There are already so many guides on motherhood that it is impossible to read them all. Little is said about fatherhood. Why? After all, children have both a mother and a father, and upbringing should lie centrally in the middle. So much for the theory. What does the practice look like? Andrzej Wrona, Antoni Królikowski or Rafał Maślak show what they think fatherhood looks like. So is it easy to be a father? We asked Luke Dominiak, founder of the very popular profile on Instagram among parents (and not only), Whos Your Daddy.
Table of Contents:
- Why do women give birth to children?
- Presence of a man during childbirth
- What is childbirth with a partner like?
- Fatherhood – is it easy to be a father?
- The difficult art of being a father
- Childbirth is just the beginning
- A child needs both parents
- “I wish I could be a real father. Get up at night, change the diaper.”
- Andrzej Wrona and Rafal Maślak – dad on medal
- Paternity leave
- From pleasure to responsibility
- Equal distribution of responsibilities
- When do we celebrate father’s day?
- Weak sex
Why do women give birth to children?
Mother nature decided centuries ago that women would be the ones to bear children. And while everyone has probably seen the famous 1994 movie “Junior” with Arnold Schwarzenegger, in which he is the one who is pregnant, to this day scientists have not managed to change this. Or maybe they didn’t try either, because why change something that works perfectly? A woman’s body is built so that all the processes involved in pregnancy and the baby’s adaptation to life outside the womb can take place in her womb.
Also, a woman’s pelvis is built so that the baby can grow freely in the mother’s abdomen and then come into the world. During pregnancy, the bony pelvis increases in size, and thanks to relaxin (a hormone produced by the placenta), the ligaments that previously held it together relax. All this makes it flexible during labor and susceptible to the pressure exerted by the baby being in the birth canal.
Presence of a man during childbirth
Renowned French gynecologist-obstetrician Dr. Michael Odent says men should not be present during childbirth, because they mainly disturb and distract the woman in labor. This is partially true. Most of them ask a lot of questions. However, this is due not only to curiosity, but mainly to concern for the partner and the baby. On one of the online forums we managed to find such a comment from Tom, a father of two children: “I was at both births. Each time I had the impression that the midwife and doctor were bothered by my presence, but I knew that my wife counted on me to be there with her. I don’t care what they think. I want to know that my loved ones are in no danger.” Is this what fatherhood is all about?
The famous dad, Rafal Maślak, who unfortunately was not allowed into the delivery room, has a similar opinion on the subject: “(…) After a few hours, I started to get very pissed off and worried that I had no influence or knowledge of what was happening. Returning home, I got a photo from Kamila, in which I saw my daughter for the first time. I called right away! When she answered, I couldn’t stand it, I cried like a baby (…)”
According to surveys, still more than half of men choose not to attend childbirth. Why? Many of them declare that they are afraid of the sight of blood or that what they will see in the delivery room will discourage them from further intercourse with their partner. This means that fatherhood begins to frighten or overwhelm them already at the time of birth. We also asked Luke Dominiak, founder of the very popular Whos Your Daddy profile, for his opinion : “I think that family births help to build a bond with the child from the very beginning, as far as the man is concerned, the woman, having someone close to her, also feels more confident in an often not very friendly environment, which can sometimes be supportive, but births in Poland and maternity care, leaves much to be desired, of course, much depends on the staff, but it is often the case that you are not treated with care at this important moment for you. The presence of a guy is justified as long as he doesn’t talk some nonsense like “does it hurt?” or “I had herpes once, it hurt similarly”…but seriously, I think both sides see the added value, of course nothing by force, but I’m glad I was at the birth of the children.”
What is childbirth with a partner like?
The reality, however, is quite different. During labor, the partner always stands next to the woman in labor or behind her back. He doesn’t see what the doctor and midwife see. His job is to be a support for the woman in labor. He reminds you to breathe, holds your hand, massages your back or gives you water. However, in order for him to be able to know all this, he and her should attend the classes organized as part of the birthing school. Unfortunately, many couples choose not to take this step because they consider it a waste of time.
