You are going to be a dad!
For some new dads, it can be a scary thought. They haven’t changed a diaper in their life, they haven’t held a baby, they can’t even fathom where to begin becoming a dad.
There are those dads who feel like having a kid isn’t going to change much of their everyday life. They hold firm to a belief that they are going to be able to spend every night staying up until 3 am playing Call of Duty.
Then there are those dads who step up, and own being a dad. It becomes their identity the reason that they wake up in the morning.
I like to think that I now fall in in the latter of those three. I say now because it took me several years to finally realize what it took to be a dad. I wrote about here and I loved being able to call myself a dad. But that is where it stopped.
It wasn’t until the birth of our second, Joseph, that I had my ah-ha moment. I fell right into place as a dad. I became a better father to our oldest, William, after being forced to find new ways to spend time with him. While my wife was recovering from a difficult birth, I had to step up to do most of the caregiving for Joseph. Add that to making sure that my wife was recovering and the needs of a wild 5-year-old who was learning what it took to be a big brother, that was my ah-ha moment.
That is a moment most dads experience that ah-ha moment. Whether it is the time they first hold their child, give their kids a bath, or the first time their newborn falls asleep on their shoulders. Most dads experience it and I say most because not all dads go through this. They are either born with the talent that it takes to be a dad, or they want nothing to do with being a dad.
One of the most difficult things that many new dads experience is owning this strange thing called being a dad. It really is strange when you think about it. For many of us, our fathers were there to raise us and (hopefully) show us what it takes to be called a father, and while many of the principals and values that our fathers instilled in us that would give us a fighting chance to be a great dad, times change and so do the values that we need to keep dear to our hearts and what we need to teach our children
It doesn’t matter when you experience your dad ah-ha moment, what matters is that the moment you experience it, you take that moment and start to own being a dad. You start to enjoy the great responsibility that has been handed to you. The teaching you provide your children, the rock that your family can count on when times are tough, and the sense of comic relief that your family needs in our increasingly nerve-racking world.
Because not everyone can call themselves a father.