I received the below note from a friend who just became a father:
I gotta say I first really felt like a father when I was holding her after she was born...she looked up at me and something inside me turned on, that I'd never felt.
Powerful stuff indeed
Interestingly, I had a similar experience when the nurse put my first son, Jamin, in my arms. I was just 20 years old and, admittedly, a bit scared. I was clearly more comfortable on a football field than in a delivery room, and more comfortable with a football in my arms than a baby.
But when they handed Jamin to me, something in me just
like a light switch. When he looked up at me I said to myself, Wow
this is my son. Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Fatherhood changes everything.
I also remember feeling that I was grossly unprepared for my new role, especially since I grew up without my dad. Sure, I had attended LaMaze classes and a few prenatal doctor visits, and read selected pages from my wifes What to Expect When Youre Expecting book. But none of these things really spoke to me or seemed to be for me. And it seemed that my feeling and experience were not unique. In our Pop's Culture Survey
, we found that nearly ½ of the fathers surveyed reported that they were not prepared to be fathers when they first became one.
Thats one of the reasons that when I joined NFI 8 years ago, I championed our efforts to develop resources like Doctor Dad,
When Duct Tape Wont Work,
and Daddy Packs for New Dads
to equip dads right from the start. Unlike me, fathers need to walk into the delivery room with more than just a bit of anxiety and a checkbook and need to walk out of the delivery room with more than just the bill and the baby.
In any case, got a story about becoming a dad for the first time? Id love to hear it. Also, if you are about to become a father and want to share about what is going on or if youre a mom and want to tell about how becoming a dad affected the father of your children, chime in as well.