Now you might be reading this thinking, “What information does a man have to give us women about breastfeeding???”…well frankly I am wondering the same thing! Oddly enough I was completely enamored when asked to be a weekly contributor to a blog that focuses on everything breastfeeding. My enthusiasm was so much that I did not give a second thought to what on earth I would be writing about. So as I sit here and type (single-handed), holding our second child of one month, I am compelled to write about what I feel in this very moment as a new father once again.
Fatherhood, the second time around…
I would be lying if I didn’t say fatherhood the second time around has not been what I imagined. Two and a half years ago, we welcomed our first born son into the world. We were ambitious parents to say the least, unwilling to accept any help outside our bubble, determined to figure it out on our own. Needless to say it was far from easy. There were miscommunications, endless nights, learned experiences, followed by more sleepless nights, and an unsettling number of “ah ha!” moments, but for the most part we did pretty well as new parents.
Last month we welcomed a second addition to our family, and I quickly realized that the days of staring into our newborns face, memorizing every detail and expression, were long gone for me. My weeks following no.2’s birth consisted mainly of wrangling our two year old and monitoring his brutal yet affectionate hugs and kisses, nervously repeating “gentle…gentle…” all the while attempting to include him in everything so as to not make him feel left out.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my first born son more than words can explain, there is no question what so ever about that. I love all the time we have spent together over the last month, watching him grow leaps and bounds, he has truly taught me the beauty of genuine unconditional love. My apprehension comes from the worry of not being able to spend the same quality time bonding with our newest child during these first few formative months.
Although its only been about five weeks, and I know I tend to be “over-emotional” some of the time (ok MOST of the time) I can’t help but feel like he has no clue who I am. It’s almost comical, looking down at this little curmudgeon, when I embrace, swaddle, or rock him to sleep. On the flip side, any uneasy feelings of inadequacy dissipate when I glance over to see my beautiful wife Emily, gazing down at him while he nurses (which is like 98% of the day), not even realizing I’ve been staring at her like a weekend window shopping weirdo. When she finally feels my glare, all the false perceptions disappear as she looks up, smiles wholeheartedly with so much love in her eyes, speaking to each other silently how lucky we are…It just doesn’t get much better than that. It’s in those moments that I know what I am doing for my wife and son is so much more than occupying a two year old, I am helping my wife nurse comfortably with our newborn son, assuring he has all that he needs.
All in all, I am confident in our bond, whatever the outcome may be. Emily and I have worked through so many hardships to create the family dynamic we feel necessary to break the cycles of dysfunction we were raised in, in order to raise our children in a healthy and positive, influential manner.
We’d love to hear from you! Tell us more about your experience with Fatherhood, the second time around! Leave your comments below!
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