Men pass through four emotional transitions as fathers that mark their character and define who they are as men.
If our Inner Critic tries to co-parent with our spouse's inner critic, it's a recipe for relationship conflict, not to mention icky parenting. Why? Because saboteurs talk in absolutes, prohibitions, commands and insults.
Rhona Berens offers guidelines that can help new dads make the transition to fatherhood.
I'm breastfeeding our son and husband feels "left out." How can he feel that he's able to bond with the baby?
I will nurture and teach you. But, as with your brothers, I intend to help you thrive in an often-difficult society. That's why your mommy and I have named you Ari, which means "lion." It's our hope that you will grow strong and pounce on every opportunity to do well for yourself and others.
It's easy to pick a new father out of a crowd. He's the one shambling aimlessly down the sidewalk with a glazed, deer-in-the-headlights look on his face. Parenthood can indeed be an overwhelming experience for many new dads. What they need to find their way through the postpartum wilderness is a little sage advice
But now is the time to talk, share, talk, share, and talk and share. How else will either of you be able to find out what is really going on inside in the other person unless you spend time together, ask questions, and discuss your "minds and hearts?"
It is undeniable that the arrival of a baby, especially the first, transforms the relationship inside a couple. Three people now must share love, time and energy -- the exclusive nature of the couple's relationship comes to an end.
On the bright side, the baby room is starting to look like a baby room. A big colorful rug, a white dresser, a rocking chair, et cetera. When I opened the dresser and found it full of little clothes, it really hit home. "Wow! Another person is going to be living here."
As she lay in bed and I held her hand, we reminisced about the delivery as though it had happened years, not minutes ago. (Remember when you had that contraction in the alley? Yeah, that was awesome.)