If a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly, an adult human morphs into a parent by growing a second set of arms. Another father or mother will see those other sets of arms in each other but they are not obvious to those who do not have children. This second set of arms is located inside the shoulder blades and grow below the set of arms you have now. Any time you have an ache in this area of your back during pregnancy or holding your newborn then you know these arms are budding and growing.

When your child is newborn these arms are sort of like a newborn elephant’s trunk … a bit out of control and not quite under your control. It takes about 4-9 months for them to fully grow and become a natural part of your body.

If you feel clumsy then put into place your kindness to self and patience. Also being aware and paying attention to detail permits you to get better at using them. Fathers who have not been aware of these arms or have not grown them so they tend to give the baby back to the mother when they have trouble with the baby.

Arm buds

During this early phase of ‘becoming’ a dad, you might not even notice your new arm buds. Women don’t either. But you need to know that they are there and ready to grow. Once your baby is born you will feel all thumbs. This early period is another learning phase. Sure it would be simpler if humans had a true instinct to parent but we just don’t. We have to learn and sometimes we have to learn with each child we have because no two children (even as newborns) are alike so we have to learn about each new person who is inside that baby.

Having a second set of arms is vital to feeling comfortable as a father. It’s not a pleasant thought but you need to keep in mind that you might become a single dad. This means you always want to have your full complement of fathering skills so if something like that happens you are ready.

Being a single dad doesn’t necessarily mean you split from your children’s mother or she passed away. She could go on vacation, having to go off for work, attend her elderly parents or any other reason. You want to feel as comfortable being a single dad as being in a partnership.

Right now you can imagine yourself being able to hold your baby, talk on the phone, stir the spaghetti sauce, wipe your 3 years old’s nose and scratch the itch on your chin. Having four arms is wonderful. If that’s not a pretty picture yet to you then see those four arms enhance your fishing, carpentry or other skills or hobbies! Four arms is a huge miracle of nature.

Your bottom line

The second set of arms is great for all tasks not just raising your kids.

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.