EP21 – I’m A Man, So I Don’t Know Jack
When dads step up and get involved, treat them with the same inclusion and respect that you do the moms. Thank you...
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Hey, welcome to this episode of I don't know Jack about parenting and today I'm going to talk about why I don't know Jack about parenting and that reason is because I am a man.
Hey, welcome back to this episode of, I don't know Jack, about parenting where I'm probably going to go on a little bit of a rant today, uh, simply because I believe in today's society, men's opinions around parenting is undervalued. Now I'm going to go into why I believe that is the case.
Realize I am an extremely hands on dad
I'm going to tell you what also started or brought this podcast on is simply because I have neighbors that are foster parents, they are foster parents to three beautiful children that are all family. There's six, four and three they've had them almost a year now, but they also got a baby just yesterday and the baby coming into the home, you got to realize they're foster parents, they don't have any of their own. Uh, and it's one thing to take on kids that can walk and talk and her potty training. It's another thing to have to cater to an infant while still catering to them. And just yesterday I was talking to somebody before they got the baby and I was like, you know, I want to go over and offer them some advice. Realize I am an extremely hands on dad. Uh, so much so, um, did skin to skin in the, in when both of my children were born. I demanded it the second time around when my son was first born, I shared with the neighbor, said, listen to some skin to skin. For those you don't know. It would probably be another podcast. You could google skin to skin.
There's so much that I've done purposefully for longterm benefit as a parent that I wanted to share with these people and I was like, listen, you're getting this baby in its infancy. This is what you need to do a if he circumcised, right, we need to take care of that area so it doesn't get infected. You don't know anything about an umbilical cord and how that is going to harden up and fall off and what you need to do to protect that, and I'm thinking of all these things that they're. They're probably not going to know about how much time, how many times the baby's fed, what to look for in the stool, how many times should be wet versus poopy, that color of the poop. All these things that. How would you know if you didn't have this experience? So I start running down a list of things like you guys need to know some of this stuff right now.
You're going to be dealing with some problems
Now I'm going to tell you where I think a man's opinion is undervalued because they could almost get this from the mom. Like, yeah, I'm listening. I'm listening... baby comes later on in a day. I'm out of the bus stop is we're picking up the kids and she says to me, your wife was so helpful today, and I'm like, Oh wow, great. I'm glad that she was helpful and I was like, like, what did she say? She let me know that I didn't need a bottle warmer and then I could serve the formula at room temperature. Like okay, need to know, but that's like the stuff I was giving her is long term benefits and like if you don't do some of this stuff, you may feed the baby the water at room temperature and that's good information to know and obviously a necessity if they didn't know, sitting here thinking, if you don't do the things I told you because you thought they were insignificant, you're going to be dealing with some problems like long term problems. If you aren't doing skin to skin with this child, it doesn't understand or feel who you are as a parent emotionally, that baby on your bare skin, on your chest, it's going to feel your love, but if you're always just picking it up and putting it down and you're not really connecting to this child, the child's not going to feel safe. If it's not feeling safe and it feels insecure, guess what? It does. It cries. Baby's going to cry anyway, but you need to be the calming, soothing force and I'm sitting there going, wow.
I even said to somebody else was like, I really want to share a lot of things with these people and I even said it, but I don't know if it's going to be well received because I'm a guy. I'm not a mom and I think moms receive information from moms and dads like, Eh, how much does he know? Or He's just completely oblivious. I don't know. I'm not saying they are. They are or they aren't. What I'm saying is, Oh, I'm going to give you a few examples of how society doesn't allow men to have a voice when it comes to a parenting role and that's why I don't know Jack about parenting, but I will tell you what women are unaware of how they castrate, yep I said it, castrate men. In this parenting role.
Dr. acts like I'm not in the room
I'm going to tell you how doctors do it too! I remember my wife and this last pregnancy I was showing up to every doctor visit because she was a high risk over 40 years old. Um, we had had some complications and a couple of miscarriages, so very high risk and she was like at the doctor every week and I'm there with her because if anything happened, I did want to be her emotional support because we had gone through this before. So get there and on like the third or fourth doctor visit, mind you to Dr. never asks me questions. Dr. acts like I'm not in the room. The doctor is sitting there up my, it was, this was, this is not a children's podcast. He sitting there shoving things on my wife's vagina looking for things, right, acts like I'm not even there. And then one day he looks at her as he's in that area and he says, so what is it that your husband does that he can make all these doctor visits? And I was like, doc, I'm right here. Why don't you just ask me and he kinda like looked over to me and, and like looked back to her like waiting for her response and I was like, Babe, you don't need to answer that.
