You and Your Baby
The same advice applies to your relationship with your child as well—take it slow. You've got your whole life to get to know this child. Don't feel bad if for some reason you do not feel totally connected to your child the moment he is born.
Some parents expect to fall immediately and completely in love with their child the instant they lay eyes on him. This certainly does occur, but love usually acts less like a lightning bolt and more like a plant. It takes time and care and nurturing to blossom.
Bob Kaehms, the father of three, realizes that it is inevitable that fathers (and mothers) get their egos wrapped up in their children. But he recommends restraint in this regard: “Don't live or re-live your dreams through your children, but help them find their dreams, and support them.” Not bad advice as the days and months and years roll on.
It's Mom's Show in the Beginning
In the early days and months of having a baby, it is basically Mom's show. Now that does not mean that dear old Dad cannot contribute; of course he can. He can do all the things that Mom does with the baby (except breastfeed, of course), while building his own close relationship with his child.
Having said that, the point still stands. This early time with the baby, with some exceptions, is basically Mom's show. When the baby needs to eat, Mom will mainly feed him. When he needs to settle down, Mom will mainly take him and put him down. She bore this child with her own body, and she will act as primary caretaker for him in his tender years.
Men define success in a variety of ways. This might include making money, achieving recognition in their work, earning the admiration of their peers, or having a loving relationship with a woman. But nearly 90 percent of all men say that being a good father is a vital part of a successful life.
Your Time Is Coming
Most new fathers do not dispute these facts or seek to overturn them. They like the fact that Mom is in charge of the baby. They consider that their principal job is to be good helpers—helping their partners, helping to take care of their children, and helping to create an environment in which Mom and baby feel protected and safe.
As a new father, one thing you can look forward to is the future; it keeps getting better. Every day the baby gets older, it gets better for you. The baby grows stronger and livelier and is more able to interact with you—daily, he is emerging from his larva-like state and becoming more of an emerging butterfly. This will give both of you more and more chances to enjoy each other's company.