Welcome, friend, to the start of an impossible journey. In truth this will be your final journey. Oh, there will be others along the way, but never far from the path that you’ve just embarked on. And all of them will pale in comparison to the what will truly be your largest endeavor yet.
I know when you and your wife found out you were pregnant you might have screamed in joy and danced and hugged her, or you might have sat down and let the news soak in for a few minutes. Either way, at some point in this episode of your life you experienced fear. You felt heart-breaking, gut wrenching fear. You asked yourself if you were good enough. You worried that you didn’t know how to take care of another human being or that you weren’t responsible enough for it. You thought you might not be able to provide for them in the way you should.
You walked into what would become the baby’s room and wondered how you would ever be prepared in 9 months (or less). You looked at your wife and wondered how she could be so happy while you were coming apart with worry.
And that’s good. You should have felt all of those things. If you didn’t, I would bet you have since you child was born.
Fear is what drives mankind. Fear is a good thing. At some point in our history we picked up a pointy stick to fend off an animal we feared. We created fire to help ward off the unseen dangers of the night. Fear has driven our evolution. Fear will drive you to do amazing things.
So face the fear that you feel at the thought of being responsible for another human life with a smile. It will drive you to be better than you could imagine. Fear will make you work harder and love more feircely. It will push you to your true limits and test your metal as a man. And you, just like so many fathers before you, will overcome that fear and become the man you were meant to be.
Children are amazing. Nothing can bring as much joy to your life while adding so much stress, and causing so much grief. At times you’ll feel like your heart is going to explode from the sheer volume of love you feel for this little human that you helped create. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re going to explode from the volume of frustration that same tiny person causes you.
And that’s good too. Your adoration needs to be tempered so that you remember you’re responsible for helping this child to grow, and to develop their own moral code. You’re responsible for teaching them right from wrong and responsible for discipline as well as love. All of these thing will build you up. All of your worries will never leave you, but your attitude in facing adversity in life will forever be changed. You’ll stand against all opponents, eyes leveled and shoulders squared, ready to face what comes, because you know you’re the last line of defense your child has.
You’re going to be watched from now on. Those little eyes will see everything you do and pick up on things you thought they would never know. You’re going to be a hero who can accomplish anything. You’ll be the smartest person in their world and the bravest man they know. Which means you can never quit. You have to burn that thought out of your system. If they see you quit, it automatically gives them reason to do the
Finally, one day, you’re going to realize that all the trepidation, all the fear and worrying, all the struggles have made you stronger. One day you’ll realize that you can do this against all odds. You’ll be fine. Lesser men than you have walked this path before and succeeded. Have faith in yourself to do the right thing and to be strong enough. You’ll get there.
Want to read about my misadventures in parenting? Read: Dad’s Gonna Lose It!