Chapter SevenTouchpoint 4 Acknowledge the Transition to Parenthood

A NEW DAD named Darren crisply summarized a realization most of my clients have at some point: “Everyone told me everything would be different after I had kids, but I didn't realize they meant I would be different.” It's true: the person you are today, getting ready to leave work, is not the person who will be returning.

We don't talk enough about how we will be different on the other side of welcoming a child (even when it is not our first). Yes, most of us can imagine that our schedule and daily commitments will be different. We know having a child will be a big emotional experience. Too often, however, there isn't recognition of the need to pause our busy lives and take notice of what we are experiencing and how we are evolving in response. This fourth touchpoint is not only about how you want others to acknowledge your leaving work and welcoming a child but also about how you want to do so internally, for yourself.

Maybe you want to throw a big party such as a baby shower (or any of the catchy names they're sometimes called for dads) in addition to a quieter form of acknowledgment, like a blessing circle or other ceremony, with those you are very close to. This touchpoint is about your own recognition of the transformation that is unfolding. Who do you want to be as a parent? What are your hopes and dreams? What are your fears? Capturing your feelings in a baby book or journal or creating a box of heirlooms ...

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