If you’re an expectant father, don’t expect any paternity gifts.
Picture blue and white balloons lightly bobbing against the particle board ceiling. A tiny little Tigers’ jumper on the fold up lunch table. A throng of smiling guys and girls, sipping cups coffee and chowing down on a scrumptious hipster cafe peach and ricotta muffins. Everybody is gathered to celebrate the impending birth of a kid. Everybody is celebrating the fact a dad is about to become a father.
Sounds weird, right? Sounds like a fantasy world. Just hear me out.
Holly and Andrew discussed Jeff’s dilemma on the latest episode of This Glorious Mess:
Look, I’m super happy for my female friends who are having kids. Some of them are having kids for the first time. And they’re doing a bloody good job. They are carrying a kid inside their body. They are doing the tough job and power to them. Full respect.
Our jobs, as fathers, in this stage of the parenting journey is easier than that of our partners. Men don’t have to give birth to the child. Our job in the ‘creation phase’ is nowhere near as difficult. Hell, it’s even darn good fun!
But we still have some sense of ownership over the pregnancy experience. It's still my kid. And if my partner is with me, then she should get all the presents and flowers because she's the one giving birth then I'm totally cool with that.
But what about when your partner is not around? Say, at your work? Or in a voluntary organisation? If you're the only member of a relationship present within a particular organisation should you not expect anything because you're a man? Is that okay?
Now, try this on for size. I was at an event held at a cafe with the local soccer club that I've been involved with for quite sometime. We were all getting together to celebrate the fact that Jenny Fakename (not real name) was having a baby. I'm happy for her and she's being showered with books, kids toys, the works. I was sitting thinking about the fact that my partner and I are expecting our second child a week after Jenny Fakename. And nobody cares. Nobody even asks, even though I've told all of them that I'm having another kid.
I bite my tongue for about an hour. And I'm conflicted because Jenny is a good friend and I'm really happy for her, but it's crummy to think that you're going through something similar and nobody cares. Yeah, I know "it's not in my belly", but fatherhood means a lot to dads.