I asked my husband what lessons surprised him after becoming a dad to our three daughters. Here are seven surprises he learned.
While looking at my list of blog post ideas, my husband asked if he could participate in a blog post with me. I found it perfect because I had the idea to ask my husband what surprised him about fatherhood.
It felt like a perfect idea! So, he chose seven surprises that parenting brought him and I created a blog post from it.
This is that blog post!
If you’re a father, what things surprised you when you became a parent?
Raising My Three and Me presents… seven surprises my husband didn’t expect about fatherhood!
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Okay, time to go back to the content!
Breastfeeding as a whole was a huge surprise:
When my husband would think about becoming a parent, he never learned about breastfeeding being a thing; that’s pretty alarming, what are we teaching when it comes to sexual health and home economics if we do not teach what breasts are for? Perhaps instead of teaching our sons about pornography and the need for sex, maybe we should teach them about breastfeeding being natural – whether or not a mother chooses breastfeeding is their own choice.
Because my husband didn’t learn about breastfeeding, he would envision getting up throughout the night with a baby to give them a bottle. Of our three kids, he only got to feed our baby when we had to supplement with formula to get her weight back up. This ended up being great for him because he got to connect to her, something he was afraid of not connecting to our baby since they were with me 90% of the time, but he learned over time that there are other ways to connect with your baby apart from feeding.
Not only was this a surprising lesson for him; he also wasn’t anticipating how much the baby would connect and need to be with me. How I couldn’t just walk into the other room without the onset of crying, or having to worry about where we were going – keeping us close to home for the first couple of years. It made him angry to see others give me a hard time when the baby was hungry in public.
Together we learned that these sacrifices are worth it as our babies were never sick. We learned that breastfeeding was a great decision for our family – even with all of the pain and exhaustion that went along with it.
There are so many odd beliefs about genders:
If I got a penny for every time someone said we needed to have a son, I would be a millionaire by now. This not only offended me but upset my husband. He loves that we have three daughters and it made him think: why are girls not seen as “good enough” when it comes to reproducing?
There is nothing wrong with some disappointment when it comes to finding out the gender of your child, that happens – what isn’t okay is to disown your baby when you didn’t get what you wanted; especially since the gender of the child is from the father’s genetics.
Not only are men expected to want sons (to carry on the family name or because they’re intimidated by having girls), but having girls has this common misconception that they are not aggressive or rowdy; they are. Our daughters are rough with each other.
I don’t believe that one gender or the other is limited to one personality trait. Girls can be aggressive, gross, laugh when they fart, they can be dangerous, energetic, and rowdy and boys can be emotional and nurturing. People live their own lives and form their own characteristics; regardless of the gender, they are. Our daughters like dinosaurs, matchbox cars, and tools.
You never realize just how much gender roles are ingrained in your mind until you watch your child develop their own interests.
Resentment found it’s way into our relationship:
You worry about how your relationship will change after having children, and it will change. Although a lot of these shifts are positive, this transition can also bring resentment into your relationship. This can be due to hormones, healing, the bond with the baby being stronger for one parent, the distance between the two, the sleep deprivation, and having different ideas on expectations for your child.
My husband was surprised at how much he would resent me for staying home with our kids and he wouldn’t understand what I did. A lot of people don’t see the sacrifices that stay-at-home parents make and my husband was like this with our first child. We were both tired at the end of the day and that birthed a lot of misunderstandings and resentments.
Personally, I resented him for not having to give up his old life much: he still had his body, he got to take naps, he got to use the bathroom without it being cut short, he didn’t have a baby hanging off of his body, he got to still play his video games, and he got to leave the house.
We were both so tired but we still had to take care of the kids, divide the household duties, we were both constantly on duty while navigating through life together and that’s hard!
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He wasn’t anticipating the resentment and that you have to learn and accept the person your partner evolved into since becoming a father, or a mother. It takes growth, honesty, and open communication with your relationship, and this doesn’t stop when you become parents.
Looking at your child is like looking into a mirror:
Have you ever looked at your baby and felt happy when you see your eyes, nose, or other features? My husband wasn’t anticipating seeing qualities in our kids that mirrored his own. Becoming a parent is an eye-opener to where your inner child is hurting, your deepest fears are placed on your child, you see little quirks that you never realized you had until your partner points it out.
It takes a whole lot of self-discovery and personal growth in order to live as a happier parent.
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You truly see your annoying qualities come to light; like attention spans, angry outbursts, and things that you didn’t realize you were doing. What you do with this knowledge is on you.
The newborn stage is not as chaotic as he thought:
Apart from the “periods of purple crying” and dealing with teething, our babies were great as newborns. All they did was sleep, needed diaper changes, and nursed.
My husband was expecting to get up in the middle of the night and we never had to. We also weren’t expecting moments where our children would be screaming for hours (period of purple crying) and there was nothing we could do to stop it. It was pretty challenging but not as huge as we thought it would be. You basically hold the child and the baby loves you back.
The toddler stage on the other hand? Now that is the most chaotic!
Strangers do not like seeing fathers with their daughters:
My husband was shocked to learn that he would look like a criminal whenever he was outside alone with our kids. They looked at him like he was doing something wrong to be out there without them. Whether this is due to strangers assuming we were not together, or that he kidnapped them, or when he had to parent them in public: we realized that although a lot of people compliment our kids, not many people like seeing daughters alone with their fathers.
And that’s a shame.
It’s a shame that my husband being involved with our kids brought on angry glares from strangers, just mind your business. Not every child grows up without their father. Our daughters have a loving father who does so much for them and isn’t told he has to.
Every child deserves that feeling of safety and love from their father.
Children are more creative, funny, and brilliant:
My husband was expecting children to be characters from Invader Zim, whatever that means. 🤷🏻♀️😂 Children are naturally intuitive sponges. You see the baby develop with intense curiosity, they have their own personalities, they are creative and smart. They are unique!
Words will never be able to express how thankful I am to have a partner who is not only great to me but an excellent father. He’s loving, safe, and fun with our daughters. I love that he loves them just as much as I do. I’m beyond thankful to have him by my side through this challenging journey.
Thank you to my husband for being a part of this blog post and the things he does for our family unit. He means so much to me and I’m happy to have him. So, thank you, babe!
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