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Dear future dads,
What a time to be alive! Soon you are about to embark on a wonderful journey called fatherhood. I am still at the beginning of the journey but I have learned soooooo much in the past two years. It is crazy to think about the growth I have made as a person since the moment I found out that I would become a father. It isn’t always easy but you wouldn’t exchange any of those hard moments for anything else in the world.
First and foremost, the moment you learn that you and your partner are expecting will be INSANE. There is going to be a rush of feelings. You may question if you are prepared to be a father. There might be questions about how to be a good father. Some of you may wonder how much life will change and what do you need to give up. Fear of the unknown can happen to you. My first word of advice for all of you is one word. CHILL. Everything will be okay. I am here to tell you that I asked myself all of those questions and then some. It is a scary time but it is very exciting. You will soon have a tiny human being that will become a little miniature version of yourself (that can be a blessing or a curse depending on the person lol).
After the initial shock, you have nine months to prepare for your little human to arrive. During this time, you will begin the preparation phase of becoming a father. There will be parties, classes, and doctor appointments among other events. These will be the exciting highs during your partner’s pregnancy. Hearing the baby’s heartbeat will fill you with a rush of emotions you have never experienced (I can’t say I shed a tear but I did choke up a bit). Your family is going to be very excited with the addition of a little you. There will be nothing like the anticipation of becoming a dad.
On the flipside, there will be challenging times as well. Your partner’s body is going through many changes. They might have morning sickness and their appetite may change. There could be smells that are intolerable (my wife couldn’t handle the smell of meat). Your partner will be uncomfortable physically and emotionally. You are going to get annoyed with your partner and think they aren’t being understanding of your position. However, my advice to all of you men is to be the rock for your partner. It is hard but remember your partner is sacrificing their body for your child. I promise you they are not being short with you on purpose. She is feeling a bunch of emotions, doubts, and thoughts about becoming a mother. Keep a line of open communication with your partner. She will be thankful later that you stuck by her side.
The big day finally comes and some of the same rush of feelings that you felt once before are back. Your partner is in the labor and delivery room having the baby. To be honest, I felt that it was a surreal experience that can’t be explained. The first time you hold your child is a beautiful moment. There isn’t anything that will prepare for this moment. Try to soak it all in and enjoy this incredible moment with your partner. She will be exhausted from the delivery but her heart will be full of joy. It will be very emotional and that is okay. Own those emotions because you are now proud father of a baby!
After the birth, your child is going to develop FAST. They are watching your every move and are dependent upon your wisdom. Before you know it, you will have a 1-year-old who is walking and attempting to talk.
It is important that you try to be there as much as you can during that first year. Your child will have many firsts and I can’t imagine how I would feel if I missed many of those firsts (it makes me sad thinking about that). Just live in the present moment and try not to worry about being the perfect dad. You will make mistakes as a parent and that is okay. There will be many sleepless nights but don’t forget to partake in your self-care. You can’t take care of your little human if you neglect your own needs as well. Lastly, don’t forget your partner through all of this. Make sure you spend time with each other whether it is a best of 5 game of Uno or a date night. They will appreciate the support you give during this time.
To my fellow future fathers, you will experience a wide array of emotions. That is okay. Talk about those emotions with your partner as they may feel some of the same emotions. This is a new journey that you two will experience and it will be exciting and scary at the same time. I promise you all that you have the necessary tools to be a great father. You will soon enough learn that for yourself.
Cameron is the creator of Supportive Fathers. He created Supportive Fathers as a way to help explore topics other dads encounter in everyday life. Cameron is very passionate about being a father to 2 year old daughter as well as being the husband possible to his wife. To read more of his story, please click here.