A Parent named Daddy!

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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!)

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Daddy & Me! 🙂

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”

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51 thoughts on “A Parent named Daddy!

  1. Praj, you are really very very naughty. Come July and I will explain you everything. Excellent piece. And yes your Ladaki Mom also enjoyed it. Surprise-surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The “brand new” father may well be simply reflecting his perspective that babies are the mother’s responsibility so, of course, there is minimum impact on him.

    I was not particularly excited at the baby stage either… with either my boy or my girl. This changed when they became more expressive and started showing an interest beyond feeding! For reasons which I cannot explain, a little person is wonderful… but a virtually helpless baby? I guess that is thankfully where men and women are generally different in their thinking!

    I predict that the “brand new” father will become more involved in the next few months! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well.. mY friEnd.. Prajakta..
    i wasn’t a father very long..
    but long enough
    to kNow and
    FeeL for sure
    that i would
    lay my life down
    then for anotHeR
    little one.. noW
    and hold that
    little one until
    his last
    breath
    did come..
    iT wasn’t something
    my wife could do and
    it was a mother inside of
    the father i.. that i never
    fully knew the potEnTial
    for noW.. NoW.. so faR..
    unTiL then.. As fatHeR
    trUly tHeRe IS A mothEr
    In most every fatheR and
    a FathEr iN most every MotHer..
    And while single parenting..
    although not the optimum
    arrangement for
    a child.. iT sTiLL
    noW can maKe
    a child botH LoVinG
    and Fearless too..
    iT iS different
    my friend..
    but too
    iT
    iS
    sAMe..
    for those
    who balance the
    best of Love
    WitH
    Fearless
    no
    W..:)

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  4. Yes, the dad stories don’t often get heard. And I do think there is a pressure on men not to emote ‘like women’, which I think is a shame (of course, that’s just my opinion!).

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  5. Father’s don’t have the mysterious chemical attachment that mother’s do, but I have seen some get pretty excited about babies. Others get excited later, when the child can talk and throw a ball as mentioned above. I disagree that “nothing can prepare you for motherhood.” Though there is no way a book or conversation can truly convey the feeling you get with giving birth or breastfeeding and cuddling, all the reading and talking to mothers did help me prepare in practical ways.

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    • I think you misunderstood me 🙂 I was simply quoting the articles and blog titles I have come across on motherhood of late – there is such a loud hoopla created that it is almost scary! Which kind of stemmed my want for wanting to know about new Dads as well 🙂

      Like

  6. Lovely write up. I have also snuggled in with Papa and he rubbing my ears to make me sleep. I remember many things with Papa too as much as with Mum. This guy, well let’s just ignore.

    Btw, I notice the August 7, 2016. What’s that? Tell me more 🙂 Did I miss a post?

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    • Thanks a lot 🙂 Dads have a knack of knowing the exact place to pat to put us to sleep, don’t they? 🙂

      August 7 is something I am yet to write about – Once the details are final, will be posting soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Most times Dads are silently observing, not getting overly excited. But I can assure you that from within we have a greater sense of happiness, cheer (and lots of apprehension too) even if not outwardly shown 🙂

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  8. This was a very sincere dedication. For me, being father is the “Happiness of responsibilities!”. The happiness to taking care of wife for everything that she undergoes! The responsibilities of keeping every one around happy. Those small unsaid things which still need attention, which never gets mentioned but needs to be taken care of.

    I loved reading your post. I am so much smiles. Thank you.. 🙂

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  9. A very thought provoking Prajakta post that had me going back memory lane to when my own children were born. With the societal norms where men do not show their inner emotions, I am one who sheds tears very easy. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. butt I cried when each of my children were born.
    In Canada nowadays, dads do take a more active role in raising their children, than say when I was a kid. My dad was a bit of an exception, which I am very grateful for!
    As infants in our home, mom was the #1, which makes sense as my wife was the one who breastfed them. A man could never come close to this bonding. For insecure fathers all this could be threatening and it could make them indifferent. There are some dads who I could picture them saying “overrated”, when asked about fatherhood.
    Sometimes after nursing, and changing I would go for a walk with the baby in a “snuggly” It was only a matter of moments before the baby was asleep.. I LOVED these times. The children are all grown up (my one son is 6’6″ tal)l. I still love my children, but in a different dynamic from when they were infants.. And ALWAYS love hearing the words from one of my girls, “I love you daddy” 🙂

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    ~Carl~

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    • Reading about this actually makes me think about my father. It is so good to hear about the bond you share with your children – Something that comes across in your writing as well 🙂

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  10. This was such a wonderful read! 🙂
    When my Dad talks about the times when I was little, I can make out how he cherished the novelty of fatherhood and though I haven’t asked him how he felt on day one, or whether the admiration came “step by step,” I guess I’m okay with that. And, well there’s a reason why we’re “Daddy’s girls.” 😉 Though, it would be nice to know their exact thoughts…

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  11. So here’s my take on it: Yes, we go through all the pain and the mood swings and body changes and so on. But our husbands do as well, just differently. They have to deal with all of it. They have to balance it all out. They have to be there for us. They have to lift us up when we can’t anymore. I actually felt very sorry for my husband during both of our kids births. While you as a woman experience all the pain but also all the magic of actually giving birth to your baby, all the men can do is sit there and watch you suffer and work very hard. I think it’s more tiring for them than for us as I had the impression time was very relative for me. The 22 hours felt like so much less. 2 hours were over in no time. For my husband though, every minute seemed like an eternity. Their body does not go into birth mode. Their Adrenalin does not kick in, they are there, watching everything in slow motion compared to us. Sort of the same afterwards, when we breast feed and get to experience this amazing feeling too. All our poor husbands can do is change diapers and maybe help feeding a bottle every now and then. And again they are only the support crew. And yet, they are so important. Not only for us, but for the kids too. They balance it all out. They are the Ying to the Yang and so on.

    I think the Dad you talk about probably felt it was not his place to talk about how proud he is. He probably is exhausted, he probably is slightly jealous of all the attention the baby gets and he probably is confused about his wife’s reaction. Side-effects of being a dad, you know ;-). You are right. A dad should feel proud and secure enough to talk about his feelings too.

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  12. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time until I was a teenager and moved to the United States. He was an unbelievable figure in my life. He had four of us girls and each of us know the special bond that comes with being a daddy’s girl. Loved this piece – so refreshing!

    Like

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