‘Great to be able to show my ignorance’: a dad’s feedback
David Simons, an IT consultant from Kew in south-west London, attended a Fatherhood Institute ‘Hit the Ground Crawling’ course in February 2012. His son Daniel was born 3 months later. David explains what a difference the course made to him:
“The course caught me fairly early on in the pregnancy, when I was feeling like I hardly knew anything about what was going to happen. I’m not a mad “must read every baby book going” person but I did want to know what was going on.
“The normal midwife sessions aren’t really father-oriented and what was great was being able to sit down with other guys and show my ignorance, without feeling that I needed to hide how little I knew. It was like an open table where you could say what you wanted, and you felt like everyone was on an equal level.
“I found it especially useful to be able to talk to other dads about how you can support your partner. I was able to share my anxieties about me and my wife potentially feeling isolated, as she is from overseas and wasn’t going to have her family around her – and it was good to be able to say this without feeling like I was being over-anxious in front a midwife.
“It’s not that anyone necessarily has the right answer to these things. But the other dads were sympathetic and understood how I felt – and hearing them express similar feelings, insecurities and gaps in knowledge helped make me feel more confident.”
Hit the Ground Crawling is a pioneering peer-mentoring ante- and post-natal session for dads. David’s course was provided by the FI under a contract with Ham Children’s Centre. For more information about Hit the Ground Crawling click here. To read an independent evaluation of Hit the Ground Crawling click here.
Tags: Early years, For fathers, Maternity, New fathers, Parenting education