Advice to a Dad-in-Waiting

I learned yesterday that an old college buddy is 10 weeks pregnant. Here are two pieces of advice I gave the dad-to-be:

Don’t be selfish. Like all other advice you’ll receive, those three words won’t help you prepare for being a dad. Fatherhood can only be experienced.

I have a friend who told me his life would not change after his first child arrived. He has tried to live up to that belief, to the detriment of his children. They are merely a responsibility to him, and not an amazing source of joy. The example he has set helps me work at being his opposite. Fatherhood requires selflessness, giving all you can and more. And likewise, you must be open to receive all that you are given in return.

My second piece of advice should be repeated every time you feel overwhelmed at the idea of being a parent. Life doesn’t happen all at once. It all works out in good time.

Comments

4 Responses to “Advice to a Dad-in-Waiting”

  1. thordora says:

    My husband keeps teetering on the fence for “stay the same/become a father”. I keep pointing out that someday, when they don’t want to be near him, and he’s finally ready to be a daddy, he’ll realize his mistake. He’s SLOWLY coming around.

    I’d also tell him to be ready to feel his heart expand. I find it’s hard for Daddies to express their affection and love sometimes for their children. Tell him to not be afraid to open himself to it. It’s scary! But oh, so blissful.

    March 13th, 2006 at 6:49 am

  2. AJ says:

    Thordora, has he been around other dads who participate in their kid’s lives? It could be an eye opener for him to see dads playing, feeding and changing diapers.

    If you have a mommies group, plan a gathering which includes the dads. More devious: host the gathering at your house.

    Another sad story is my 4-year-old nephew whose parents recently divorced. I was playing with him while visiting in December–having a good time–when he stopped and asked, “Why do you like to play with me?” He’s not getting the attention he deserves and recently has become disruptive in preschool.

    March 13th, 2006 at 5:17 pm

  3. Peter says:

    If you are not working at being the best Dad you can, you are missing out on the Greatest gift imaginable.
    Don’t be overwhelmed, just take Baby steps and everything will workout quite nicely.

    March 14th, 2006 at 10:59 am

  4. Duder says:

    My only advice is Sleep as much as possible during the first 24 hours after delivery. You will be so excited that it will be difficult, but SLEEP. I wish I had been told this.

    March 17th, 2006 at 11:31 pm

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