What Dads Expect When They're Expecting
What Dads Expect When Mom is Expecting
Venus and Mars Can Share the Same Air continued...
They need to listen to men's fears, too. "She needs to encourage him to
talk about what's going on with him," Brott says. There may not be a whole
lot you can do about something, but just sharing these feelings, and
acknowledging that there's nothing wrong with them, can help, he says. And
don't forget to share the joys, as well. "You can just talk about how
delightfully happy you both are that this is going to happen," Brott
Brott suggests that one of the best ways for men to get involved in the
pregnancy from the start is to go to all the prenatal visits. "You may just
be sitting there twiddling your thumbs, but it will at least bring you into the
process. Listen to the heartbeat, watch the ultrasound, do whatever you can.
The earlier you get involved, the more you're going to be a part of the thing;
and the more involved a father you are, the better your child is going to turn
Studies have shown that children -- and parents, too -- benefit
substantially from the relationships forged with fathers early on. Not only are
the children more socially and emotionally adjusted later, but they tend to be
smarter. Marriages also are happier, which contributes to more satisfying, and
possibly even healthier, lives of the parents.
Exchanging war stories -- and laughs -- with other men also can help give
them some perspective and an outlet to vent. It may be something as informal as
playing golf or having some beers with friends who also happen to be dads. Or
it can be something as structured as Boot Camp for New Dads, a men-only program
offered in 72 hospitals across the country. Check out the Web site for more information.
At Boot Camp for New Dads, veteran dads bring their new babies in for a few
hours on a Saturday for a hands-on approach to helping "rookies" gain
some practical tools regarding everything from safety-proofing a home to
changing a diaper and frank discussions on sex and marriage after babies. New
dads return once more with their babies after they're born.
"It's nice to hear what other dads are going through, what they expected
and how they dealt with their problems," says Hugh Damon, a realtor from
Newport Beach, Calif., who first attended boot camp a few weeks before his son
Cole, now 9 months, was born. "No matter where you are on the continuum,
there's someone else who's experiencing similar things as you."
Myth No. 2: Dads Can't Walk the Talk
The Bumbling Dad stereotype still threatens to shake the confidence of many
dads-to-be. Long conditioned to accept women as the primary caretakers, men are
often worried they just won't be as good as their wives at handling the kids,
especially newborns, or that they won't be able to develop as close a bond with