Father. That is the other F word. Does your significant other cringe every time the conversation falls into the future daddy jurisdiction?
This 2011 documentary explores the life of several punk rockers and how they came to terms with being dads in a punk rock world. It was an interesting exposé as these guys were brutally honest about the struggle that they experienced reconciling their rocker lifestyles with their budding family life. You meet a lot of different personalities and perspectives. Some kept on rocking and established a new balance while others decided to opt out and “settle down”.
This movie was actually better than I expected it to be. My husband started watching it on Netflix spontaneously one weekend. I think the draw was that he is a Pennywise and Rancid fan. What I liked about it was that it was a no-pressure introduction and entertaining, but still opened up the door for productive conversation on what your future new life balance might look like with baby.
My husband Ben has come a long ways in the baby conversations over the last year. He is an awesome guy, a brilliant thinker, and a very hard-working, motivated man. The thought of screwing all that up by injecting a child into our very productive dynamic used to scare the bejesus out of him. All chats would be cut short and he would physically stiffen up, maybe even shiver. We knew we both wanted kids, but the reality of how much our lives would change was overwhelming and downright frightening.
This can be a tricky topic to bring up with most men. Even if he does want kids (which you should probably figure out sooner rather than later), discussing the reality and the details of this decision can be paralyzing. Consider using this movie as an ice-breaker to ease into the conversation. You are going to need to become very open with each other on this topic over the next year; otherwise, you can create strife and conflict in your own relationship and that is just no way to start this journey. Use these questions and topics to get you started if you are struggling.
- What words will be considered “swear words” in your home?
- What words will you say or not say in front of an infant?
- What kind of punishment do you think is reasonable for a kid using bad language?
- How open will you be with your children about your past experiences? With drugs? Lifestyle?
- What kind of music will you listen to when your kids are around?
- Do you want you kids to learn how to play an instrument?
- How much travel/work away time is acceptable for your family life balance?
- Are there any appearance expectations for parents? Tattoos, hair, clothing.
I hope you have some very stimulating conversations!