A partner can prove helpful, especially if the parents-to-be cannot afford to pay for a private midwife. Its cost, depending on the region, ranges from several to several thousand zlotys.
Fatherhood – is it easy to be a father?
On maternity forums, opinions on giving birth with a partner are very divided. Catherine, who recently became a first-time mother, claims: “I thought I was going to strangle him [the partner, recalls the editors] He panicked, kept distracting me, and in the end almost fainted, so the midwife had to take care of him instead of me. It was a nightmare. With my next pregnancy I want to be alone!!!!!” Maja has a completely different opinion on the subject: “My husband was very supportive, reminding me to breathe and massaging my back. When he saw our son he burst into tears and asked when he would be able to take him in his arms. We both cried then. It brought us very close to each other.”
The difficult art of being a father
And what do men think of all this? “Haha, you can write more than one book about it, it’s a difficult question, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. You can be a Father in different editions, but present, involved, supportive is not easy. I think it’s the most difficult task, requiring changes in life and it’s a dramatic one, no matter what kind of lifestyle you had before, it’s always a big change.” – asserts Lukasz Dominiak. This means that fatherhood has two sides of the coin and each partner may see it very differently. Therefore, mutual support and conversation are important.
Childbirth is just the beginning
However, childbirth itself is only the beginning of the journey called fatherhood. No matter how many books you read, how much golden advice you hear, everything will come out in the wash. The presence of a partner is crucial not only for the young mother, but especially for the baby. It is dad who will become the superhero, guide and originator of even the craziest games in the child’s life. He will wrap a masculine arm around you, defend you in the storm and offer a kind word. Is the mother more important than the father? Absolutely not! Both are equally important, as they both have a significant impact on the development and upbringing of the child. Fatherhood is a difficult art, but a worthwhile one. A child’s smile and love is the best reward.
A child needs both parents
According to psychologists, every child needs both parents. The mother cannot replace the father, and the father cannot replace the mother. Each has a different role and shows completely different patterns. This is extremely important, especially when the parents decide to separate. A child should never have a negative attitude toward another person. For his sake, it is necessary to maintain a good relationship and reach an agreement with respect to his upbringing. Fatherhood is just as important as motherhood.
This can be difficult especially if the parents have different views about his future. This was recently discovered by actress Joanna Opozda, who was left by the father of the child, Antek Królikowski, just before giving birth. She herself has repeatedly stressed that the upkeep of her son Vincent lies solely with her, which is why she had to return to work immediately after giving birth. The couple can’t get along not only on child support and contact issues with their son. Antek Królikowski sent the actress a pre-trial letter to stop using the child’s image on social media for publicity purposes.
“I wish I could be a real father. Get up at night, change the diaper.”
To date, the exact reasons for the Opozda-Królikowski couple split up. However, the actor says that his contact with the child is difficult, and he cannot be the kind of father he would like to be for little Vincent. For this reason, he filed an application with the court to establish contact with the child. He would like to see him a minimum of twice on weekdays and every other weekend. In the current situation, she does not have the opportunity to spend time with her child and participate in his active upbringing, which she deeply regrets.
Therefore, it is very important that any dispute between parents does not reflect on contact with the child. In fact, it is not only the adults who suffer then, but especially the child, who does not quite know what is happening.
Andrzej Wrona and Rafal Maślak – dad on medal
A completely different approach to the issue of fatherhood seems to be taken by volleyball player, Polish national team member Andrzej Wrona. Some time ago, he and his wife, Zosia Zborowska, lived to see their daughter, Nadziejka. The sportsman is eager to publish photos of the child and describe a successful family life. In June of this year, they even posed for a special session and gave an interview to Glamour magazine talking about the glories and shadows of life with a child. He himself writes under one of his Instagram posts: “Watching a child discover the world is a fantastic adventure.”
Rafal Maślak, the former Mister of Poland, has also certainly found himself in the role of dad. His Instagram has turned into a veritable goldmine of knowledge about fatherhood. He readily shares his thoughts on how to be a father and repeatedly stresses that this is the best thing that has happened to him in life. His family has made him feel fulfilled. Sleepless nights, changing or evening baths are not a challenge for him, but a wonderful time spent together.
