In asking around for topic ideas and requests for this blog, I discovered that a lot of ladies think it would be fun to read the perspective of a father-to-be. So, I enlisted my husband Aaron to provide a little window into the world of the men in our lives, and to write a bit about what he's experiencing in the lead-up to becoming a dad:
"The child rearing experience, which crosses all cultures and classes, and makes it possible for two men to converse despite having nothing else in common, also separates men who would otherwise have everything in common. I think about things differently now that I’m about to be a father-- like how my decisions will affect my family-- and this naturally affects what I talk about. The concerns at the forefront of my waking consciousness are simply not yet on the radar of my friends who aren’t parents. Right now, I’m in a somewhat undefined place in-between the sleep-deprived delirium of proud new parents, and the life of a person who's not a parent yet at all.
Taylor and I, as parents-to-be, have recently found ourselves included as honorary members of parenting-related party conversations, revolving around everything from the preschool application process to potty training. Some of this is interesting and helpful as we rapidly approach full parenthood status, but some of it really comes down to an exercise in supportive listening.
For example, I recently nodded and “uh-huh'd” my way through another dad’s exposition on his 2-year-old daughter’s accelerated developmental progression: “My daughter’s vocabulary is up to [couple hundred] words.That’s very advanced. I’m actually not supposed to talk about it, because it will make you worry when your child isn’t reaching those developmental milestones.”
Uh huh. All the while I’m thinking, “I sincerely hope I’m not this boring in a few months,” and simultaneously trying to come to terms with the reality that I probably will be!
At some point soon after the birth of my child, I, too, will begin bragging about what an amazing specimen he is. So healthy, so handsome, so bright, and so on. Yet, no matter how excited I am to meet my own son and witness his development, I still have to fight the urge to roll my eyes when other dads start listing all the proof that little Johnny or Janey is oh-so-unusually gifted in one way or another. I can see Taylor’s eyes glazing over, too, as the other moms discuss their children’s sleep schedules, bowel movements, etc. We’re thrilled to become parents, and actually looking forward to the daily grind of diapers, feedings, and so forth. We’re also hoping that we’ll still be able to relate to all of our friends, parents and non-parents alike, as we move forward as new parents ourselves."
Moms and dads (and all you to-be's): How have your concerns and conversations changed in becoming parents? What’s your favorite or least favorite parenting conversation topic? How have you maintained relationships with your friends who don’t yet have children?
The adventure begins: Aaron and I drink (water-- I was 3 months pregnant) from a German wedding cup the day after we got hitched, back in August.