© Africa Studio/Dollar Photo Club
This morning, just like most mornings, I browsed a popular mommy forum where I connect with moms whose babies are about the same age as mine.
And this morning, just like most mornings, there was a new thread with a mom complaining about her husband.
Correction: A tired, overwhelmed mom complaining about her decidedly well-rested, under-whelmed husband.
These complaints I see on these forums all look slightly different.
One mom is frustrated that her husband never gets up with the baby at night.
Another mom is bitter that her husband is out watching football with his buddies while she stays home with the infant.
Yet another one is sad that her husband doesn’t even seem to take much interest in his brand new child.
But at their core, these grievances are all about the exact same thing: Change.
Let me explain.
When a woman gets pregnant, she somehow knows—via nature, nurture, or a combination of the two—that her life is going to change completely and dramatically when the baby arrives.
She doesn’t understand the depth of that change because you simply can’t grasp it until there’s a tiny human in your arms who is entirely dependent on you for survival.
But even though she can’t yet fully understand how much her life is going to change, she still knows it’s going to happen.
Expectant dads? Not so much.
Too many fathers-to-be seem to believe that after the baby is born, their lives are going to look pretty much the same—just with a kid in it.
And because those expectant dads believe that, it ends up coming true!
© highwaystarz/Dollar Photo Club
The result is a host of new moms who are growing increasingly resentful toward their partners.
You see, the moms on these forums are ticked off because their entire worlds have been turned upside down by this little baby, while their husbands’ lives look shockingly the same.
He still seems to find time for his hobbies, while hers are on the back burner.
He still gets a decent amount of uninterrupted sleep most nights, while she’s a zombie.
He still hangs out with his friends every week, while she hasn’t had quality girl time since the baby was born.
So the one thing all first-time dads-to-be need to know is this: Your life is about to change significantly. Dramatically. Totally.
If it doesn’t, then something is terribly wrong.
Because if your life looks pretty close to the way it did pre-kids, that means your partner’s life is even more overturned, putting her at risk for depression, anxiety, or just a whole lotta anger directed toward YOU.
I don’t say this to scare you or intimidate you or threaten you.
Indeed, the fact that your life is going to change so dramatically is not a bad thing at all! On the deepest emotional level, this change is a beautiful and wonderful thing—one that will give your life new meaning and direction and perspective.
The problem is just that so many dads don’t expect it, and therefore they don’t open themselves up to it.
So dads-to-be, start expecting it.
Expect your life to be utterly reinvented and remade with the arrival of your little one. Expect your day-to-day life to be practically incomparable to what it once was—and yes, often inconveniently so—but also expect your heart to balloon to its bursting point in the best way possible.
First-time dads, get ready for your boat to rock, for the winds to sweep your life in a totally new direction.
And then, when your sweet baby arrives, you and your partner can meet in the middle and navigate the new waters together.