It’s quite easy for a newbie dad to become completely invisible during pregnancy and then even harder to return to an opaque state in the post birth new world.
I started to notice at first with our midwife, who would ensure that all questions about me were directed to my wife, with answers only written down after Mrs M had repeated my words as fact.
It did slowly get worse as the pregnancy went on with any input quickly rejected. In fact, the only acknowledgement I received throughout the whole experience was a nod of victory when Mrs M announced I would miss an appointment.
A journey we started as a 50/50 partnership, learning and experiencing together, seemed to be infiltrated by groups determined to ignore my (admittedly so far minimal) contribution and send me to the subs bench until a cup of tea was needed.
Luckily for me, Mrs M has always ensured I have retained my 50% allowing me to develop as a parent and providing me the space to get things wrong myself and learn my own lessons.
This was also helped by the fact that little M was awake for the best part of the first two years of his life, so shifts were essential to our survival.
I understand the reasons dad’s can get sidelined and that not every child can be part of a two parent family, but that shouldn’t mean that the value of a good dad should be ignored.
Mrs M isn’t perfect… I am not perfect… but together we hope to provide little M with the best half of each of us by developing as parents together and also on our own, allowing each other to try new techniques, new ideas and not smiling to hard, when they don’t work.
Dad’s need to find their own feet and be given the encouragement to build their own relationship in their own way, I was fortunate to be given that, but many aren’t as privileged.