the family and the capability of creating your own version. It is to be kept in mind that both sexes can equally take up the parenting job to give a healthy future to their child. So, even the contribution of the father makes a difference to the entire family. Parenting Coach Sue Atkins says: “It’s not true that mums make better parents or that it comes naturally to them and not to dads. Having a baby is like starting a new job – you learn as you go along and that applies equally to mums and dads.”