All dads are different and I love all the baby daddies I have ever meant. I love the way they are so unique and different in so many ways. I love the way they view parenthood so differently. I love the way they are magical little boys and big strong dads all at the same time. I love the unique reactions and expressions of each man as he sees his newborn child. There is a sense of love and responsibility all at the same time. I love the ones that dote on their partners and the ones that love to love but at a distance. I love connecting with each new dad and his new vision of parenthood.
And… I also love that I can see all these different aspects in the men I encounter as they welcome their newborns into the world. What a magical world it is when these new dads welcome their new babies into the world. What a magical moment when these new dads connect with their partners in a vulnerable space and with everyone else in the room.
To love a new dad is to respect him. To love and inspire a new dad is to enjoy whatever he is putting out there for you to see and praise him for it. To love a new dad is to give him everything he needs to be the best dad he can be, and to see him there before he sees himself actually achieving it. To love a new dad, from a doula’s perspective, is to help him learn all he wishes to learn and understanding that he will teach you more than you have taught him. To love and respect a new dad means that you are there for the journey and not just the moment.
To love a new dad from a partners experience is to help him understand how you are doing without making him responsible for how you feel.
New dads are great, many of them don’t know what they are doing, they don’t know how to make their partner’s life better, they don’t know how to make the baby stop crying; but they do know that they want to make things better and that with patience, kindness, respect and admiration, they will find their way through it just as their partner finds those same moments for themselves.
To honor a baby daddy is to see them, no matter what they are doing at the time, as doing a good job and learning as they go. They may act like they know all the answers and they probably don’t, but neither does anyone else. To honor your baby daddy is to know that no matter what they bring to the table, it will be profound and powerful and that you can’t know it all ahead of time.
Your job in loving your baby daddy is to understand that, for many men, still waters run deep. Their love is not always profoundly expressed, but it is there. Love, as with all other emotions, is sometimes profoundly there but may ebb and flow over time. It may come across as picking up diapers on his way home from work or taking on that extra job so that you will have more of what you need. You may not agree with it but it is there in the softer view of non-judgment.
Asking them for what you need, without criticism, is very powerful. In fact, it may be preferred instead of expecting them to read minds. The baby daddy in your life will love your baby but he may not always do it the way you would do it.
But your baby…. your baby will know who he is. Your baby will love him as if he was perfect and your baby will need him even if he is just a passing glance in the mirror.
Finding the baby power in the man you love is understanding that he is not you, but he does add to your baby’s life and he will add to yours if you love him for his uniqueness while embracing and respecting him. Understand, that at the moment he saw his child for the first time, he did desire to be an awesome dad. Allowing him to find that within himself, just as you are learning to be his awesome partner, is the greatest love and support you can give him.