The period between 12 and 24 weeks of pregnancy is also when you will begin to notice other fathers. Even if you have 6 kids already there are always things you want to learn, change or think about. In fact, once you become a dad you can become fascinated with fathering and the intricate ways to father children. The fascination about being a father only occurs when a man realizes that his role is terribly important to his children, to himself and to his children’s mother. Sadly too many men really don’t feel society sees them at all much less puts a value on fatherhood … not near the level of attention given to women and mothers.
When the Feminist Movement grew in the 1960s in many modern societies the focused life was on how to bring women into modern societies instead of just ‘stay-at-home’ moms. Feminism also drew attention to women’s reproductive rights. Curiously, it was only a few generations ago when most ‘upper class’ women lived a very limited life. Poor women always worked as well as had families. Although throughout Time and Place women have always tried to prevent unwanted pregnancies, terminate unwanted pregnancies and even kill newborns. It was just two generations ago that science made both birth control and termination safe for women! This has been HUGE.
Become fascinated by how other cultures express woman-ness and male-ness.
A moment missed
Feminist Movement, however, did not focus on how to shift the role placed on men. What was the role of the man? Bring in the bacon in one form or another … literally or figuratively. But what else? Go to war? The Feminist Movement did not bring men and women together or to work on solutions that our modern societies required and this was a missed moment. Feminism pitted women against men and that’s been incredibly sad with unintended negative consequences.
So The Feminist Movement urged women to become themselves and birth control permitted them to plan their family. Then came the changes to creating the global Free Market that has shaped modern societies since the 1980s. We’re still in this period where everyone has to work to just get by. For most families, it now takes 2 incomes. So both women and men are working whether outside or inside the home even when they have children.
Sure some moms are stay-at-home and increasingly more dads are as well. Other times children are put into care either with a family member or professional but kids still have to go home at the end of the day and usually on weekends. Another factor that cannot be ignored … more single parents raising kids.
To tell a man that his role is important can immobilize him emotionally if he doesn’t know what that means and how to do that role well. While women have been changed by the Feminist Movement, there has been no Meninist Movement yet men have been expected to change. Most don’t have a clue what that means.
- Men are ruled by their hearts and are very sensitive to feeling successful or not. This is hard-wired into men’s cells. It’s important for a man to feel potent in all senses of the word. Men do not feel well when they feel impotent.
- Women are hard-wired to feel productive in all senses of the word and don’t feel good about themselves when they are not productive.
Let’s think about this hard-wired aspect of our humanity. In all traditional cultures, men played a significant role in gathering food and building things. Prior to the modern world, we had to do everything ourselves. Women gave birth, gathered food and made things. Both women and men added to what had to be done when there were no shops. The only difference is that women also carried and birthed children.
Modern societies … after the Industrial Revolution when we made life easier … our historic roles were profoundly altered.
- Men could still symbolically go out and bring back the bacon through his work. Many women ignored the fact that most men didn’t like their jobs but felt the heavy hand of responsibility on their shoulders.
- Women still gave birth but now they stayed at home tending children (often alone) with very little else to do. This is BORING! Housework does not compensate.
Your bottom line
While life was easier as the Industrial Revolution created ‘modern countries’ versus ‘traditional communities’ meant both men and women were often unhappy. The Feminist Movement got women out of the house and choosing when to get pregnant. Modern women were enlivened. Men were often ignored, challenged or identified by possessing very negative qualities. Too bad that everyone didn’t understand that both men and women needed to be given options so they could be positively impacted on the ever-increasing changes that face modern societies.
The purpose of this expectant blog is to give men the skills to grow with confidence in the new role expected of them: be involved in pregnancy, birth, taking care of the home as well as taking care of kids from newborns upwards. AND to work. We’re all in this together … working long hours while having children.
Head to Udemy for all the Fathers-to-be Pregnancy Academy courses. Then at 24 weeks of pregnancy, come back here for the online birthing classes and start with the birth preparation and birth-coaching skills … all developed by hundreds of dads and moms.
Birthing Better skills are housed in Common Knowledge Trust.