One of the greatest honors of doulaing is watching men become Fathers. Almost any male can create a child, but most of the men we work with are the ones who truly are "Fathers". These are the men who are ecstatic about the thought of the life growing inside their partner. The men who gladly sign up for and take childbirth education classes and hire doulas to help them support their partners and children in the journey to new life. The men who light up the first time they see their baby's head crowning, the ones who look at their sweaty, exhausted partners, and tell them honestly and sincerely "I love you, you're beautiful, you amaze me." These are the men who help deliver their children, who place a reassuring hand on baby's back, who follow their babies to the warmer, nursery, nicu: never letting this precious life out of sight. Who lean in and whisper promises of strength, protection, and support to their progeny. These are the men who stick around, who support their partners, who work long hours, then come home with food in hand and take the baby so the new mama can take a nap or get a shower.
Many of them share their lives through posts and stories and we get to witness them grow as fathers. Changing diapers, celebrating firsts, enjoying every second of "Dad Duty." They volunteer with preschool, tee ball, soccer. They attend dance recitals and help with bake sales. They kiss booboos, give comfort, exude strength, man bathtime, and read bedtime stories.
These men are the ones out there making it work, staying up late, getting up early, loving unconditionally, and setting good examples. The modern Dad is more than a suit and tie who comes home and drinks a whiskey, eats his dinner, reads the paper, then turns in early. These men love deeply, work hard, and support their kids financially while investing their time, love, and hopes in their children everyday.
I love seeing women learn their own strength and stretch and grow (literally and figuratively) as they become mothers. But I also love seeing Men become Fathers; discovering a capacity for love that is beyond understanding. The Strength, Compassion, and Pride they display is inspiring and heartwarming. On Father's Day, here's to Fathers, the ones who are already great, and the ones becoming. Thank you for sharing your lives with us and letting us have the honor of watching you "become Dad."