Parenting;   A Man's Guide to Motherhood
By Bob Mauge   Some tips and suggestions for recent fathers or fathers to be.


Disclaimer   The following tips are exclusively based on my personal experience raising twin boys.  A number of these thoughts and ideas are general enough to apply to most parenting situations.  I hope they help.
Forethought   Have you thought about how your life will change once you have children?  This is something that I have always kept in my mind when I was single and married.  The reality of children is that your life is no longer your own and that many of the things you like to do such as going out on the weekends, taking trips or "sleeping in"  (for illness or fun) will stop or become difficult to achieve. 
    I hope that any readers who do not have  religious belief's prohibiting the use of contraception, use some form of it until they are mentally and physically ready for parenthood.  I am not promoting pre-marital sex and do not wish to get into any form of discussion regarding sexuality but I do feel that it is absolutely important to have given much thought to the responsibilities of parenthood before finding yourself in that situation.  If you have prepared yourself as best as you could then I think you will be a better parent.
The name is Bond;

Baby Bond.

  You know, I've seen many babies in my day and my reaction was always the same; "What's the Big Deal?".  I couldn't figure out why the parents thought this little bundle of WORK was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  You will never get it until you have one of your own, however, you should keep that in mind as you prepare yourself for that step.  I think the strongest emotion or feeling that came through for me was one of  responsibility and protection.  You look at this helpless little baby and begin to fear for it's safety and well being.  This is YOUR responsibility since you are the parent and you wanted the child.  If you did not want a child, you most likely would not develop a sense of responsibility for him or her.  I also think that the months of going with my wife for ultrasounds and heart monitoring helped me develop a closeness with the boys before they were born.  Women build that bond because the baby or babies are always part of their lives from the start.  They often change their diets and habits, then their appearance changes and finally they feel the movement and kicking.  Guys do not experience that but can in some ways by being part of all the pre-birth Festivities ( humor, chuckle chuckle)!  I guess this is what many call bonding.
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Poop!   I must admit that the thought of taking care of a tiny fragile little baby was quite daunting and let's not forget those  images of dirty diapers that danced in my head.  Well, I got my first "CRACK" (pun intended) at changing my first diaper while the wife and kids were still in the hospital.  One of my twins (he will remain nameless to prevent psychological harm) exploded right after I got the diaper off.  His posterior bowl movement shot 3 feet across the room and would have been all over my legs if I had not reacted as quickly as I did.  I have never moved so fast in all my life! Well this was not such a good start for a reluctant baby technician.

The reality of feeding, changing and washing quickly became old hat once I got over the fear factor.  It really was not a problem, however the most difficult thing about that time period was the nightly feedings which occurred every 2 hours on the dot!  For example, they would wake at 12am and it took 45 minutes to make, feed, burp and change both then crawl back into bed until they woke up at 2:00am sharp! Start the cycle over again.  We were getting only an hour and fifteen minutes of sleep every 2 hours.  Boy am I glad that they are finally sleeping through the night.  It only took 4 years to get there!

When it comes to baby care, it really is pretty easy if you have the right attitude.  One thing that I must stress here is that while I say that child care is easy, I mean that it is not the "Big Deal" that Guys think it is, even though they have no idea what "Big Deal" really means.  It is just this unfathomably difficult and unappealing mental quantification. So, ON the record, the "Big Deal" doesn't exist.

Life's Too Short To Be Miserable   A long time ago I came to the realization that I was wallowing in self pity.  There was no particular reason to feel that way since my life, in general, was good.  The cause may have been hormonal since the time frame was late teens thru early 20's.  I found that I kind of  liked feeling depressed because I could actually feel the waves of melancholy wash over my body.  The angst was strong and intense, usually driven by my dating life.  Have a date, feel good, no date, feel bad.  My parents never knew about this.  Kids hide things well.  I have made significant personal changes in my life over time by trying to be aware of how I'm being perceived by others.  Because of this I noticed that people seemed to be getting tired of me complaining about my problems.  I finally got tired of feeling bummed out and turning others away that I did something about it.  I vowed to never let myself wallow in my troubles and decided that life was too short to waste it away. To this day I live by my saying, "Life's Too Short To Be Miserable"

How does this relate to parenting?  The answer is twofold.  In the early stages of parenting, it is important to keep this in mind when you are having a rough time with the kids and try to teach them this concept when they are having a bad day.  Kids are very adaptable and learn quickly.  The sooner they learn to enjoy what they have the better chance they will have to employ this when the angst filled years come calling.  Secondly, by being aware of the HIDDEN dangers of depression, you can help alleviate it when your child encounters it. 

Allow yourself to Love your children and tell them that you do   Do you ever get tired of the sadness and misery in the world?  Did you ever think about why this is?  I have and would like to share some thoughts about this.