When most men find out their wife is pregnant for the first time, they experience a wave of emotions – excitement, fear, anxiety. This emotional roller coaster is normal and necessary.
We all want to be good fathers, but no one tells us how. Asking other dads for advice can be frustrating because many guys refuse to share information. They’re not going to reveal their fatherhood secrets to any old whippersnapper. You have to learn the hard way just as they did.
Allow me to share one fatherhood secret with you – there is no secret.
Fatherhood is the toughest job you will ever have. It requires dedication, effort, and a heart filled with love. You will struggle, you will fail, but you will also experience joy like you’ve never known before. The good news is you have nine months to prepare for your new job.
I’ve compiled five nuggets of fatherhood wisdom that will help you to hone your mind, body, and emotions. In addition, they will help you to grow closer to your wife as you experience the journey towards parenthood together. These tips will not turn you into a perfect father, but they will help you approach fatherhood with more confidence.
Learn All You Can
When I was a new dad, there were hundreds of books on how to be a good mom, but virtually no information on how to be a father. That’s one of the reasons I started my blog. Today’s new dads have a plethora of fatherhood resources – books, blogs, seminars. Read, study, and learn all you can about your new job requirements.
Now is your chance to improve your health. When the baby arrives, you may find it difficult to find the time exercise, eat right, and sleep. Develop a regular workout routine, schedule doctor’s appointments, and start making your health a priority. You owe it to your child to be in good physical condition.
Seek out dads whom you admire and trust and who are willing to be open and honest with you. Listen to their advice. This brain trust of dads will be your inner circle in which you will confide. Fatherhood is a common thread that allows men to bond in a genuine way. Share your concerns and take advantage of the wisdom of those who have gone before you.
Love and Support Your Wife
The nine months of pregnancy are a golden opportunity to strengthen the bond with your wife. She needs to know that you are in her corner. Nurture her, comfort her, and assure her that she is going to be a great mom. Your relationship with each other needs to be secure in order to handle the stress of having a new baby in the house.
Trust Your Gut
Nine months may seem like a long time, but it isn’t nearly long enough to learn all you can about fatherhood. When your child is born, you will realize that all of your study and preparation was insufficient. Situations will arise when you will have to rely on your instincts. Go with the flow and do what feels natural. You will make some mistakes, but it’s okay. It takes time to become a good father and you will soon realize that you know more about being a dad than you thought you did.
Question: What advice would you give to new fathers?
Image credit: Graham Crumb