I went to congratulate one of my close friends for becoming parents. It was the exact moment when the dad saw his baby first time. I asked him how was the feeling? To this, he replied that he was happy and honestly he was unable to believe that it was his baby. I initially got confused but understood his meaning later on. I understood that in past few minutes he was promoted to dad who was a guardian and a protector. I questioned whether it is, “postpartum depression”? I wondered if even men faced that?
Narrating a second incident of my sister. My sister arrived at our place at the ninth month of pregnancy for delivery. Her husband used to stay in different city. After my sister gave birth to her child, her husband came to meet her after almost 12 hours of traveling time.I was present when I saw the new dad holding his baby for the first time and was shocked to see the same reaction as in previous case. After that, my sister’s husband left as he had to get back to job. I was staying with my sister and I can see her frustration due to pain, stitches and sleep deprivation. My sister was to stay with us for two more months but after two weeks her postpartum depression became more evident and she suffered from constant mood swings. She hardly called her husband but he used to call her daily but she used to behave rude. On asking her about her behavior, she said that her husband doesn’t understand her, he must be in office chilling with his friends and here she was the one who’s life had changed drastically since she became mother. On further analysis, I concluded that, she was stressed with the fact that she had to become mother overnight but her husband didn’t need to be father overnight. Their condition became miserable with lot of heartache, misunderstandings, anger and rudeness. Their relationship suffered at a time when it should have been flourishing and they couldn’t enjoy the initial beautiful moments of parenthood.
After two months, when my sister returned back to her husband, I was still in regular contact to check if things are settling between them or not. But yes, the things started to settle and a little sanity returned in their relationship. The depression had reduced and they had started communicating better. He husband would now understand her much better and had become lot more empathetic. On further analysis with my sister, we found that a lot of pain could be avoided by knowing that men and women are wired differently, and motherhood would be enjoyable.
Some of the basic differences between men and women:
1. Husbands cannot become dads overnight.
Sometimes, a wife may make an effort to make her husband realize about his responsibility of fatherhood but they don’t understand it instantly. Woman carries the baby for nine months so in a way she gets a period of nine months to connect with the baby but still she faces postpartum depression. Going by same rule, its quite unrealistic to expect the husband to become dad overnight without him getting chance to connect with baby and feel his responsibility.
2. Husbands wish to help you but don’t know how?
Genetically, men and women are wired differently. Some things come very obviously to woman but it takes a long time for men to understand. So in some situations, woman can instinctively tell what is required in certain situation, it is tough for man to understand. Men need to be told everything separately and step by step. It’s not that they don’t to help you but they don’t understand how they can offer their help. For. Ex. Right from how to put on the diaper, the right temperature of the milk to the right way to sleep, everything needs to be explained carefully. So you need to tell and make your man understand all the things from basic so that he can offer the help and you can be less stressful.
3. Various classes related to pregnancy which does not work.
From the day, a woman is pregnant she tries to involve her husband in each and everything related to pregnancy and wishes to make him the part of their pregnancy journey. So they drag their husband to so many classes and expect them to take up fatherhood expertly but ladies, be ready for great disappointment. These classes doesn’t help in anything related to fatherhood, but they help in making husband and wife closer as they get to spend some quality time together. These classes are a complete waste if you expect the father to expert his fatherhood.
4. Men are very very scared.
If you ask your husband to pick up the baby and change the diaper or take her to sleep, I am sure he would deny it during initial month. Its not that they are not willing to do it or are uninterested to do it but the fact is that it scares the shit out of them. They lack the confidence and are always afraid that they can badly hurt the little one and hence they deny it.
5. Be patient and keep communicating is the key to success
Communicate right from the day you conceive. Women should keep away all her reservations aside and talk openly about each and every perspective and details of pregnancy. This will increase his knowledge base and help him understand fatherhood better. It makes woman less stressed and happy about the pregnancy. Above all this, huge amount of patience is required to deal with the situation.
I realized many husband asks their wife, “Why didn’t you tell me earlier. I never knew this”. So it is better late than never and start introducing your husband to various aspects of pregnancy and learn together. And lastly, I would like to say, “If a couple can face the pregnancy well, together they can face all problems of life”.