Posted: Jul 13, 2012 7:00 AM
 
Sometimes it seems dads get a raw deal. "Attachment parenting" is the new big buzzword, and is usually associated with mothers. Magazine covers are all about celebrity moms. When Mom is away, people still ask if Dad is "babysitting" (no, he's being a dad!). These days, dads often get overlooked or even derided.

Contributed by Jen Geller of Care.com, the nation's premiere caregiving website.

It's true, moms do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to the kids: handling their childcare needs, dealing with the school stuff, even most of the housework falls to Mom. Dad may not always deal with the nuts and bolts of parenthood, perhaps working 80-hour weeks or not even living in the same home as the mother and kids. However, his bond with the children is no less important and needs to be strengthened as the kids grow.

But parenthood is tricky, sometimes for everyone. And if you (Mom) find yourself wondering why Dad hasn't bonded with your child the way you have, you might be seeing their bond the wrong way. And you might even be able to learn from it.

Infants and babies: Loving the little stranger

For many mothers, the parent-child bond comes in utero. Nine months of pregnancy, delivery and nursing often make for a physical and emotional bond from the get-go. Dad can feel a bit left out in those early days and may struggle a bit with a connection.

Dr. Robi Ludvig, psychotherapist and Care.com contributor says, "It's normal for fathers not to feel as connected those first few months. There isn't as much one-on-one time with the baby in those early months."

Tom Matlack, founder of the Good Men Project, a website for men that deals with issues such as fatherhood and families and how men think, suggests there is a broader cultural issue at play here: "It's very rare for fathers to get any form of paternity leave so many of them feel as if they miss out on those first connections and it can be hard."

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