'Indian men often lag behind on the emotional front'
Q. While speaking with other to-be fathers for your book, how prepared did the urban Indian man seem to you?
A. Well, this is a generation that likes to plan its life pretty meticulously. Most dads I spoke to knew when they’d be ready for fatherhood. Unlike the previous generation, most of them wanted to feel fairly settled in their lives professionally and financially. Hence, these dads were better informed about their to-do lists than dads were one generation ago.
Q. What are the most common things that men ignore while thinking that they are ready to tackle fatherhood?
A. Apart from fulfilling the family’s financial needs, a to-be dad also needs to make quality time for both the mother and the newborn. In fact, even during the pregnancy months, many men tend to focus on just the obvious tasks of taking his wife to the doctor or for the ultrasound tests. It makes a huge difference when the husband shows greater empathy and say prepares a meal or just spends more time with her. While Indian men can be very good at fulfilling responsibilities, they often tend to lag behind on the emotional front. The first few weeks of the newborn can be pretty chaotic for the family. Even here, it helps if the husband takes charge of certain baby chores instead of just passing instructions or delegating work.
Daddy: The Birth of a Father, Tuhin A Sinha, Harlequin, Rs 250. Available at leading bookstores.
Q. What, according to you, is the most difficult period for men?
A. It’s the immediate hours leading to the birth and those after the birth. To see your wife in agonising labour pain can be pretty unnerving for a husband. I know of friends who’ve gone through some really frightening moments waiting for their wives to deliver. Also, in many cases, the newborn goes through health complications. My son had to spend two days in NICU for a common breathing ailment, which many newborns born out of C-Sec go through. It’s called Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn. Those two days were extremely tough for me.
Tuhin A Sinha
Q. What were the curious/interesting facts you got to know about parenting or babies once you became a father?
A. Babies are a lot more observant and absorbent than we would like to believe them to be. No responsible parent would want his baby to learn the wrong things. Hence, by default, babies make you vigilant about your own behaviour. They tend to make you better human beings.