Movember Dave Busch Father's Day
Dave BuschImage by: Movember
Movember Dave Busch Father's Day
4 June 2021

Bond, The Dad Bond

Dave Busch
3 minutes read time

You can read all the books you want. Mentally prep for months. But nothing prepares for that feeling of helplessness. Here is your amazing partner, at the peak of a 10 month exhausting journey, going through an incomprehensible amount of physical anguish to deliver a new life, and as the Dad, you’re just kinda...there.

I was so proud of my wife, but I couldn’t help feeling like I should be feeling more. I should feel a bond with my daughter more. I should feel like a Dad more. It can be a slippery slope where you start feeling like a bad Dad because you don't feel what your wife feels. You watch this unbelievable, undeniable true love between them and you just wonder why you don’t feel it. It's not that you feel nothing, it's just nothing could possibly compare to what they went through together while nothing really changed for you.

Why would I feel what she felt though? I didn’t do what she did. I didn’t cook this baby for most of a year, struggling every day just to bring her to life. Even though I knew that, I still seemed to question why I didn't feel more.

Day by day. Diaper by diaper. I learned that the father’s bond builds slowly. It’s hard in those first weeks because all the traditional signs of love and acknowledgement aren't there. The baby doesn't smile at you or laugh at your jokes. She doesn’t give you a wink of approval when you take the diaper trash out without being asked. You just have to keep doing the dad work, and those dad feelings grow.

" Dadvice: “Deliver on expectations. Set the bar high for yourself, and do it.” "

I remember my first weekend alone with her. I was terrified. My wife runs the show so amazingly that I was clueless on what to do for 48 hours alone with my own child. Packing her up to go outside just the two of us, I got a surge of energy. And after two quick trips back to grab the bottle I forgot and the blanket I forgot, we were out in the world just us. Strolling with that stroller, I felt in control for a second. I felt in charge of our relationship. Her and me. Daddy Daughter time. I knew right then that I needed to make this happen more and more.

That’s the thing about any relationship. It takes time to develop a bond. I just thought becoming a Dad would be different, like an instant bond kind of thing. Turns out, being a Dad is a long haul. You have to put in the work, the time, the effort to not only guide your child in the right direction, but to build that unbreakable lifelong bond.

There's nothing like having a kid that humanizes your parents. All of sudden you realize the sacrifices they made. That they had a whole life before you, just like you did. I find myself asking my dad what his life was like when I was my daughter's age. I get the same response, “I don't know man, we were just going!” His memory is probably shot from me pushing his buttons for his entire life. What my Dad has never said out loud to me, but I know is very important to him, is delivering on expectations. Set the bar high for yourself, and do it. To me that means putting in the work, the time and the effort to be the best son, brother, husband and dad you can be.