As children we were hardly patient and it’s a trait we had to learn as we matured into our adulthood. Patience takes on a whole new aspect as a parent. You will either become more patient or more irritated once your is born and grows. If you become more patient during the 5 phases of pregnancy that will help you immensely as a new dad. Also as a father you will have to teach your children to be patient or they will learn from you to be impatient and irritated. Your newborn will have patience built in up to a point and then restlessness and crying become the two behaviors that indicate to you that their need is not met.
Because you are in the process of ‘becoming’ means you have this blessed time frame of pregnancy to grow qualities without your child mirroring back to you whether you’re doing well or not. How many times in your life did you show your parents that you didn’t like how they were parenting?
Patience toward yourself
During these 12-24 weeks you get to learn how to stay in the Now rather than try to figure out how you got to this point or what will happen in the future. Staying in the Now, the present time, is a hugely important spin-off of patience. Patience is about being in the now and not feeling jerked around by the past or the unknown of the future.
Patience to yourself involves being kind to yourself. If you are still finding the transition from being a man who only has responsibilities to himself to knowing you’ll have to take responsibility of another human being who cannot take care of them self difficult … don’t beat up on yourself. Talk frankly to your baby’s mother and find out how this change is difficult for her. She’s going to have just as many fears, anxieties and uncertainties as you.
Pregnancy is full of the unknown and is unmanageable for one reason … to train you to accept the unknown while you grow good skills to manage the unmanageable. Yes that’s right, you are becoming a much fuller, deeper and enriched man … or enriched human being who happens to be a man.
Being patient with yourself is like a cool drink of water, there is no hurry. Develop a bottom-line for yourself such as ‘If it isn’t going to be dead in 5 minutes you have lots of time’. Most of us rush around as though the sky is falling all the time. This is exhausting. Do things slowly, still your mind, breathe and live in the present.
Patience toward your baby
Until you can feel your baby move, the baby can seem very vague and distant. If you can’t see or touch something then it’s hard to know it exists. Perhaps you’ve had an ultra-sound and seen a picture of your baby or heard it’s heart beat … still pretty vague! Perhaps the ultra sound showed whether you were having a boy or girl or you might have chosen not to know.
Knowing whether your baby is a boy or girl does help you speak to it within it’s gender. You might be surprised how differently you think about your son or daughter. Although there is a great deal of news about a preference for boys in some cultures, when gender preference is not taught most men feel equally positive about having a little girl as having a little boy.
Girls grow up to be women. A woman is who you impregnated. You’re going to have a job to make certain your little girl grows up to be a lovely woman and takes to her a nice man who in time will become a good father.
Boys grow up to be men. You are a man. Your job as a father is to show your son what a good man and good father does so he can grow up to care for a good woman, be a good partner and father.
During this Phase you will move from still feeling your baby is far away to actually feeling your baby move in its mother’s belly. How very exciting. Now you’ll have to be patient and wait until your baby is born.
Patience toward your baby’s mother
Pregnant women always appreciate patience coming from their baby’s father. In the Chinese cosmology the Yang energy of men is hot and fast … what’s new? The Yin energy of women is cool and slow … what’s new? Yet during pregnancy a woman’s energy becomes more Yang. As you already have learned or will learn women get very hot during pregnancy. To grow a baby they must have 50% more blood. That’s why there are more veins on her breasts and why she increasingly feels hot. A woman’s body is really stressed by being pregnant.
By now you know her moods, emotions, thoughts, physical changes and physical abilities have been changing. Whether it’s showing patience as she finds clothes to fit her ever expanding body, or patience with leaving an event early because she is tired or patient with her dislike of a dish you’ve cooked because she can’t stand the smell … it’s all good.
What do you lose by being patient with her? Very little unless she is refusing to leave the house that burnings. Then pick her up and carry her out.
Her patience toward you
You also need to ask her to be patient with you. As a human being another human being (your baby’s mother) does not have the right to use pregnancy or motherhood to rip into you. There is actually NO gender inequality when it comes to good and decent behaviors.
If your baby’s mother is not patient or kind to you, let her know exactly how she should show this quality to you. You can’t just ask her ‘not to be impatient’ instead you need to say ‘it would help if you slow down for a moment so we don’t feel rushed’.
Your bottom line
Don’t bitch, ask for what you want and be as specific as you can. When you grow this fatherhood quality your heart will see and hear so many other things besides … hurry.