In celebration of Father’s Day this year we thought we’d bring you some very special guest contributors – our husbands! We hope you enjoy this unique view into #dadlife from the men in our lives.
Growing up, my parents instilled in me the importance of family, and I remember always wanting a family of my own someday. My Pop was a great dad, so I knew I wanted to be as good of a dad as he was for me.
During our first pregnancy, I watched my beautiful wife transform into a new type of beauty I’d never seen (uh, minus the mood swings and occasionally violent hormonal outbreaks). I watched her baby bump grow and enjoyed every ultrasound session. I laughed as I watched my son do Karate Kid and Soul Train moves inside her belly. Then, on that final day, as the Dr. finally said, ‘he’s coming’, I watched our son come in to this world.
Seeing him for the first time, and hearing his first cry, I was overwhelmed with feelings! Joy, happiness, love, thankfulness-and yes- a
little ton of fear. Mainly, the all encompassing fear of my brain saying, “OK daddy, you’re up!” Right then and there, my life changed forever. The fear of no longer just living for myself, but for my family; realizing I would truly have to sacrifice my needs, and always put my wife and child(ren) first. Yet, the second I held that little boy…all of my fears went away.
He was perfect in every way. Those blue eyes sucked me in and made me lose myself; I was hooked. Through the new responsibilities of sleepless nights, dirty diapers and endless washing of empty bottles, I’ve kinda gotten the hang of this “Daddy” thing. Our son Everett is now seventeen months old, and now…I find myself having a new fear.
My wife is back in her amazingly beautiful stage again, as we are expecting our second son in July. My biggest fear now, is this: how can I love my new son, as much as I love my first?! I’ve often heard I’m not alone in this thought, that “everybody” feels this way, and my heart tells my head I’ll love him just as much. I mean, this Daddy has got a lot of love to give. Through my first year of “fears”, I’ve been able to establish things I feel are important to raising my sons, and below are three important conclusions I have made in being a daddy to little boys.
1. Give trust and support.
This is important for not only your son(s), but their mommy, too. She will need your help wrangling your boy because, well, he will probably be as strong (if not stronger) than her in a matter of months. She will need to trust that you will be there for her to help “lay down the law”. Your son will need many kinds of support: from knowing Daddy will always be there for the fun play time, to reassuring him that it’s okay to need his Daddy for things. Teaching him to support Mommy and respect her, even when he doesn’t necessarily want to, is the best example you can set for your son.
2. Establish discipline and rules.
It’s important in our household for me, as the head, to set/enforce the rules of the behavior at an early age. This is in hopes that as he grows up, he won’t freak out or be shocked and shaken if you all the sudden want him to obey. For example, at this age: no biting/hitting, climbing on tables (or the fireplace…my son likes to scare us with stuff you might see from the movie “Cliff Hanger”), stay out of the kitchen/bathroom unattended, etc… Yes, these are pretty basic rules, but they lay the ground work for the more important behavioral expectations that might come in to play.
3. Show your love with all of the “Man” that you are.
Somehow it became ‘normal’ to think that if you show love and affection, you were ‘weak’ or any less of a man. In my experience, this couldn’t be further from the truth. My family is full of huggers and we always say ‘I love you’. Between my Pops, my Father-in law, uncles, grandpas, brothers and myself…I assure you we are all full on, manly men! It is important to me that I convey this truth to my sons, as one of my biggest fears is that I might possibly hold back, and they won’t know how much I truly love them. So I make it a point daily to just be there. This daddy must always lead by example. In our house, I must teach our boys to love God, to say “yes ma’am/no ma’am”, to not be afraid to take a chance with their hearts and to be gentlemen. I hope to teach my sons that even in this crazy world, your word and a firm hand shake are two of the most important things a man can have. I’ll teach my sons to fish and hunt, as these are just a few of the great things I was taught by my Pop (Daddy) and I can’t wait to pass on to my boys.
Being a Daddy is my greatest accomplishment, and I take it as seriously as I do my paid job. There’s nothing more important than family, and I’m truly blessed by mine. What are some things you will teach your son(s)? Are there values or expectations you hope to instill in them?