SO YOU’RE GONNA BE A FIRST TIME DAD
I recently found out that a friend of mine is going to be a dad for the first time. And I was prompted to pen this letter to him.
I am super excited and thrilled for you that you are expecting your first child, and I hope you will accept my sharing these few words with you.
You have accomplished a lot of business success in your life. You have travelled the world, and your charisma has attracted many beautiful women to you over the decades. Life is good. You are now married, you are healthy, you are settled. You have a great deal to be proud of.
What you do not know yet is that all your achievements cannot compete with the pride you will feel the moment you lay your eyes on your baby for the first time.
When you witness what your wife endures to deliver your baby into the world, she will become a warrior in your eyes. Even she cannot yet grasp what inner, primal strength it will take to deliver her baby. It is something you will do together and it will be scary. You need to brave and you need to support her.
When you hold your baby for the first time, it will transform you. Because no love you have had up to this moment will compare to the love you now feel.
In that instant, your legacy arrives in the world, and nothing in your life will be like it was before.
Today, you and your wife walk in the world as individuals. Soon you will be a family. Your entire being will be directed towards protecting your baby, protecting your family.
Everything you do going forward will not be about you. It will be for your family. It will motivate you to do better, and build bigger.
It will make you a better man.
Your wife will be exhausted. For the next little while her body will belong to the baby. And the baby will take all her love and sustenance and attention.
You will be tired too. For a very. long. time.
You may no longer speak with your wife about current affairs, or travel or architecture or business when at home.
Instead, your conversations will revolve around nappies and vomit and milestones and fever and expressing milk and babysitters and car seats.
Did I say how tired you will be? And for a very long time?
You don’t know it yet, but the day will come when you will know every lyric to every Disney and Wiggles song. You will watch every Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks movie and know all the characters.
Your friends without babies or with bigger kids might not want to see you as often anymore. So you will hang out with friends who have babies. Every photo you take will be of your baby.
Your wife’s body will have changed. She is likely to bleed for weeks after the birth. Her breasts will be huge, but they aren’t for you. They are for your baby. And your baby won’t get off them for months. You may have to wait it out.
You may not be intimate with your wife for many months. Her body needs time to heal. It may be likely that having sex with you is the last thing on earth that your wife has energy or inclination to do. You will just have to wait it out.
For your wife, the baby becomes her world. She may thrive and be calm and enjoy every second of baby bliss in the early months. Or she may struggle and be overwhelmed. She may cry a lot and not cope too well.
You may feel resentful because your wife isn’t pampering you like she used to when you were newlyweds. She may stop making your dinners or doing the laundry or servicing you.
Be patient. Show respect. Love and support your wife.
Your baby will bring untold joy to you and your parents, a joy that transcends any love that your family has shared up to that point.
Because the love you have for your baby will be bigger than the love you have had for anyone else in your life. When you look at your baby you will see yourself, and notice that your baby’s eyes or mouth or hair come from your side of the family.
This experience will transform you and will give your life purpose.
You have created your future. It’s your time to shine.
I did mention how tired you will be, right?
What advice would you give to an expectant father to be? Share your comments below.
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