One of the joys of my job is to see people transform into parents. I work most closely with birthing women and people to help them achieve more satisfying births. The world often forgets the journey of fathers, though.
Fatherhood is often diminished by people. People ask fathers if they are “babysitting” when their spouses are away. We have websites and magazines devoted to “mothering” and “mothercraft” but “fathering” and “fathercraft” has yet to be embraced by the culture as something people want to learn more about and participate in.
This leaves fathers out in the cold.
As a doula I try very hard to remember that fathers are going through their own transformation into parenthood. Their journeys are often walked silently and with little fanfare. It’s my job to check in with them to help them ride the emotional rollercoaster that is the birth of their children. We make sure they can rest and refuel during the long nights and days of supporting their wonderful birthing partners.
We see you, fathers. We see your journey. We watch as you are confronted with the miracle that is the birthing of a new person. We honour you as you face the essential truths of life in those seconds when you first lay eyes on that tiny baby and witness the power that moves through your partners. We’re humbled by your tears and touched by the gentleness in your hands as you hold your child for the first time.
Fathers, we see you. We see your journey. We walk at your side for a ways. And we thank you for your steadfastness when we know you are feeling scared.
Happy father’s day to all the father’s who have allowed us to witness their transformation. Happy father’s day to all the fathers in our lives.