Monday, April 26, 2010

Following the Footsteps

"Baby, there's something I need to tell you."
"What is it honey? Everything okay?"
"I'm pregnant"
*long pause*
"Honey are you okay?"

Yes, if you have children then you know that feeling that you get during the *long pause* part of that conversation. Many feelings, in fact, come along with it: fear, anxiety, joy, gratefulness, and the very common brain fart that follows when trying to find the right words to answer back with.

Being a new father is definitely one of the most confusing, trying, and at the same time, joyous and awe inspiring times in ones life.It can be more so when you are on the younger end of the age spectrum as well when the news of a new baby is announced to you. But for new fathers, younger and older alike, there is good news: There are plenty of dads who have come before, and plenty of dads going through the same emotional ride. You are not alone.

I have always felt blessed to have such great examples of what it truly means to be a dad in my life. My great grandfather, both my mom's dad and dad's dad, and of course my father , have all been such inspiration when it comes to what it means to be a daddy. Jim, Bo, and Hermann are no longer with us anymore, but the memories of these men and what they did for their families will always live on with me, and my father who I know I can always turn to when I'm stuck, or feeling inadequate as a father. They have all lived their lives for their families, and have been examples of what it means to be a dad to many.

I was 24 when my son was born, and becoming a dad was very exciting, yet scary to me. I found myself in a tornado of emotions. From happy and excited, to scared out of my pants. I questioned myself (as I still often do) about how good of a dad I would be. Would my children grow up to love me? Will they think I am a good father? How will I know what they need when they need it and know how to take care of them? Many, many questions raced through my mind both times my wife made the announcement of being pregnant. I think we all have questioned ourselves as dads, and many of us still do.

This day and age, we are now blessed with things like Twitter, Facebook, and, for new dads and nervous dads, Dad-Blogs galore! I have really enjoyed the connections with other dads online and have learned much from reading other dad blogs. There is a wealth of information to be found online, as well as the content to be found in knowing that you are never alone.

As dads the world (and web) over seek to redefine the roll of the Dad and become more engaged in the lives of their children, it is awesome to know that for new and for younger dads, there are people out there who can tell you "I've been there" and "I know exactly what you are going through". I have found that generally, I am 7 to 15 years younger than the majority of other dad and dad-bloggers I talk to online. It is great to know that I can read their past blog posts, or just chat them up and learn from their experience and knowledge. It's a great outlet for all new and young fathers alike when the feelings become too much, and you feel like losing it.

So young and new dads learn this: You are NEVER alone in your fears and anxieties. There are dads who have come before us. There are our own dads, granddads, and dads online that have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share. There are footsteps to follow so you will never be on a path untraveled. And as we grow older, and our children start to go through the same things, we can live our lives as examples to them, so that they too, will not be alone.

**Original Picture (before edit and border) by Pretty Please Photography. Thanks for the awesome pictures and the fun time that we had!**


Edathomedad said...

If my dad only had the resources we have today. Like you and others there is a great movement of men who really care about what it means to be a husband and father. Great post and I look forward to coming back.

Chad said...

Great post. As a SAHD for 10 years it is just this reason I have started blogging again. I am still learning from those that came before me, but for those behind me I want to tell them "you can do this." Thanks for sharing.

Ben said...

Great post - we're very lucky to have some great forms of communication around today to help share problems.

Also, 'brain fart' is an awesome phrase!!

Jack said...

It is a different time than our fathers lived through and that is ok. Always nice to be part of a community..

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