If you're not going to include the father in the journey and if I am not able to even speak to the doctor because he doesn't even acknowledge me. And that's what I imagine most doctors do. Maybe because their experiences that men don't want to be that involved. Here's the deal. I was involved. I was at every single doctor visit. Society. It starts at the doctor. Oh, we're pregnant. Let's go to the doctor. Doctor doesn't include me, Babe. What's going on? Oh, I just talked to my sister about this. She told me x, y, Z. Oh, well, well it's nothing you'd be interested in any way. Next thing you know, uh, everywhere the dad goes, guess what happens? People are saying that, hey, your opinion isn't valued. Hey, there's a baby shower, you can show up because you got to put the presents in the car, but it's all going to be girls games and this and that and the other. But I'd like you to be there, but nobody says, Hey, are you excited? Is Your plan? Because it's a bunch of women and they're all focused on her because she has the belly. Then you get to the, to the birth and going back to skin to skin. Here they are nurses, doctors who tell you dad, you don't need to do anything. We got everything covered.
So you're sitting there wanting to be, you could cut the cord, right? We want you to feel a little bit important. You could cut the cord. You used to cutting shit, right? Sorry.
It's about to come out
And you get there and I'm like, the only thing you're going to do. And I remember being there, my wife's pushing. My wife's about to give up. Doctor looks at her, now I'm an involved dad and I let them know I'm looking at what are you looking at on the screen? I want to know what's going on because the nurses are coming in and out and she's telling me, even my wife is like, why are you asking all these questions? Because I want to know my baby is inside of you. They're monitoring it. It's about to come out. I need to know what they're looking at. So as we're going through this entire process, she is. I got to pause. So I'm back. My other neighbor, his wife is about to, uh, have give birth tomorrow. She's going in for a scheduled C section and I just gave him a couple of quick pointers.
Uh, and it's just exciting to have the neighborhood. So he's listening, but I think a lot of it's going over the head. Guys, listen, this parenting thing, we don't understand. I don't know Jack about parenting until you become a parenting a parent. And even then you're not really a parent. So let me go back to the story of the nurses. The doctors. I'm asking a lot of questions they're answering, but like, okay, there's an involved dad, but let's, let's hope he doesn't pass out like half the dads do or he doesn't panic or it doesn't freak out. So we're, we're in labor at this point and I'm looking at what's going on and my wife is struggling and she's ready to give up and the baby's crowning and the is almost here. And I remember just the doctor's pause and I was like, doc, I got this and he's ready to coach her through it.
You could just see the look in the doctor's face
I say, you, you get back where you belong and I'll be right here where I'm at. I just look at it and I'm like, listen babe, you are about three good pushes away from getting his baby out. You give it everything you got and we're going to be parents for the second time. This baby is here. I can see its head. We're excited and I know you can do anything and I know you got this. So let's do this. She's like three pushes. I was like three pushes, man. Two pushes babies here. Um, it was awesome, but you could just see the look in the doctor's face like, sure dad, you, he gave me the nod, but he was like, man, let me do my job. I'm like, no, this is my job. This is my wife and I want to tell you right now, and I know I'm slightly unique and I'm going to tell you why in a second, because once the baby's out for those, you don't know you. Maybe you've been there. If you're listening this, I imagine you're a parent.
But the baby comes out. First thing they do is they give the child to mom, right? They clean the baby up a wrap it up, mom bare chest, baby on it, skin to skin. She got about 45 minutes of skin to skin. We're talking to the baby. We're naming the baby because we didn't know if it was a boy or girl deciding on those things were super happy. Uh, with the smooth compared to our first birth. Very smooth. We checked in at 12, at 5:57. He was born. So six hour labor if you would. It was, it was, it was beautiful. So the nurse goes to take the baby, take my son, and I said, okay, uh, I, I need the baby. And she says, no sir, we need to. I said, listen, listen, he's my child. You can weigh him. You could prod them and you could poke them. You could do everything. Obviously he's a perfectly healthy baby. He needs to be with dad at this point. Uh, I need my skin to skin time so you can give me the baby and you can leave. And she was like, oh, he's serious.
That would be my wish
But here's the thing, if I wasn't very assertive, if I wasn't very confident in what I was saying, if I wasn't telling her what needed to happen from my perspective and what was going to happen, she just going to dismiss me as the father. Oh, mom got her skin to skin. Dad doesn't care. I believe it would be my vision. It would be my hope that in, if, if I could control this or affect this in any positive way, it would be. Mom gets skin to skin. Dad, take your shirt off. You're getting skin to skin too in every hospital at every birth that every father is in the room. That would be my wish and that would be a movement I would like to see and maybe some day there's that because I'll tell you this, another nurse walked in, she said she had been working for that particular hospital only six months, but she'd probably seen you know, almost a 100 births. At that point she said I was only the second father. She had witnessed doing skin to skin. She witnesses three to four births a day for six months and I was the second father that she saw doing skin to skin. So much so she asked if she could take a picture of it and that picture is in chapter two of my book. Be The dad that you wish you had.
