Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Today I’m sharing my advice on fatherhood – New Fathers, Be All In!
Advice on Fatherhood | New Fathers, Be All In
I became a father at 27-years of age. It was as scary as it was exciting. But you know what? I rose to the occasion. I remember being in the delivery room and my daughter’s mother had fully dilated and our daughter was ready to make her entry into the world. I remember her, my daughter’s mother, getting onto the delivery table and the nurse telling her she can push now. But our doctor was nowhere to be found. Actually, our doctor was on vacation and Dr. Karotney was the doctor on-call, but he wasn’t in the delivery room and my daughter wasn’t going to wait for him. There we were, the nurse on the phone trying to get the doctor, the baby ready to come, and me standing beside her thinking, “Um, who’s going to catch the baby?” So, I did what I hope any father would have done, I quicking walked around and positioned myself between her legs, reached out and caught my daughter just as she came out. And there I was, holding my daughter, her beautiful brown eyes wide open and looking around, taking it all in. And just like that, we were both born; her a newborn and I a newborn father.
Almost 16 years ago, my wife and I got the news we were having twins. The joy I felt, the excitement about getting to do this all over again was doubled! And life with the Worthey boys has been nothing but a fun rollercoaster.
Are you a father that has taken paternity leave? Better yet, do you think it is beneficial for men to take leave from work when their baby is born? The simple answer, of course, is yes. Although I didn’t take paternity leave, mainly because it wasn’t an option.
But times have changed, and it’s a good thing. And the reality is, caring for newborns isn’t just woman’s work, it’s bigger than that guys. Here’s why, according to The Economist in Denmark, for example, 90% of dads take more than a fortnight’s (14 days) leave. Research suggests that doing so enables fathers to have a significant impact, men who look after their newborn children has positive real-life effects.
In the same article, here’s a list of the added benefits of fathers taking paternity leave:
- Fathers who take paternity leave are more likely to take an active role in child-care tasks
- Fathers who had taken paternity leave were more likely to feed, dress, bathe and play with their child long after the period of leave had ended.
- Dads who took time off at birth were almost a third more likely to read books with their toddlers than those who hadn’t.
The Whole Family Approach
Redefined manhood that is more actively inclusive within the family unit has immediate as well as long-range benefits.
In terms of childcare, fathers sharing the responsibilities create stronger bonds with their babies, and this stronger bond can affect the child’s sense of security, happiness, learning and overall confidence throughout the child’s formative years and beyond in every stage of their development.
Be All In
I have learned over the years that you have to be all in, that’s my advice to new dads. Don’t half step, don’t go the neanderthal route and put it all on your wife or baby’s mom. It takes two to make a baby and it takes two, the mother and the father to raise a baby. Some dads take to fatherhood like a duck to water; others struggle, but don’t let the struggle keep you from showing up every day and actively being involved in your child’s life.
This Father’ Day Dove Men + Care is celebrating fatherhood with their Dear Future Dads series. So let’s join DM+C in celebrating the impact dads have on their children and the world around them. Because when dads care, everyone benefits. #DearFutureDads
Dear Future Dads