Every father is different, yet when we hear the descriptions, or see the portrayals of fathers on film, it can feel like we’re the only one who is different. Every other dad, apparently, felt an instantaneous and profound connection to their kids from the moment they first held them.
It was the happiest moment of my life. I broke into tears. I sensed an incredible bond that would last a lifetime.
Maybe many dads do feel this. Or they feel they have to say that they do. But the truth is that not every father does, and that love develops and manifests itself differently. Madison Wickham, who we’ve quoted here before, is the founder of TFM Meeting Group and a father. As he explains,
I expected to experience a deep and magical connection with my son the moment he was born. While the experience of childbirth was certainly magical, I didn’t feel the intense fatherly bond I expected. I was concerned that there might be something wrong with me. Maybe I wasn’t ready to be a dad. But as the weeks and months went by, the bond between my son and I grew stronger. Nine years later our bond is still growing and our relationship is unlike any relationship I’ve ever experienced. Truly magical.
Whether you’re a soon-to-be-dad or just a father wrestling with your own guilt or confusing feelings, this is worth thinking about and knowing. It’s not about how you feel at the beginning, it’s not about how you feel in one moment. Some couples fall in love at first sight. Many do not. Neither is better or worse. Neither is right nor wrong.
It’s about the bond that grows, the bond that you build, not the one that simply strikes you like an epiphany. So build it.