To the Superdads, Thank You
Mamas! Can you believe we’re almost halfway through the year already!? Summer days mean lots of outdoor activities with our little ones – parks, pools, beaches, and barbecues. This summer will be so different from the last now that Jayden is up and about from the moment he opens his eyes until bedtime. What do you all have planned? Let me know in the comments!
Today, I wanted to chat about the dads in our lives. Although this is a page created around the beauty and reality of motherhood, I cannot forget to show my Superdads some love! Since creating this platform, I’ve grown such a beautiful community of strong, honest and supportive mothers. In addition, I’ve also had the blessing of meeting some of the most incredible fathers! They constantly remind me of the ways Dear Supermom has aided in helping them be better husbands and fathers. The men I’ve been in contact with are now people I cherish and speak to regularly, because they are the constant reminder that my purpose here is so much bigger than what I thought it was.
Earlier this week, a mother, who is currently in nursing school, reached out to me regarding a chapter she’s studying: Maternity. She came across an extremely interesting study regarding new fathers and we couldn’t help but agree that this was nothing but divine timing, given the fast approaching holiday, Father’s Day. The study brought us through the four stages fathers experience during fatherhood: Expectation and intentions, confronting reality, creating the role of involved father, and reaping rewards. During all four stages, we noticed that the emotions men experienced were almost a mirror image of a mother’s. The main difference seemed to be that they harbored more feelings of jealousy, resentment and neglect, as the baby and mother become everyone’s priority. It was only after reading this, that I realized I have played a major role in contributing to these statistics. It was a tough pill to swallow.
Parenting is a ball field very few couples take on with ease. No matter the amount of time you’ve invested into a relationship, or how well you know the other person, combining two different upbringings and views to raise a tiny human that is all yours is a challenge like no one could believe. Motherhood is all too consuming and those first few stages of adjusting to a healing body, a newborn who depends solely on that healing body for nutrition, and a wave of emotions that we can’t seem to get a handle on, are extremely daunting. Most of us feel as though the father isn’t doing enough, and this study has only made me realize that sometimes the father has no idea where he even fits in. The eagerness to jump into fatherhood and be the all in, hands-on, and emotionally involved parent they planned to be often gets pushed to the side. The decline of relationships often emerge from feelings of envy on the father’s end, which most of us write off as absurd. But… is it really?
“He had to have known the baby would take up a lot more time and attention.”
“What is he fussing about? Obviously our alone time would be cut in half, and then have that half cut again.”
“I have enough on my plate raising one kid. I don’t have time to baby him!”
But… can we really be angry at the father for craving bonds from the two he desires it most from? The child he so eagerly anticipated needs mom more than ever, and the partner who was once all about him is now unavailable in every sense of the word.
I felt a bit attacked reading this study, because I know I’m 100% at fault for doing this myself… even 19 months later. I’m learning from my mistakes and the beautiful conversations I have with other fathers daily. I think it’s extremely easy – and I say this often – to put the relationship we have with the father of our children on the backburner until later. But later comes real fast, and that constant pushback slowly turns into resentment. I won’t say that every time I felt alone or angry, I was wrong. There were a lot of times where we both neglected one another and contributed to ruining what should’ve been a time of pure love and joy for us as a family. The difference between then and now is the ability to step back and acknowledge that he is just trying to find his own way as a first-time father, while trying to keep a fire alive with someone who can be completely immersed in motherhood.
I hope this reminds us all to cherish the good fathers we have been blessed with. Speaking from personal experience, it’s all too easy to forget your partner when a baby enters the equation. We create such an airtight tunnel vision for the well-being and happiness of our child that we almost demolish the thought of others who also matter. Almost two years later, I still catch myself allowing past issues be my excuse for zeroing in on my child and only my child. It’s been hard to reverse that system and I realized that I haven’t stopped to make sure the other parent was happy, satisfied and cared for.
This Father’s Day… I just want to say thank you. For trying. For loving. For learning. For adapting.
Sharef… thank you one million times over. There is not one soul in the world who God would’ve brought me together with to create such a beautiful and smart little boy. We drive each other nuts… and I mean NUTS. There has been so much about the two of us that has changed since meeting five years ago, but there’s one thing for sure: we are doing one hell of a job at parenting. (Yes, even on the days when we’re asking each other why in the world is this little boy so damn bad!? Haha.) You are my best friend, and that stands true on the days where we can’t even look at each other. These last 19 months have been a rollercoaster of emotions for the two of us, with very few moments of easy sailing and laughs. For that, I’m sorry for every time I was the cause. I didn’t consider how scary and anxious fatherhood must’ve been for you, and how neglected I must’ve made you feel during these times. But thank you for always meeting me back in the middle. I love you, forever.
I hope if there is a father in your life who you love, that you take the time this weekend to remind them so. And to the fathers who have become cherished friends, Happy Father’s Day, Superdad.