I try to look back on "The Moment" I felt like a mom and, honestly, I don't know that I could pinpoint it. Maybe it was when I heard my son cry from the other side of the curtain during my C-section. Maybe it was when I introduced him to my cat. Perhaps it was at the precise moment I gazed into the abyss after breastfeeding him every 20 minutes for two days. Maybe it's less "one moment" so much as a slow culmination of moments over time. I asked some dads to share the moment being a father felt real, because I wanted to know if they were similarly mystified or if they, like many moms I know, had "The Moment."
Look, I've been a mom, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (more or less) for just about seven years now. It's not that I haven't had time to get used to the idea that, yep, I'm a parent responsible for two little children. Nevertheless, some days I'm completely blown away by the fact that I am a parent. Remember that video "David After Dentist," where a wide-eyed and out of it child slurs "Is this real life?! That me. I'll try to retrace my steps to figure out when it all happened, and while I can account for that time on a practical level, emotionally it all blurs.
So where did the dads fall on this question of parenthood? Were they like a lot of moms I know who could highlight a particular moment when their reality suddenly came into view? Or were they more like me? It turns out, just like moms, it completely depended on the father in question. Here's what they had to say: