Fathers Day: How Fatherhood changes a Man

The birth of a father: Men on how their lives have changed after fatherhood

We often tend to think of the impact fathers have on their children's lives, but disregard the remarkable influence children have on their fathers.

Becoming a parent can be an overwhelming experience. After all, welcoming a newborn into this world can impact one’s life in more ways than one can imagine—not just for mothers, but for fathers too. Human men are among a select group of only 10 percent of all mammals that provide direct care and nurturing for their offspring, joining the league of elephants, orangutans, sea lions and seals. We often talk about the impact fathers have on their children’s lives. But do we think about the remarkable influence children have on their fathers? Research indicates that a man’s own idea of masculinity expands during his transition to fatherhood, as does his ability to form rewarding human connections.

A new father’s body goes through major hormonal changes once his baby arrives. A review of studies from Princeton University found that new fathers have a surge in oestrogen and oxytocin, creating a network in the brain equipped for bonding, vigilance and motivation. Another study by researchers at the Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois shows that becoming a father leads to a sharp decline in testosterone (the macho hormone) as soon as their nurturing instincts kick in.

Fatherhood is known to make men introspect on their sense of purpose. Focussing on the needs of their little one—physically, emotionally and financially—sets men up for the lifelong commitment of being a father. More often than not, men do change for the better after becoming fathers.

This Father’s Day, we spoke to a few fathers about their unique life experiences of fatherhood. We hope these perspectives provide deeper insight into what it means to be a father. Wishing a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

How has becoming a father changed you?

Ashish Cecil Murmu: Fatherhood for me started the day my wife told me we are going to have a baby. When my child came into this world, I felt a sense of responsibility that I had missed out on for a greater part of my life. My finances started to fall into place, the quantity of family time gradually went up, and most importantly, my bond with my wife and my child became stronger.

Debroop Das: Fatherhood has changed the entire structure of my life. When I first took my daughter in my lap, I knew that this person meant the world to me. Giving her the best of everything is my prime responsibility now. As a new father, you start a new phase in your life—probably the best one. You mature with every passing day and enjoy being a hero in your child’s eyes.

Rohan Choudhury: Becoming a father was a life-changing experience for me. Not only did it make me more responsible, but it also opened my eyes to the social values I want to inculcate in my child as he grows up. My constant thought process is how to make him a person who respects and loves everyone. Becoming a father has made me more patient and resilient, and a person who discovers the true meaning of unadulterated and innocent love every morning.

Hridayesh Bhattacharjee: To be honest, after I became a father, I became more responsible as a person. I have started to take fewer risks. Now I spend more time at home playing with my daughter, creating memories and enjoying cuddles. I listen to her endless questions and try to answer them patiently. I feel I have become more patient and affectionate not only towards my kid but towards others too.

Ashish HP: Nothing has remained the same for me after becoming a father. Most of my life decisions in the last two years have been based on one major factor—what impact it will have on my son. Fatherhood has changed the way I see things around me. Not to exaggerate, but with the amount of joy he has brought in, I have started appreciating life as a whole, which for me is a major change.

As a new father, you start a new phase in your life—probably the best one.

What are the challenges that fatherhood has brought for you? 

Ashish Cecil Murmu: For me, the challenges were mostly internal rather than external. The biggest challenge was to understand my child and her requirements just by her flow of emotions. Secondly, how I communicate with my child is a challenge on its own, since it can impact her emotional balance. Being in a profession where I am mostly away from my family, another challenge is to always remind my baby girl that I am her father every time I visit her.

Debroop Das: Balancing my work and personal life while clinching out the maximum time for my child is the biggest challenge I face. But as the days go by, I have become more relaxed and can handle my new responsibilities in a much better way.

Rohan Choudhury: The biggest challenge for me is probably to adopt a different communication approach at different times. Sometimes as a father, one needs to overlook certain behaviour patterns thinking that the child is young, however, at other times to show strictness, so that the child doesn’t inculcate wrong habits. The other challenge is work-life balance. While it is important we stay focussed and dedicate our time at work, it is equally important to ensure giving quality time to my child.

Hridayesh Bhattacharjee: Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is “me time”. At times, I am forced to watch cartoons instead of my favourite programs. Now my life revolves completely around her. Another challenge I can think of is setting the right example all the time. I need to constantly focus on being a role model to my daughter and someone that she looks up to.

Ashish HP: My major challenge has been mainly around time management. During the initial few months, I found it hard to achieve a work-life balance. I wanted to ensure I was there for my son most of the time. Be it taking him for vaccinations, putting him on a cradle, getting his ears pierced, revealing his name or his first birthday, I wanted to be by his side. Thanks to my family who made sure I didn’t miss out on anything despite the challenges of my new job and the pandemic.

How do you build and nurture the bond you share with your child? 

Ashish Cecil Murmu: I build and nurture our bond by being with her whenever time permits. Talking to her, playing with her, feeding her, and taking walks together all add up to nurturing the bond. And when I am not around, I talk to her over video calls to keep our closeness intact.

Debroop Das: Building a bond starts with sharing as much time as possible with your child. In my case, I try getting involved in the day-to-day activities of my daughter like feeding her, bathing her, doing her laundry, playing with her, putting her to sleep, and so on. In addition, I tend to share my day-to-day experiences with her. This might sound weird as my daughter is just 6 months old.

Rohan Choudhury: As a father, it is all about sharing responsibilities, starting from nappy changing, brushing, showering, feeding, playing and putting him to bed. These activities have helped me develop a natural bond with my kid. We also go for walks together and dance to some peppy numbers, which creates additional bonding.

Hridayesh Bhattacharjee: I try my best to have uninterrupted time with her each day. I try to show lots of interest in her activities. I respect her feelings and empathise. I say “I love you” to her quite often. We occasionally go out on daughter-dad dates too. In short, I try to spend quality time with her as much as I can.

Ashish HP: Whenever I find time to spend with him, I try my best to get inside his little world. If he is watching something on TV, mobile or playing with his toys, I just sit with him and observe him. I find great joy in doing this and believe that it’s easy to nurture a kid if you understand him well. Until this point, I have let him do everything he wants and have only stopped him if I sense a bad habit is being developed. He is a super active kid, a keen observer, and someone who learns constantly. My task over the next few years will be to help him channelise these qualities in the right direction and help him reach great heights. I strongly believe that no father has to put any extra effort into making a child special. He just has to treat him or her as special.


How has fatherhood impacted men's lives?

Fatherhood brings about significant changes in men’s lives, leading to increased responsibility, stronger family bonds, and a shift in perspective.

What are the hormonal changes associated with new fatherhood?

Studies indicate that new fathers experience hormonal changes, including increased levels of oestrogen and oxytocin, promoting bonding, vigilance, and motivation.

How does fatherhood affect a man's sense of purpose?

Fatherhood prompts men to focus on their child’s physical, emotional, and financial needs, leading to personal growth and positive change.

What role does fatherhood play in a man's personal growth?

Fatherhood brings increased responsibility, emotional growth, and the opportunity to positively impact one’s child’s life, fostering a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment.


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