Mocha Dad and Moms: Overcoming Reservations About Being a Parent

My Prince Has Given Me a New Life

I never aspired to be a wife or a mother. I didn’t think I was woman enough. And even though I was married for 6 years before I had my son I was still very selfish. I didn’t want anything to take the focus off of me. It was about my goals and objectives which I would manipulate into becoming our goals.

Motherhood frightened me. I had seen so many women who had settled for a life of complacency. Motherhood was their excuse for not striving for anything more. It was like their lives had completely stopped. They no longer made themselves a priority and they forgot about their husbands.

I knew I would have a child eventually, but I had to scratch off all the items on my “before baby bucket list.” On this list was from graduating college with a BS. When I first got married, someone told me that I’d never graduate if I had kids. And I believed it. The thought of not being a college graduate scared me even more than motherhood.

When I did find out I was pregnant, I thought my life was over. Although I may have been a little melodramatic, I was right. My life was over. But I’m happy that it ended. I spent so much time waiting for the next thing and never enjoying the moment. That was no way to live.

My son has given me a new life. He makes me take in each day. I breathe, taste, smell, touch and see each one of my blessings every day. I didn’t realize how much God loved me until I met my husband. I didn’t know God’s unconditional love until my son was born.

And now I know how strong I really am. I also know how miraculous and resilient the human body is. After carrying another human being for 41 weeks (10 months) and recovering for an emergency C-section, I’m no longer afraid of the unknown. My faith in God and myself has expanded. I’m looking forward more great lessons from motherhood.

I just celebrated one year as a mother and the sense of pride and accomplishment I feel is indescribable. Too many times, people only harp on how hard parenting is. I don’t discount that feeling. Motherhood has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the most rewarding. For the first time in my life I feel wholeness. I don’t feel defined or validated by my role as a mother. But rather, it’s the proverbial icing on the cake.

In the past year, my husband and I have been totally in sync. We may pass each other as he comes in from his 9-to-5 and I go out to an engagement or business meeting, but our life has a greater purpose now. Everything we do is to build a better home for our child. I work harder than ever to achieve my goals and be a role model for my son. And in exchange for my dedication to him, my Prince pays me back with smiles and giggles. No other investment has a greater ROI.

Tamara Floyd is founder and CEO of Floyd and Associates.  You can read her blogs Natural Hair Rules.com and Boxer and the Baby which proudly chronicles her experience as a  breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering work at home mom.

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Becoming a Father Turned My Fear Into Joy

When my wife told me that she was pregnant, I was ecstatic. I held her close, as joyful thoughts of cradling a newborn in my arms danced in my head. However, my euphoria was soon replaced by sheer terror. I stepped away from my wife, crestfallen, and sat at the kitchen table.

“What’s wrong?” she asked placing a hand on my shoulder. “Aren’t you happy about having a baby?”

“Of course I’m happy,” I said. “I’m just a little bit scared.”

What did I know about being a father?

Absolutely nothing! I had no manual or guidebook. Worst of all, my father wasn’t around while I was growing up and I had no role model to emulate. My anxiety grew as I watched my wife’s belly swell over the months. It was like a ticking time bomb reminding me that I only had a few months to prepare to become a dad.

I read books, magazines and blogs, hoping they would provide me with the answers I needed. While they helped, they weren’t enough to make me comfortable with my impending journey into fatherhood. It wasn’t until I had a conversation with a father at my church that I finally received some clarity.

His name was Robert Nichols and his gray beard, gentle demeanor and jovial nature made everyone comfortable in his presence. He was the kind of guy who always kept butterscotch candies in his pocket to hand out to people. He had the gift of sharing his wisdom in a way that wasn’t preachy or demeaning. I was instantly drawn to him.

Over the course of my wife’s pregnancy, Mr. Nichols mentored me and gave me advice on how to prepare for fatherhood.

“Fatherhood is not for the faint of heart,” he told me. “It takes courage, determination, patience and a heart filled with love.”

I soaked in his words, but I often became discouraged when I’d watch the news and see stories about school shootings, sexual predators, and kidnappings. How could I possibly bring a child into a world with these things going on?

“I wish I had some answers for you, but I don’t,” he said. “No one has all of the right answers. We’ve all had to learn on the job. We’ve all been afraid. All you can do is be a good role model for your kids and equip them to deal with life’s ups and downs. I know it’s scary, but you have to push past the fear and trust that God will give the knowledge and the wisdom to raise your children the right way. Once you get past the initial fear, you will realize that being a dad is the most fulfilling job you’ll ever have.”

After our talk, I felt a tremendous load lift from my shoulders. I decided to stop allowing fear to control my thoughts. When I cradled my daughter in my arms and looked into her eyes for the first time, a flood of emotions overwhelmed me.

But, this time, fear was absent. All I felt was a deep-seated joy and optimism. Although I didn’t have all of the answers, I did have people in my life like Mr. Nichols who I could lean on when times got tough. Knowing that I wasn’t alone on my journey made it much easier to take the first step.

Stay Strong,

 

 

 

Question: How has becoming a parent changed your life?

Mocha Dad and Moms is a regular column where I discuss parenting topics with moms. If you’d like to be one of the featured moms, send me a message with your idea to fjgoodall@mochadad.com.

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About the author
Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at fjgoodall@mochadad.com or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mochadad
  1. i love this!!!! I can identify with you both I was the girl that never wanted to marry or have kids because i had a plan. When i fell in love and go married my life changed but not as much as it did when we first found out we were preggo. I know the fear of knowing I was carrying another life being responsible for another person caused me to change a lot. I am happy with my changes and what motherhood had allowed me to learn and grow from! Great post!!!

      • I had very simple plans. I was at the job of my dreams full-time. I worked in education. I worked closely to counselors which allowed me to focus on my educational goals. I was going to school full-time completing my BA. After achieving that my goal was to get my masters and do all my internships within the school I worked for to eventually become a counselor there or at one of their branches. I had plans to travel but never move away from the place I lived. I didn’t have a plan to marry or have kids it kinda just happened. I am happy with my life now but I always wonder what would have happened if I had stayed focused finished school and had a career before kids.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I can definitely relate to the feelings of fear as a new father. I too did not have a father to emulate but on top of that I was only 18. Though I now know that fatherhood is one of my greatest accomplishments, there was definitely a lot of pressure going into it. Essentially, it was my faith in God and the example of my mentors that help me overcome my fears. My wife and I have learned to pray for our kids and our parenting. We are successfully making it through this parenting thing.

    • Thank you for commenting. I think all of those things are equally important. I don’t think I could have made it through without prayer, a support system and faith. You should consider sharing your story here.

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