The New Dad Awakening
It’s amazing to think that some of you are brand new fathers, or soon will be. Believe me, you’re in for an awesome ride!
Do you know how long it was after we were married when I found out I was going to be a dad? Two months!
Even now, I remember what it was like to feel overwhelmed by the fact that I was going to be a dad. It was not easy or comfortable at first. And you know what else I found? Being a dad changed me. I felt like the importance of my life had just been taken up a notch. It was like I stood up straighter. Suddenly I had a bigger purpose than just my own needs and desires.
Guys have a taste of that kind of awakening when they get married. Being a husband is certainly a serious and noble calling as well, and demands our very best. But it isn’t the same. It’s been said that we don’t really learn what it means to live unselfishly until we become parents and have someone totally dependent on us. It adds a deeper level of responsibility and commitment even compared to marriage.
That’s some of what I was feeling all those years ago. I needed to grow up in ways I hadn’t thought about before. And over the months and years, that happened. I’m far from perfect, but eventually I accepted and grew into my identity as a father.
I was fortunate to have a good dad, and as I thought about the kind of model he was, I knew I had some work to do if I was going to pull off fatherhood like he did.
Maybe some of you didn’t have a good dad, so you didn’t have that standard to live up to. Even then, I hope you recognize that being a father is a high calling, and it will require the best in you to come forward. Maybe, like me as a young dad, you need to grow up in some ways.If you’re a new dad, it’s okay to be a little unsure. A little in shock. In awe and wonder. But translate those feelings into a solid commitment to be a great dad. Don’t get worried if it’s more like a process than an instant transformation. In many ways, I’m still figuring out all it means to be a father and truly be there for my children.
Take a short inventory of your “fathering heritage.” What good things did your dad do that you want to carry on? What shortcomings did he have that you want to improve in your fathering?
Consider journaling, blogging, or creating videos or a photo scrapbook to preserve your memories and emotions during this stage of your fatherhood. (Your child will treasure it someday.)
Written By Carey Casey