How Guys Think About Fatherhood
How Guys Think About Fatherhood
Lisa Clampitt (Matchmaker) gives expert video advice on: How do guys really feel about being a father?; How do I tell a guy I want to have kids?; How soon in the relationship should I start talking about having kids with a guy? and more...
How do guys really feel about being a father?
When it comes to fatherhood, I think that men feel different ways. If ultimately their goal's to have a child, I think that that is going to be their goal. Whether they have feelings about the responsibility that is entailed to being a father, that is a whole different thing and again, fears and emotions that come up with major light changes are really really going to be normal. And a lot of times when the wife becomes pregnant, guys go through a little bit of a crisis like "oh, my God! What am I doing? I'm suddenly going to be responsible for now only a wife but now a child for the rest of my life." It is okay to have these feelings as long as it does not create a sort of huge block in the relationship. So the more that someone's sort of able to talk about, Wow! What does it mean to be father? You know, my father left when I was young, or my father was responsible for five kids and that is really intense-- I think if someone is allowed to really talk about that and express hesitation and fear without having the wife condemn the guy for that, I think that is really a natural and sort of healthy process to experience that change and communicate together about that.
How do I tell a guy I want to have kids?
It is absolutely okay to talk about having kids when you are dating a guy as long as it is not on the first or second date. You are establishing on the first or the second date whether you like this person and that they're leading in the direction that you are, you are assuming you know, when talking about your lives and relationships that this person is, you know, looking in the right direction but if having kids has not come up completely with in third, fourth, fifth, sixth date, i think that the person really needs to know as soon as possible what your relationship goals are, once you have to turn of the eliteness person that really cool and before you have created this bond, reward your love with this person somewhere in between there you want to make sure that you are on the same path, so yes, it is perfectly okay to talk about your desire to have children because you want to make sure that is their goal too.
How soon in the relationship should I start talking about having kids with a guy?
When you first get into a relationship, you need to determine what your relationship goals are. So ultimately, if you're leading towards marriage and kids, you have to make sure that you're both wanting to get married and both wanting to have children. So, if you both want children, you have to talk about a time frame. As the relationship is getting serious, you may say that you want children. I may say I want children. But what if you want children in 10 years and I want children in a year? You need to clarify that ahead of time before you end up in a situation where it's irrevocable – you're in a marriage and suddenly you find this out. So, talk about what your desires are – for some people having children as soon as you get married is what they want to do, and if both people want that then that's perfectly fine. If one person wants to wait and the other person doesn't then you have a problem.
Can I change my guy's mind if he says he never wants kids?
If someone says they do not want to have kids, and you want to have kids, no you cannot change their mind nor should you change their minds. I think it is a very self defeating path to go down. If someone is telling you some things they don't want in their life that's as crucial as marriage and kids, and that's something that's a priority to you, you'll only be unhappy if you're trying to change someone's mind. You can only be responsible for your own choices and your own desires. So, I think you should cut your losses and move on to someone who ultimately wants the same goals in life that you do.
How do I tell a guy I'm pregnant?
I think that if you are in a serious relationship or if you are married, set some time aside so that you are not telling him when he is driving home or he could be really excited, he could be short, you don't know, you guys are trying to have a child, all those circumstances sort of playing to what his reaction is going to be. But most importantly make sure that you are in a situation where you have a little bit of downtime to gather and then you are making sure that he is not in a situation where he is going to, you know, go into a really important meeting right afterwards. So make time to be able to tell any important news and be able to deep breath about it afterwards and share that experience together.
Does a guy look at his wife differently after she's had children?
After a woman has a kid, she is no longer a wife or a girlfriend; she is the mother of your child. So I think ultimately, things do change. Perspectives do change. And I think that it's going to be a different role that each person plays because it's no longer just the two of you. So you have to renegotiate what your relationship is, where the energies go and really make sure to make time for each other. Once a child comes, a lot of time the mom's energy goes to the child. And the husband or the man can start feeling rejected or neglected. And that's a real danger point. You want to make it a as bonding experience and also really pay attention to the relationship to keep that healthy. So after the transition happens within the few months, make sure that you're making time to really sit down and communicate together. And that your romantic relationship, or your relationship is a bond of husband and wife or partners, is solid and paid attention to. And it doesn't become all about the baby. I think that's really, really important to maintain the health of the relationship.
What do guys see as their primary role in a family?
The primary role of a man in a family varies so greatly. The traditional role is the man is the caretaker and he tends to be the one that doesn't take much of a break from work and is the provider - that being said, I think that it's a lot more negotiable these days than it ever has been, so sometimes now you have the stay at home dad or you have the parents really balancing caretaking, the father might drop the kid off, mom might pick it up. So the traditional role psychologically is more of the caretaker, more of the one that earns the money, that is the responsible one, and the mom tends to be the one that is the nurturer and makes plans for the schools and the food. The role that tends to happen which I hear a lot of my client and a lot of my friends talk about, which is a very annoying role for the woman, which is the guy, because he's a little bit more distanced in the day to day caretaking, gets to be the fun guy and the one that plays ball with the kids, and the mom is always the one putting her foot down and the disciplinarian, and that sort of 2 sides is so un-fun a lot of times for the mom because she's always the one with the serious role, so I think that trying to balance that a little bit and communicate so that there can be an evenness of like, it doesn't always have to be good cop/bad cop, but maybe a negotiation of what your plan is for the kids. Consistency is number one when you're with kids, making decisions ahead of time, how you want to raise the kids, who plays what role so that there's a little bit more fairness in that family dynamic.
Are guys more likely to spoil kids?
A lot of times when the mom is the person that is putting the boundries, feeding the kids, sort of organizing their lives, I think it's easy for one of the other parents to be the good guy and to bring home presents, and men do tend to like to be the hero and sort of please people. So I can sort of see the dad being very induldgent about bringing the presents home or letting the kids stay up a little later. That being said it varies it could be the mom that's the spoiler and lets the kids get away with stuff. Again, whoever does that, it's really about trying to negotiate what are our values for our kids jointly and how are we on the same team when we're raising the kids so the kids don't get these mixed messages. They're really having consistancy in their life. Boundries, and they can't sort of play the mom against the dad in that sort of game. I think that is not a very health psychological environment for the child.
What kind of pressure do guys put on their children?
Dads are very different from each other. I think that some dads that have had an incredibly hard upbringing are where it's all about work may put a lot of pressure. They want their kid to succeed. They want their kid to do well in school. They want them to be successful in business. It really depends. I don't think that there's any standard across the board of moms or dads putting a lot more pressure on the kids. I think it's the core value of the individual. Do they value education? Do they value sports? Do they value success, financial success? And how is that represented in their parenting? Do parents want the kids to do well in school for the most part? I'd say that's a nice thing. Do they implement real discipline to make the kid sort of succeed with grades and being successful at sports? I really think that's an individual parenting issue
How do I tell a guy I want to have more kids?
Whenever there is a huge discussion needing to be had about having kids, having more kids, I think again it's a "sit down" discussion and you need to find out if both of you are on the same page with having more kids. Do you have the financial resources to have more children, who is taking care of the children now, what does having more kids mean. So if you sit down and you really talk about what your desire is, why your desire is, see what their reaction is and really sort of balance that, it's scheduled talk time to negotiate what each of you want and to really understand the other's perspective to create ongoing relationship goals.