Children are terrifying

Maybe men who don’t want children have a point. Men deal poorly with fear. Fear is suppressed, denied, fought. Fear is a sign of weakness. The scared man is the lesser man. And as I can say out of my own experience, there is absolutely nothing that fills your heart with so much fear as the thought of something threatening the wellbeing of your child. The image of your baby being hurt means the end of rational thought. The smallest prospect of failing your child as a father could lead any sane man straight to drinking (which, as a true Catch 22 situation, would the increase your chances of actually failing your child as a father).

The threat you cannot see
And threats and dangers are everywhere. Most of them, luckily, you have some form of control over. Do not leave hot tea unattended. Close doors behind you. Hold hands when you cross the street. But there are also dangers that are invisible. The ones you cannot see nor prevent. These fears are usually highly irrational since the chances of these of actually becoming true are tiny. Unlikely to the extent of being virtually impossible. but these fears becoming true are the ones you read about in magazines and novels. They’re in films and tv shows. They are ones people discuss at birthdays. And every time I read or hear about children who are really sick, dying even, who are alone, abused, kidnapped or merely crying, my heart starts throbbing in my throat I heavy lump sinks to my stomach and my eyes swell up. Those heartbreaking, unlikely to ever happen to your child stories scare the living daylights out of you.

The cliché rings true
Then you arrive home and a tiny voice mumbles ‘dah-dah’. Two of the brightest eyes flicker with joy. You get a hug, a wet kiss and potato mash in your hair. And your worst fears are again distant. Maybe men who don’t want children out of fear have a point, but in their case, fear has won. In the end the cliché rings true. You have nothing to fear but fear itself


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