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Monday, February 24, 2014

Today's Fathers.

This statue of father and son can be found at Sacred Heart Hospital at Riverbend, in Eugene, Oregon, in the maternity waiting room. Here families wait to see the newborns.

The sculptor is a young man who was raised by his father. I do not remember his name.

Within my lifetime the role of fathers has evolved to include so much more than my father ever knew; or that my husband ever knew. Yes, my husband was in the delivery room for my last child, and then went home to collapse. He returned, well rested, and was able to help me with the baby for the amount of time that "visitors" were allowed to remain in the mother's room. Then, he was sent home too.

He was given leave from work to be with his recuperating wife for a total of ten days, during which he was  overwhelmed with all the care his infant required, and all the attention his wife paid this new interloper. He confesses that he looked forward to returning to work.

When my daughter had her baby last December, her husband was in the delivery room the entire time and stayed with her and the baby the entire hospital stay, day and night, sleeping in the same room. Thanks to the Family Leave Act he was able to take ten weeks off his job to get his baby up and going during the crucial months after birth. He and his wife have bonded with baby Nico from his first breath.

Today's fathers will be more understanding, more generous, and more connected to their children than our fathers were. What a wonderful world for baby Nico to grow up in.

16 comments:

Amanda said...

A much better world when both parents can revel in that role of parent.

What a fabulous name - Nico!

Maggie May said...

No father's would be present at the birth of a baby my age.......... so my mother had to have me in the dining room so that she could get under the table if there was an air raid! What a time to be born.
When my children were born father's were just about being allowed in the delivery suite for restricted times.
Nowadays they can spend the whole time there. things really change, don't they?
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Shannon Lawrence said...

I agree that they're finally acknowledging a father's place in the early minutes and months of baby's life. We did not have that amount of time for paternal leave when my littles were born, but the company my husband worked for allowed for extra time for paternal leave, so he was able to do so. I'm so glad he was able to be in the delivery room with me, and to stay with me for the entire hospital stay. Someone had to go get me extra food when I was starving! ;)

Brian Miller said...

i wish more fathers took advantage of time with their kids...i was there...i was also having a conversation with a guy today that is running a program to get college guys in the lives of boys that dont have fathers...we have far too many...and more and more...

Diana said...

So true...I have enjoyed watching my husband bloom slowly into the role of fatherhood. He came from a very old school upbringing, then lost his father at age 11. watching him grow sweetly into this role with our girls has been lovely.

Kerry said...

This rings so true. As we watch our son grow into fatherhood gracefully from day 1--and now another baby is on its way--I am grateful for the way times have changed for the better. Sometimes it's hard to remember that not everything is getting worse as the years go by.

Tom Sightings said...

I was in the delivery room for both my kids, born in the '80s; I got one day off from work for each one. Anyway, as I blogged about in sightingsat60.blogspot.com/2014/02/how-men-benefit-from-feminism.html, one of the great things about feminism for men is that it has allowed us to spend more time with our kids.

Vagabonde said...

Yes I do believe men in this country are more receptive to helping with childcare, but not in all countries. I remember at work, I was a student liaison for foreign trainees. On a Thanksgiving Day, when my turkey was almost done, I received a frantic call from an Atlanta hospital. One of the Algerian trainees’ wife was having a baby, did not speak a word of English, just Arabic and French and her husband had left the hospital saying “it was women’s work.” So I drove to Atlanta to help and my family ate their turkey without me…

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. such an important time for all newborns ... so pleased your SIL could have all that time with his new addition and be there for his wife ...

The sculpture is just beautiful ..

Cheers Hilary

Donna Smith said...

What a beautiful statue! My husband was there for both our children's births, and my daughter's husband was at their son's birth. It is a good start to an important role.

Becky Jerdee said...

Amen, sister!! My son is of the age of yours, I think and he has made a treasure of his son with all his attentiveness.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

It's so terrific that fathers can be truly involved with their families from day one. My father was able to be with my mother when she was in labor with me -- but only because he was also a patient in the same small military hospital (He had gone in for elective hernia surgery just before I decided to arrive two months early!) But otherwise, fathers were very much excluded from the birth process. I'm so glad that has changed. It has been wonderful to see my brother -- who just turned 65 and has two children who are soon to celebrate their second and fifth birthdays -- nurture his children in a way he never experienced as a child.

LindyLou Mac said...

Times have certainly changed when it comes to the fathers role as a parent. My husband was always very hands on, but this was unusual for our generation.

yaya said...

Dads are so important in the lives of children. Sometimes I fear that some want them out of the equation. I know not everyone has the blessing of a Dad in their lives. My hubby was in the delivery room for all our kiddos but I don't think I'd want him staying overnight. It can't be that comfortable and is it really necessary? Having him home for a few weeks to bond and help is great though!

Hilary said...

I agree.. it's become a lot better for father and child bonding in the past couple of decades. My boys are 23 and 26. Their dad was encouraged to be there with us from labour through to discharge (that's my discharge from the hospital.. not the baby's discharge from me). ;)

ellen abbott said...

sort of ironic really. all these right wing law makers that want to return this country to the 50s touting family values don't seem to realize that fathers back then had little to do with their children.