Society is telling men that you're unimportant in the parenting as a parent and as a role as a parent. They're putting everything on mom. It goes to the point where visitors gain. Everyone's focused on mom and baby. I didn't even need to be in the room. The only thing I was good for, even from my wife's perspective and she didn't share this, her, her actions, you know, and it was a, Hey, can you go get me something to eat? Hey, can you go, you know, make sure that parking is taken care of, like the man things to do on like, Nah, I'm feeding the baby. Give me the baby. You don't have to do that. I want to feed the baby. I need to feed the baby. I need to bond with my child. This is me asking and being told, no, you don't have to do that. This is me wanting. I'll change the diapers. No, no, I got it covered.
I don't care that you're here
This is me telling the nurse, Hey, let me change my. No, we'll, we'll take it. You know you're going to be changing enough diapers. No, I'll change my son's diapers. Okay. I don't care. I don't care that you're here, there will be a time you're not. And, and frankly I'm okay with changing diapers, but nurses, doctors, parents, friends, family, everybody ignores the dad. So when a dad actually has a perspective and when a dad has an opinion and when a dad wants to give the information, if you're ignoring dads the entire time, why are you going to ignore when he offers because you don't value him. So you may think dads don't know Jack about parenting or anything about this process, but I'm here to tell you that there are dads and it goes way back to when they made a movie about Mr Mom, right?
There are dads that take care of all of these duties and they do them beautifully and society and moms and doctors and nurses and, and, and, and even going to his three month checkup, the nurse kept or the doctor kept telling my wife, you know, oh, he's beautiful, he's perfect. The only concern I have is he's a little underweight and, and, and you don't when a doctor says something to you about your child, you know, you take that to heart. Like, oh, I need to feed them more. She's like, I'd like to see his weight up to a point where she started feeding them too much. Right. I was like, he's fine, don't worry about it. The doctor said...
I'm going to be blunt guys
started feeding them so much that guess what? He got acid reflux or reflux and started spitting it up and throwing up and then he lost more weight because they're trying to force feed a child. Child is getting what it needed, but because a dot on a screen, the doctor says this, so guess what? At the next checkup, guess who guess who went and had a conversation with a doctor. I was like, Hey, don't take any time off work. You know, I'll bring the baby in a same thing. He's perfectly healthy. The only concern I have, and I'm going to be blunt guys, listen, this is your baby. You do your research. You do what's right. I'm there with the baby all day long. She's checking them for five minutes and she said, well, the only concern is he's a little underweight. If you look at this curve, this is a population of 10,000, 50,000, 100,000 kids in this country and he's a little underweight. I'm a numbers guy. I'll share with you my thought that I shared with the doctor. I said, doc, that's great.
You know, how many people are on that, you know, that's uh, that's the average in this country. Last I checked this country is full of obese people. People who overeat, which I assume they over feed their children also. So you're giving me statistics based on a, a country or a society who is overweight and tends to overfeed their kids. So for me, if he's below that, that's actually a good thing because as you could see, my wife, myself and our seven year old son, which you've been taken care of for the last six years is perfectly healthy at a very healthy weight. He's a thin kid and we're a thin family. So, um, stop telling my wife that he is underweight based on our society today because to us he's perfect. You keep saying he's perfect. Leave it at that because my wife tends to want to overfeed them because of your words.
My wife doesn't believe in drugs
And the last time we did that, we got on drugs for the acid reflux. I don't believe in drugs. My wife doesn't believe in drugs, but we had to combat something you said based on our actions after what you said, and I'm not going to do that anymore, so unless there's something really relevant other than that dot on the screen, I want you to know that we got this covered. I don't know Jack about parenting right, but I know something about life and know something about what I've read. I know something about my intuition.
I know my child that I spend all day with every day for months, way better than a doctor looking at a blip on the screen and checking their ears and their mouth and their nose. Go with your gut, but you can't go with your gut if you don't have any basis, and I hate to tell you if you're watching this, there's some of us dads out there who probably know more than a lot of moms, but nobody's listening simply because we're men. That's my rant. I don't know Jack about parenting, but I do know a little something about life and people, so I'll see you in the next episode.
About the Author
Ryan Roy is the father of two boys and on a mission to be the dad he wished he had... and to help other fathers be the best they can be too.
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