So, week two of DADuary asks: Why do men (and boys) need other men for support? What is it a man truly has to offer another man, and how does that process even begin?
This is an odd question to me. My initial reaction was ‘why wouldn’t we?’ Strip away the macho nonsense and the foolish notion that I am somehow a rock, or an island, because I’m a man and here I am, in need of support. I like support, I was desperate for it when I became a father. Support for something new is one thing, support for your entire life being changed is essential.
Support, however, is a tricky thing. You have to know where to get it. Generally, you turn to your friends and family. But, what if they can’t help? I was the first of my close friends to have kids, so no luck there. Books on fatherhood are lovely, but generally useless. I started reading dad blogs for more real time, actually experienced perspectives, following dads on Twitter, etc.
But, the question remained. What was I looking for from these other dads? What was it they had that I, or my wife, did not? In short, I think I was looking for support in its purest form, that what I was going through was survivable. That I was allowed to make mistakes, that I was not supposed to have the same instant bond with the child that K did, that I could get through this and so could the baby.
I think, in the end, that this is largely a foolish question (no offense to the originator). Men offer support to men the same way women offer support to women. We have perspective, experience and knowledge to share and we have the male perspective to be secretly passed among us. Okay, maybe not secrets. But, we can put that machismo crap aside and just help each other get through tough times, the major life events and, you know, fatherhood.