When one family member is enlisted, "the entire family serves, too." Younger members, trying to understand a parent's long absense or that empty chair on big holidays, make the biggest sacrifices.
Having gone through it once before, there are some things I want to share with and warn my friends about, certain aspects of the whole pregnancy and childbirth thing that come solely from the male point of view. After a few discussions with some of my other friends who are already fathers, there are a few things we all agreed new fathers should know.
Rhona Berens offers guidelines that can help new dads make the transition to fatherhood.
There are so many words of encouragement to all the mothers who have lost a baby but what about the fathers? Is it not half theirs too? What do they get, make sure you take up some of the chores and don't get too freaked out if she bursts into tears. Oh yeah, she may not want to have sex with you because it's a physical reminder to what she lost.
Many mothers say they wish their partner sympathized more with their situation. But the other side of the coin is also often true: that a father wishes his partner understood HIM more. Since one of the best ways to receive more understanding and consideration is to give it, let's take a moment to explore empathy for a father.
Dear Mr. Dad,
My wife and I are expecting our first child. The problem is that I'm in the US Marine Corps on tour in Iraq. I have been here since the beginning of the pregnancy and I might not be there for the birth of our child.
My wife is having a hard time doing this on her own and I feel that there's nothing I can do to support her. I'm reading your book, The Expectant Father, which I find very helpful. But do you know of any resources that are specifically aimed at military dads and/or their families?
Dear Mr. Dad: I've been deployed in Afghanistan for 13 months and am returning home next week. Being apart from my wife and children for so long has got me committed to making some major changes in my relationships with them. How easy will this be to do?
Welcome to your first month of fatherhood! You have arrived home from the hospital proud, excited and perhaps a bit exhausted from the experience of childbirth. What's next?
Bonding with baby is typically far easier for mom. For dads, however, that lack of physical awareness contributes to a greater challenge connecting with their little one while in utero. Still, it is very much possible.
Somewhere in the traffic jam of the last year, I lost control of my favorite vehicle of parent-child bonding: Making my kids laugh. I became so wrapped up in the relentless responsibilities of life that my funny bone resembled a car wreck.