Among the many photos where we see smiling fathers, the question of paternity leave still arises. According to 2021 data, only 1% of parental leave is taken by fathers. In order to fight stereotypes, even the Share The Care Foundation was created, with the mission to prepare society for changes in the area of sharing care for children. They encourage fathers to take an active role in their upbringing and thus exercise their right to care for them, which is what paternity leave provides. This will not only allow women to return to work, but, above all, will strengthen father-child ties. The foundation wants to familiarize men with a term like fatherhood.
Luke Dominiak (Whos Your Daddy) also took part in one of the panel discussions on paternity leave. We also decided to ask him why men are reluctant to use it. “The leave of the so-called. “The “paternity” you ask about is only two weeks… frankly I don’t understand why not, maybe they are afraid of the employer, because some of them are still left in the Stone Age, but if that is not the case, I think it is an excellent time to get used to the new arrival, it gives you a moment to cool down and see what and how when it comes to the baby, at least so very generally. I think it’s better to stay at home together in the beginning than to invite outside help, grandmother, aunt, to avoid, at least in the beginning, advice that can lead out of balance, in the assumption to help, and the exact opposite happens.”
From pleasure to responsibility
In July of this year, a nationwide debate on the topic was launched, featuring four famous fathers and one mother. Among them was Luke Dominiak, creator of the very popular instagram account @_whos_your_daddy. It’s worth a look there not only for the solid dose of parental humor. It also raises important issues about raising children and the role the father plays in all of this. There are also frequent polls on the profile, where he asks about the division of domestic and parental responsibilities. Unfortunately, it follows that the men still have much to learn. This is because motherhood involves full involvement in family life and raising a child.
Equal distribution of responsibilities
There is also still a perception that women need to stay at home and take care of the child because they can’t support the family anyway, so it’s better if a man does it. In such a situation, the entire burden of parenting often falls on the mother. The father comes home late, when there is little else to do. Why are men so eager to shift the burden of parenting to a woman? Luke Dominiak (Whos Your Daddy) suggests: “Fortunately, there are more and more who are parenting on an equal footing with mom, because that’s how it should be, you’re not supposed to be a help, you’re supposed to be an equal player, at different stages of the child. We should skillfully divide the responsibilities, a man will not breastfeed a newborn, but he can get up to change the baby, saying that since the woman already gets up anyway, is simply out of place and shows the laziness of the partner and some atavisms that are matured in his head by the fact that society has not yet grown up to equality and still thinks that the woman is mainly responsible for raising children and the man for the material status of the family. However, I haven’t seen men who get up at night these days and go hunting in the forest to bring in game. Times have changed, not everyone wants to keep up with them and follow stereotypes. However, I think the fact that you are not in your child’s life will cause you to regret it a lot in perspective. Women in today’s professional world, they are doing just fine, you just need to stop bothering them and telling them that they are not capable of earning a living at home, they are and that’s perfectly fine, as long as you give them the space to be able to go back to work and you will also be as a guy took on household and child-related responsibilities, then both parties can develop professionally. Of course, if that’s what they want.”
When do we celebrate father’s day?
Mother’s Day, according to surveys, is one of the most common and most celebrated holidays right next to Valentine’s Day or Christmas. Every child, even now grown up, remembers to call mom on May 26, send flowers or show up in person with a small gift. Father’s Day is no longer celebrated so pompously and so eagerly. Why is this happening? Perhaps this is because in most cases it is the mother who plays the key role in raising the child. It’s time to change that and make June 23 a memorable day as well. Especially for fathers. Let fatherhood become as popular a term as motherhood.
It has been jokingly accepted that men are the weak sex. Are you sure? Perhaps it is said so because it is then easier to shift the entire burden of responsibilities to the mother. Fortunately, there are many fathers who are willing to carry it along with their partners. The famous photos that can be found online, where fathers dress up as princesses, bottle-feed in the middle of the night or teach cycling are not at all an exaggeration or exception. Increasingly, they can be found around the corner.