I cannot overstate how ill-prepared I feel to become a father in scant few months. In my searching for an adequate bound resource for a new parent, I’ve discovered a few truisms:
1) The overwhelming majority of newborn/new parent books are written with mothers in mind. The male gaze does not exist in the parenting section of your local big box bookstore. Wife had to use the restroom there, leaving me in the parenting section looking at the pastel selections. I couldn’t tell you how many almost surreptitious curious-weirdo-creeper looks I got whilst looking for a suitable book, which reminds me…
2) The few books there are that actually are written for new fathers are
almost insulting to the man’s intelligence. The one book I did purchase is a vast resource, but it relies on the caveman-jocko-lowest common denominator man for its sense of whimsy. Don’t get me wrong, I can scratch, belch, grunt and pee standing up with the best of them, but the schtick comes off to me as being insincere and, as a youngish man with real concerns and anxieties about taking care of my family, I don’t need to be reminded of how all men are Neanderthals. I need to know what I’m getting into;
3) The fact that the end-all, be-all prenatal bible, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, has a section for fathers in it is hilarious. There’s no way I’m trucking that around a coffee shop, restaurant or to my place of work to learn. Speaking of, the airbrushing of that ‘mother’ on the cover couldn’t be more obvious. I’m pretty sure that baby bump never existed outside of a computer program and several strategic mouse clicks;
4) I wish I lived closer than ten hours to my father and brother. I could really use some counsel on exactly what the crap (literally, of course) I’m getting into here, as well as moral support from those family members who have gone down this road before.