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In Defense of Fathers

Updated: Jun 16

Have you ever noticed how the men in your life seem to handle chaos, confusion, crisis and conflict completely differently than you? How they can sometimes seem detached and distant from the problem at hand?

I have.

And sometimes, I'm miffed about it!!! Why is this threat (which just popped out of nowhere) not getting his hackles up the same way mine are?

What we may not consider is that men have a built in "threat assessment algorthim" hardwired and activated the minute we show up with that concerned look on our face. I've watched my husband cut through the noise and go into 'decision mode' a thousand times over the years and sometimes, I still misinterpret his response! If a big problem comes up (say, a financial concern for instance) that we didn't anticipate, he runs the numbers and various scenarios so quickly that I may miss it. Then he may start to brood or appear deep in thought without answering. I'm thinking: 'did he really hear me?' 'Is he paying close enough attention to what I've presented as a potential problem (threat) to the family?' But in reality he's already assessed the situation, come up with some solutions and is now pondering how he needs to say what he needs to say to me when I'm ready to hear it.

Men are natural at "threat assessment" and we as women need to recognize and understand this phenomenon.

This is important because it's one of the reasons why an unexpected pregnancy can create the response from men that it (seemingly) does. If women don't understand the process men go through when presented with an unanticipated life-altering change then how we respond can escalate an already volatile situation.

So often, we see what looks like a storm passing across their face initially. As scared and unsure as we might be, the father is already making calculations about his ability to provide for and protect you and a baby. Women read that storm cloud as doubt about wanting the baby-and there may be some of that happening-but, mainly it's worry. We think they aren't happy about the immediate news but in reality, they're already trying to figure out how in the world they're going to pay for braces, college and a wedding on their current salary!

This is why it is so important for everyone involved to take a breath! Nothing has to be decided immediately. Even conception took a day or two! Moms, try not to ambush him with the big news and don't make ANY decisions based upon what you initially see happening on his face. He's a bit scared (he won't admit it) and he's running the numbers (you can't help him). The storm will pass...

So, share this post with those whom you know may be facing an unexpected pregnancy (or any crisis really). The baby is not the actual "threat" and the father is (typically) not disinterested. It helps to allow time for EVERYONES initial reactions to calm down so that the executive brain can function and make sound decisions.

And remember that, in the midst of it all, God is still in control!! Trust God and trust the process.

Much love, Sylvia

Song: "I'm in the Midst of it All" by Fred Hammond and United Tenors

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