I asked this brand-new father “How is the feeling? It has been a few months now…”
He said,” Overrated… Not a big deal honestly!”
Stumped, I asked “So it came naturally?”
“My stomach wasn’t slit, my hormones stayed calm, no weight gain or rashes or hospitalization, no breast feeding… So yeah. Being a father is overrated.”
I am not sure how I was expected to react. I did not go “Awww…” and neither did I admire his empathy. I was flummoxed! My question was how did it feel to be a parent – a FATHER! It wasn’t “How does it feel to NOT be a mother!” I have a Dad. I also have a Mom. So do most people. There is a difference.
And… there better be a difference!
I did not like how he brushed aside being a father. He has a Dad too, and being a typical Indian guy from a conservative family where women have little or no say, he definitely has his father on a pedestal. I doubt he would have liked hearing “Ah! No big deal” from his Dad when he was born.
I am actually weirdly tired of predominantly seeing “Oh nothing prepares you for motherhood!” articles and blogs. I understand and I am already terrified of the prospects. I am going to need every little bit of advice written if my time ever comes. But the Daddy’s girl in me also wants to understand how being a father feels. The confusion, the excitement, the anticipation and for all I know, detachment with slow blooming adoration? Is it love at first sight or a step by step process? No one really talks about this.
I want to know the protective feeling when their little girl fits into their palm and falls asleep into any corner of their person. About the mild mortification when she decides to paint their nails pink and there is a meeting the next day. Or when the hair is perfect practice for the hairstyle she wants to give her Barbie. The utter chaos when Mom decides to take the day off and lunch is basically lots of cheese and butter with some bread to mop it up (yay for those days!)
Some of my best childhood tales include of Dad having to sterilize my milk bottles in a God-forsaken railway station. And how I used to wait as he came back from work, making happy gurgling sounds but not smart enough to actually open the door.
I just became an aunt of this gorgeous baby girl and when I look at my brother, I see a mix of incredulous happiness and utter confusion. Mostly, they are trying to figure out if she is hungry or sleepy or just secretly smirking at them. I want him to laugh and talk about those hundred tiny moments. Because it is a different kind of a beautiful than the one of a mother.
Both are important.
Happy Mother’s Day 🙂
Joining the SOCS Partay over at Linda’s wonderful blog. The prompt is “Apparent/a parent”