Fathers’ Day is meant to be a time of joy and celebration but for some men it is an unwelcome and painful reminder that they can not lay claim to that title just yet.
When it comes to conversations around infertility the emphasis is generally placed on the woman and her desire to have children and very little is said about the many would be fathers who dream of having kids.
Once again men are forced to deal with their pain in silence even though male infertility is the reason couples struggle in 30% of the cases.
There are many reasons why men are classified as infertile. For example a blockage in the sperm passage, low sperm count, impotence and hormone challenges can all contribute to male infertility. Health challenges such as diabetes, injury and infection are also known to affect men negatively.
Dealing with infertility issues can be extremely emasculating for men due to the stigma associated with it which assumes that infertile men can not perform sexually.
This type of social ridicule added to the frustration of not being able to conceive can be detrimental to the male psyche and lead to deep seated insecurities. This in turn affects their ability and desire to procreate which creates a vicious cycle.
Today there are many medical interventions available to men who are willing to get the help they need. Staying positive and hopeful is also an important part of successfully dealing with infertility. If you are hoping to be a father one day here are some things to
remember in the interim;
“It’s not your fault” – As a man and especially as a husband the pressure to “perform” can be immense. Not being able to have children can be seen as a personal failure. But in most cases infertility is caused by medical conditions that are out of your control. Do what you can and let go of the rest.
“Stock up on patience” – For many couples who are struggling to conceive the waiting is the hardest part. But patience is one of the most important qualities of good parenting. See this as an opportunity to develop your patience for the years of crying, whining, screaming and tantrums that are still ahead of you.
“Practice your parenting” – If you can, find ways to be a father to the boys and girls around you. There are so many kids who don’t have the support and guidance that they need to thrive. You don’t have to wait to play that supporting role and make a difference in
“Learn from others” – Take the time you have now to observe the parenting models that you see around you and think about the kind of Dad you want to be one day. Look at what works and what doesn’t and talk to other dads about their biggest parenting lessons.
“Have fun with your spouse” – Go on holidays, be spontaneous and create memories with just the two of you while you can. These days are precious and more often than not couples only realize it once it’s gone.
“There is no perfect life” – Many people become so desperate to recreate the picture they have in their minds of a perfect family that they forget that children are just people.
Even though they are a tremendous gift kids come with their own set of challenges and headaches. Remember life is what you make of it today.
Being a good father doesn’t happen overnight. It will require you to draw on all the knowledge, experience and discipline you have acquired over a lifetime. Don’t see this period in your life as a waste of time, recognize that you are already in the process of becoming Daddy.
Author: Cindy Harker