The media and society constantly discuss what it is like to be a mother
and how motherhood affects women, often eclipsing the experience of men
and their children. However, having a child changes you, regardless of
your gender. An addition of responsibility, love, and care comes from
nurturing another human being. Outside of the dark circles under the eyes
and a need to check on the little one, men go through as many changes
as women. Studies show that men experience excitement, confidence, stability,
and depression when becoming fathers.
Fatherhood and Emotions
It is inevitable for fathers to experience a change in emotions when they
have a newborn. With the euphoria and wonder of creating a human comes
the stark reality of responsibility. That is why men feel a natural sense
of love and protection for their new child. However, they also endure
depression and worry.
Studies show that new fathers from lower income families are more likely
to suffer from depression than other demographics. Researchers found depression
afflicted men in the following:
- 13.3% of married fathers suffer depression
- 14.7% of co-habiting fathers suffer depression
- 18% of single fathers suffered depression
Researchers noted that in many cases, engagement and activities with the
children helped reduce the negative emotions in gathers. They also found
that a father’s self-esteem was positively impacted by spending
time with the children.
New fathers are also more likely to be more empathetic towards others.
With a child to take care of, they are more willing to think through others’
emotions and circumstances. Along with increased sensitivity, studies
show that fathers are less likely to develop mental orders. Statistics
show that parents suffer mental disorders 29.7% of the time in contrast
to the 34.2% that non-parents experience. Thus, it is easy to see how
emotions play a significant role in fatherhood.
Fatherhood and Finances
One of the most frequent events that occurs when a man becomes a father
is that he accepts responsibility. Fatherhood leads men to seek stable,
secure jobs so that they can provide for their child and family. In most
cases, studies found that men stressed more about their financial situation
than they may have in the past. They showed more of a willingness to curb
spending and save for the future. Fathers are more inclined to spend money
on practical items, rather than splurging.
Fatherhood and Health
There are physical changes that occur in men when they have a child, studies
find. According to researchers, one third of testosterone levels drop
in men during the first few weeks after the birth of their child. This
can be associated with them displaying less aggressive tendencies to accommodate
caring for a newborn.
Most men also experience an increase in hormones such as estrogen, prolactin,
oxytocin, and glucocorticoids. Scientists believe that physical contact
with their infant can affect a father’s endocrine system. Hormones
such as oxytocin also referred as the “cuddle hormone,” cause
men to bond easier with their child.
These hormonal changes also heighten father’s sensitivity to their
child’s needs and their cries. A group study showed that 90% of
fathers could detect their baby’s cry from other children’s.
This illustrates the close connection that forms between father and child.
Fatherhood and Social Behavior
Men with children are more likely to engage in civil causes and religious
institutions. Whether it is getting involved in charities, paying attention
to political discourse, or going to a religious gathering, fathers are
more inclined to participate in social awareness. Fatherhood also forms
stronger ties with family and tradition.
At James D. Madden, Attorney at Law, we understand how special fatherhood
is. We believe the close connection between men and their children should
be protected. If you are going through a divorce, our Rancho Cucamonga
family law attorneys are here to help! We will review your situation and
come up with a plan that prioritizes your needs. Call today for a