Like I mentioned in part one of this series, people and the media focus a lot on mothers and motherhood. But fathers have a lot to contribute as well. If you missed part one in this fatherhood series, check it out here! This series is a resource for expecting dads to hear from other dads, get excited about their impending journey, and maybe pick up a few tips and tricks from these experienced dads. Feel free to share with any expecting dads you know!
One Thing I Wish I Had Known About Fatherhood Before I Became A Dad Is…
“We often assess the health of our relationships based on the sum of the memories we possess with those individuals. I wish something my dad told me after a few years at being a dad was said to me before even getting married. “Dads (and husbands) must be chief memory makers of the family: and that means you have to budget for this role, plan time off for it, strategize for it.” Don’t wait until your kids are retaining memories to do this. What you do with your kids before they have permanent memories – photos and videos of what you did with them before they retain memories – matters as much as after they maintain memories.”
“Practically, try a sling (Ergobaby is our preference) to get them sleeping from day one. We only discovered this at the end of week two (yikes!).”
“Be prepared to create a routine based around your child rather than your current schedule (which is likely based around your whims)!”
“The hardest part of becoming a dad was the extent of change experienced in my relationship with my wife. A lot of the change is fantastic, welcomed, and fun, but some of it is, for lack of a better word, sad. It’s no longer just the two of you.”
“In the first month or two, the baby is a feeding, sleeping, pooping machine. And most of the needs are met by mum (depending on the method of feeding). Depending on your expectations as a father, your lack of input in the early weeks could leave you feeling a little disconnected if not underwhelmed. Hang in there. Things are going to get better. In the meantime, keep on being supportive and helping out in other ways around the house, etc.”
“Practically, if there was one purchase that I was most grateful for in early fatherhood, it was my wireless earphones. The way my wife and I worked it out was that she would feed, fed the baby and handed the baby to me to burp and settle. In the middle of the night, when it’s hard to stay awake, I used my headphones to catch up on films on Netflix while burping and settling the kids!”
“Go easy on yourself! Fatherhood is the first time you are raising a child. In reality, you are learning on the job and for most, starting with a base of no experience. In any other walk of life e.g., a new job or learning to drive, there is space to make errors, and expectation that you are not going to be great from the get-go. So, you will make mistakes, and things may not align with your expectations. That is OKAY.”
“Mate. Your wife is not perfect. Neither is your child. And neither are you. Raising a family will expose faults and flaws in every family. Accept the fact that for you as a dad, it will be a learning experience. Be humble in correction and learning, trying to accept feedback with grace, and be gentle and patient when highlighting your kiddos/wife’s oddities.”
“The biblical model for fatherhood outlines a heavy-duty of fathers. To love their families sacrificially, and to lead them spiritually. Dads, God holds you to this account. This high bar set by God can leave you feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. But the Lord grants strength to those that ask. So, the biggest tip to Christian dads – keep up your spiritual disciplines. Do this by reading the bible, praying, meeting with other Christians, etc.”
Wow! I just love all of the wisdom these dads shared. Do you know a dad-to-be who might enjoy reading this? Share it! Dads, let me know if you want to share any additional fatherhood wisdom in the comments below!