Finding Your Role as a New Father and Learning How to Embrace It
When you first find out you will be a father, it's a powerful moment that dads everywhere remember like it was yesterday. The room starts spinning, and you feel like you're watching your own life from the third-person perspective. We've all been there, but I promise you that it only gets easier from here if you embrace the dad life.
One day you're sitting around a fire, dreaming about the adventures you'll go on, not a care in the world, and the next minute you're caught in a whirlwind of responsibility that feels like an anchor pulling you to the deepest parts of the ocean. Any decision you make has to be with the baby in mind; No more spontaneous poor life decisions, no more risk-taking, and no more freedom unless the wife allows it. It may sound crazy, but honestly, once the initial shock is over, it's not as bad as it seems.
Here's Why It's a Win
The first thing to understand, you're starting the journey into what will be some of the most significant years of your life. You'll develop completely new skillsets, and for the first time in your adult male life, you'll finally figure out what it means to consider safety as a priority. Seriously, you'll start to notice all the safety hazards that surround your life because of your little bundle of joy that you'd previously put-up blinders to.
The reality is, most of your new-found responsibilities have existed this entire time. It's just much more important that they take a front seat in terms of priorities. Think of fatherhood as a bridge; once you cross it, it gives you a whole new view of your surroundings and a completely different take on your approach to situations.
It's a Two-Person Job, Anyway
It's important to remember that you've got your partner to help you through things in most situations. You don't have to throw things at the wall and hope it sticks. Instead, you can brainstorm together to develop solid parenting skills to cover each other's weak points. I mean, the reality is no one is perfect, and that sentiment doesn't disappear when you become a parent. If anything, it becomes more obvious.
If you remain open to the experiences, you and your wife can grow together and face the challenges parenthood throws at you head-on. You can bounce new concepts off of each other, and better yet, serve as a reference for one another that nobody becomes a "super parent" overnight. Sure, there'll be struggles and frustrations, but it's important to remember that you're not facing it alone.
Believe it or not, your child will understand as they get older. Honesty goes a long way, and no one expects you to know all the answers to the world's greatest questions. If anything, admitting you don't know the answer to something for your kid can be an eye-opening experience to learn how to correct the situation together. It's just as important to grow with your child to grow with your significant other.
Don't Worry; You're Not Going to Lose Your Identity
You'll still be you. As time-consuming as parenting is made out to be, you'll still have brief moments of alone time where you can let it all hang out. As your kids get older, they'll want
their own space more and more, so think of the overwhelming suffocation as more of a temporary situation filled with new experiences that you can learn from.
Create a space for just you. Whether it's the garage for your automotive projects or a painting studio where you can really let loose, make it something you're passionate about, and can escape for even just a few moments. It'll serve as an oasis of sorts, and every moment you get to appreciate it will feel like heaven right on earth.
As your children get older, you'll be able to share your space with them and help them discover their own passions along the way. It's a great way to develop more meaningful relationships and potentially create a bond where parenting doesn't feel like so much work after all. You're still entitled to your own personal time, and if you and your wife develop a team-based mindset, you'll both be able to enjoy your own spaces to decompress after a long day of playing house!