Fatherhood is the best and most important job a man will ever have in his lifetime. It is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man. Becoming Dad for the second time around sure does feel different than the first time. Here we got some perspective from Dads on how does becoming a Dad the first, second, and third time feels.
During the first pregnancy, it is always more anxious and excited. There are a mix-up of emotions. The first time, it feels like a voyage into the unknown for both Mum and Dad. Every mood change, every twinge, every shift in body shape is magnified because it is so new. Dads-to-be talk and listen to the baby in the belly almost everyday and gets all excited with the baby’s kicking.
Dads get more comfortable as they have more children because they already know what to expect. The second time around Dads already have a map, which gives them a better sense of when something’s off course.
By the time the third pregnancy is here, Dads are already relaxed. They become less curious about the pregnancy and development but with more planning ahead — Due date, what to ask the doctor.
Dads are less emotionally involved in a second pregnancy than in a first. It’s more likely, however, that their involvement is different because they’re paying attention to different things. Their frames of reference have shifted.
For first-time Dads, it is scary (in a good way) when they think about the delivery. They will question themselves on whether they can do it. Whether they are in the way of things. Worry about doing things like cord cutting, etc.
Second time around, they are braver to see it happen and know what to do during the labour process.
By the third delivery, they will worry more about how the wife is doing. At the same time, they enjoy the moment and the whole process while not rushing into things.
“Becoming Dad for a second time was a completely different experience for me. Given the physical differences surrounding the birth (bright sterile hospital vs. cozy intimate bedroom), there were also great mental differences. My confidence was higher. I knew what to expect. I was consciously engaged and aware. My role was far greater and active vs. a more bystander role in the birth of my son. A stronger connection was felt to the process of birthing and my laboring wife. This experience went far deeper for me in my dad role. The birth of my son was incredible in it’s own right, but the experience with my daughter’s birth was far more satisfying. Even though my son slept through the labor, when he awoke he saw his mom and new baby sister lying next to him and took an active part in the postpartum activities: cord-cutting, baby health exam, nursing – something he couldn’t have done in the hospital. This is the birth of my daughter.”
— Josh K
First-time Dads tend to be concerned about many things and they get far too much advice from everyone who seemed to always have something to say and advice to give which makes them as confused as ever. It is easy to get anxious easily with their first baby.
When the second baby comes, Dads are more prepared and will concern themselves with things like affordability. They worry about how it will affect the first child; accepting having a baby brother/sister or becoming jealous. Questions start looming over the head – Will I be fair to my children? Will we feel the same way about our second child as we do about our first? Is our home big enough for us? How will we pay for college? How secure are our jobs? What if something goes terribly wrong? And et cetera…
When it comes to the third, it’s the same worries with having a second but mainly about how the news of a new baby affects both the first and second child.
The first baby will always be the time when Dads discover more about being a parent than the baby’s personality. Dads will discover more about baby’s personality and learn how to handle different baby’s character after having the second baby.
5. Grocery And Shopping
Grocery and shopping gets generalised instead of specialised. With one child, Dad could buy specific things the child likes. If there are multiple kids, Dad will just buy something that the children like and can share among them.
6. Going Out
For first-time parents, preparation for a one-hour trip to the park is as if it were a week-long hike through a rain forest. Dads will carry a knapsack filled with extra diapers, creams, wipes, a blanket, a bottle, a changing mat and countless other items like extra baby clothes. By the time they have a second baby, they would just shove a spare diaper into the back pocket, grab a few extra wipes, and head out the door with the baby in their arms.
“Now I know I can handle it. It’s no big deal.” So they say.