We’re thrilled to introduce you to our first guest blogger!  Binky is the fabulous author of her own blog, 24 Hours a Day 7 Days a Week, and is a great writer and an even greater mom.   We hope you enjoy her article as much as we did!

When it comes to parenthood, there’s not a single way to act or a lone way to feel. From the first day a mother-to-be sees the vast selection of pre-natal vitamins arrayed before her,  it is apparent that this whole with-child thing is about choice.

Formula or breast milk? Ferber or the Family Bed? Robeez or Pediped? Becoming a parent is one decision that will be made over and over for the rest of your life.

My husband likes to think that he has control over everything. His actions are dictated by rational thought. With the birth of our first child, he did not automatically feel the intense emotional bond that is touted everywhere from Kodak commercials to a grandmother’s cribside coos. Nor did I. Part of the reason may have been the emergency c-section under general anaesthesia for which neither of us was present (he, physically; me, consciously). But more than than that, it is the fact that people can come at one universal experience from very different directions, and can retreat on similarly varied paths.

When I was pregnant, my husband did not care to feel the baby move under the stretch of my stomach. In fact, it skeeved him out. He prefers things to be on the surface, where he can control them. Anything else is other-worldly. It’s alien. It’s a disturbing, if not somewhat interesting, abstraction.

The bond did not come at birth, either. A being cannot gain my man’s affection simply by existing. Our daughter (nicknamed “The Boss” on my blog) had to earn it–by learning to speak, control her bodily functions, and give him the respect he thinks he deserves. In the meantime, he didn’t change a whole lot of diapers. He didn’t cater to caterwauled whims or brandish a pacifier. He stood back.

It took The Boss about three years to do it, but she successfully attained favored status with her daddy. The words of adoration just roll off his tongue. She’s “so cute.” She’s “so smart.” He misses her “so much” when he goes to work. Now he is front and center. He comes home to games of hide-and-seek. He puts her to bed and reads her two books. When she cries out in the dark he’s the one to go groggily across the hall to see what’s wrong.

My husband’s love is a slow build. The foundation is solid but construction is slow. I know this isn’t everybody’s way of working. I also know it isn’t necessary for him to conform to others’ standards. He can’t be the best father he can be by trying to be someone else.

I think he knows now that he can’t control everything. It’s a lesson parenthood teaches us from the get-go. But that doesn’t mean he can’t try. It’s his prerogative. He is becoming a father according to his own history, his own ethics, and his own timetable. Sometimes I’m frustrated by his way of doing things just as he is frustrated by mine. But I know he’s a good dad. So does he. This man who thinks he’s never wrong is right about that.

On my own blog, I consider myself a story-teller–or maybe a slicer-of-life–more than an advice-giver, but here today in My Mom Genes I will say this: raising children isn’t about being like the others. It’s about being a parent.
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