As fathers in recent years have been encouraged to be more hands-on with their children and more supportive of their partners after the gruelling experience of childbirth and recovery from it, the number of new fathers struggling with some form of postnatal depression seems on the increase.
The fact that many families live away from their closest relatives means that the support networks of times past that would give the parents a break from caring for their new-borns are absent.
If Cupid’s darts are all flying in the right direction come the 14th, then surely the pitter patter of tiny feet should be like a monsoon come mid-November, right?
All the ingredients are there – special time with your chosen lovemate, a touch of booze, maybe a barrel or two of oysters – for the soufflés to rise in the oven. Even if you already have kids, this is the one night you make an effort to spend some quality time together, and that is not easily done.
You don’t know the meaning of the word essentials until you find yourself looking after a tiny human life for the first time in your existence. For something so small, so fragile, that never speaks and cannot even open its eyes for very long, a newborn will know exactly how to tell you when something is not right and is not prepared to wait the next morning before it’s sorted out. It has needs, and you have to meet them.