Is awareness the same as attention to detail? Not really. Being aware is just that … paying attention. However, attention to detail means you have to move your awareness to a more detailed focus and ultimately ‘do’ something. Remember we are sticking to Phase 1 of pregnancy and how to grow specific fatherhood qualities:

  • Patience
  • Awareness
  • Attention to detail
  • Being able to see what needs to be done
  • Growing a second set of arms
  • Growing two more sets of eyes
  • Humor
  • Delight
  • Clarity

Attention to detail for yourself

This quality has so many facets. Perhaps you are a man who pays attention to the detail of your dress, your car, your collection of video games or whatever. Do you pay attention to whether the floor in the kitchen needs a sweep? Have you given attention to the details of your emotional life or are you just living day by day?

One thing Dr. Phil says: ‘Men have to determine what their currency for success is’. (or something like that). Often men see their success in terms of the work they do or the paycheck they bring in.

In fact, your success has much to do with whether you take time to relax and nurture yourself. Your success is determined by how healthy your relationship is with the woman in your life. Your success is determined by your ability to take care of your home. There are many facets of your life that can contribute to your whole being and benefit from having the skill of attention to detail.

Make a list of different aspects of your life and see how well you are doing in each. That is an example of ‘attention to detail’. Once you see your life more broadly then you can intentionally grow various qualities so that you become a well-rounded man.

Attention to detail to your child

At this early stage paying attention to detail to your child is more about looking up on the internet how your child is developing. However, this is the time when you should start to talk to your baby about how you will father him/her. This might sound silly and you don’t have to talk to your baby through the woman’s baby. Instead, while you are driving to work, just begin a conversation with your child. Remember when you were little and your father (if you had one present) treated you in his own way. Now you get to be the father you would have liked.

This is important to understand. If your father was wonderful then you get to remember all of his ways of doing things. You get to tell your child about these behaviors and how you will honor him by being as good a father. If your father was not the best role model then you can talk to your baby about how you will do things differently.

DO NOT DISMISS THIS … athletes know that imagining how they will do things in the future helps them to accomplish that! The more you talk to your baby and see in your mind’s eye how you will handle things the more likely you will do what you have seen yourself do. Humans have extraordinary minds and are able to see backward and learn from the past as well as see into the future and how you want to do things.

I’m not talking about just telling your baby that you’ll throw a ball around when your son is big enough. You want to talk to your son/daughter about how you will cope when they cry a lot, when they have dirty diapers, when they’re sick etc. In other words, you want imagine how you will handle your emotional relationship to your children.

Believe it or not … this is exactly how good fathers exhibit good fatherhood qualities. This is true for good mothers who exhibit good motherhood qualities. These people deal with their children in a healthy, well balanced emotional state of being. Go back to The Dog Whisperer and see how Cesar gets dog owners to change their emotional framework in order to become a good, well-balanced pack leader.

When you are a father you are a pack leader! You do this alongside the woman in your life as mutual pack leaders.

Attention to detail to the pregnant woman

Boy oh boy is this a big issue in relationships! There is no doubt that how you load the dishwasher might be different than the woman in your life. You know as well as I do those arguments can take place of the cap on the toothpaste tube. This is one form of ‘paying attention to detail’ is.

And, the above is important sometimes and part of ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ at other times. In other words, fighting over the right way to load a dishwasher or whether the cap is on the toothpaste tube is not necessarily the place you need to exercise this fatherhood quality, although it doesn’t hurt to do something the way another person wants if it’s THAT important to them.

However, it’s also important to remember there are 1001 ways to skin a cat so together you can pay attention to detail by discussing what you would both like. Sometimes people will say ‘You have to compromise’. Yes, that’s true but what do you mean by the word ‘compromise’? Think about how you use that word.

  • Some people think ‘compromise’ is when one person gives up something this time and the other person gives up something next time. This ‘I sacrifice then you sacrifice and we both build resentment’.
  • Other people think ‘compromise’ means that both people have to give up something. That also builds resentment. This is ‘both sacrifice and builds resentment’.

However, there are 1001 ways to skin a cat and both of you should be able to figure out a resolution that both of you are comfortable with. This builds healthy relationships.

  •  ‘Compromise’ actually means finding an acceptable solution for both people. This is the ‘win-win’.

This means you get to pay attention to the detail of every element of your life and how you interact with the woman in your life. Don’t wait for her to bring up topics. You can approach her and discuss those details in your lives that are important to create a well-balanced life.

Your bottom line

When your child is grown they will learn three skills … hopefully … about paying attention to detail.

  1. Doing a task they are asked to do. In other words, as a dad, you might see something that needs to be done and ask your child to do that task. You are teaching them what detail you’ve paid attention to and asking them to respond to that.
  2. Teach them to ask if there is something they can help do. This teaches them to become aware that there are things that need doing.
  3. Teach them to see the details of things that need to be done. Once this has been accomplished then you have fully understood what ‘paying attention to detail’ means.

Head to Udemy for all the Fathers-to-be Pregnancy Academy courses. Then at 24 weeks of pregnancy, come back here for the online birth 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.