I am going to be a father soon. I can’t stop dwelling on that statement.
I know that i’m not the first person to go through this experience and I certainly won’t be the last – but it’s my time now. Others have had their time and still others will have their time – but it’s my time now, to be a father. I pray I don’t screw it up.
This post is not intended to be informational in the way my other posts are. I have no intention of teaching about “How” to prepare for fatherhood because the truth is, I don’t know how. Rather the purpose of this post is to reflect on my thoughts and feelings leading up to the birth of my child and beyond. I thought it would be cool to keep track of my thoughts, emotions and fears leading into this. And the truth is – I am afraid. I know that i’m not the first father to be afraid and I’m aware that there is an appropriate amount of fear to have in this situation that is normal and healthy but still, i’m afraid.
How Did I Get Here?
From childhood through my early twenties, I never imagined myself in this situation. I didn’t see myself ever getting married or having a family of my own. (I even had a $50 bet with my mother that I would never get married. I owe you money mom…) I guess I thought I would grow up to be a monk, i’m not sure, but it just wasn’t in my interests. Yet here I am, and thinking back on the person I was when I was younger compared to the person I am now is remarkable to me – and soon i’m about to step into a new phase of life that will forever change me. I should also note, that i’m glad I no longer think the way I did as a child. I’m happily married and I love my wife with all my heart. I wouldn’t want to be on this journey with anybody else and while I am fearful, i’m excited as well about what’s in store.
I’m worried about the usual things:
- Will I be a good dad?
- Will I make mistakes?
- Will my son be healthy?
- What if something happens to him?
- Will I be everything he needs in a father?
The list could go on.
I do my best to avoid irrational fears but sometimes they creep in as well. It’s a struggle sometimes figuring out what’s rational and what’s not.
The future holds great things which I could never prepare for. I could read all the books on parenting, listen to all the advice from people who’ve “been there” and pray day and night for wisdom but I know that I would still not be prepared.
Will I be a good dad? Only time will tell. Will I make mistakes? Absolutely. Will my child be healthy? Out of my control. What if something happens to him? Something could happen to any of us at any time. Will I be everything he needs in a father? I can only hope. I have done the one thing that is in my control however … decorate the nursery!
I’m confident though that if I stand to face the future, despite my fears, I will come out the victor. And if I commit to being there for my child, no matter what – even if I make mistakes – How can I go wrong?
Well this is the first entry in what I hope turns out to be a connected flow in a Preparing for Fatherhood series. If others read this and take away something important that they can use as they prepare for fatherhood, then great! But I need to make it clear that I am in no position to teach on this subject. I am new to the parenting game and I would much rather take advice than give it. If you have tips, suggestions, or stories of your own, I would love to hear them. Even if you have fears of your own that you would like to express, share those as well!
This is my journey and I look forward to sharing it with others and keeping a record of my experiences so that years from now I can look back at how far I’ve come!