Becoming a father changes your life. People will say it’s the best thing that will happen to you. And I’m not here to tell you otherwise. But there are some taboos that you can’t talk about. In this TED talk from 2010, Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman talk about some of these taboos. Let me run through these 4 taboos based on my own experience.
You can’t say you didn’t fall in love with your baby in the first minute: It’s not that you don’t feel a strong connection with your child from day one. But my son is almost a year and a half now, and I notice that the bonding is still growing.
You can’t talk about how lonely having a baby can be: You are still surrounded by family and friends. But as your life changes, you notice that your feelings change too. I think for a mother these feelings must be stronger. But as a father, you notice that life is suddenly a lot more exhausting, and you need to plan your day even more (even though a child won’t sleep or eat by the same schedule every day). So I guess it’s the overwhelming feeling of being a parent and getting a lot of responsibilities, that can make you feel lonely very suddenly.
You can’t talk about your miscarriage: It’s true. The first pregnancy of my wife ended after 2 months. It was still (luckily) a very early stage. But I remember that it still hit us very hard. I won’t speak on behalf of my wife. But I remember that for the following week, I was kind of down, sad, and a little bit depressed. The weird part of it is that all of a sudden people start sharing their experiences. Even people close to you, who you never knew went through the same thing.
You can’t say your “average happiness” has declined: I’m not sure I can agree with this statement. But I guess for some people it might be true. And there should be no shame in talking about it. Having children is a life-changing event. And they ask quite a lot from you.
In addition to these taboos, I’m sure I could find some more. One of them comes to mind though. People always tell you how fast they grow. But I never felt that way. My son is now 1 year and 5 months. But sometimes it felt like it lasted twice that long. Maybe it’s because in the first year there is not much you can do with your kid. They basically need care 24/7. They sleep, get hungry, and need diaper changes. It’s the same thing every day. It’s not until their first birthday, that they really start playing, talking, walking, eating, and so on.