Fatherhood and the Different Me

For a few months I’ve left this post blank, as a draft, waiting to be written and posted. The truth is I don’t really have anything insightful to say about becoming a father. Which, if you didn’t know already, happens in early July.

I have books, some humorous, some scientific, and some a bit philosophical. I have many friends who have given me fantastic advice, many of them new fathers themselves. Although throughout it all, I think I can boil it all down to this. When people say you change once you have a kid, it’s true in more than one way.

Brain chemistry and function changes after having children. Not just in my wife, but it will happen to me to. She’ll (along with baby) release a separate set of pheromones that will trigger changes in my brain, white literally making me a different person. From what I’ve read so far, attention and emotional processing will heighten, new prefrontal cortex connections will form and I’ll generally be more empathetic. But mostly, the transition into fatherhood will result in an ultimate, major change in how I think and exist: No longer will self-preservation be my absolute first instinct.

Going forward, after early July, preservation of my offspring will likely be my primary instinct. I’ll sacrifice my health, time, and everything else to accommodate the growth and ensure the successful development of my son or daughter. It’s an odd thing to think about, before the fact.

But I’m ready.