There’s nothing more beautiful than the love for one’s child. It’s the kind of love that will bring you to your knees. It’s something you will never be prepared to feel and will spend a lifetime attempting to describe. It will rattle your very existence. Embrace the tears it draws from you the moment you hear the first cries and expect the many more tears that will follow, because that breed of love will move you in ways you never imagined.
It’s ok dads… men aren’t clubbing wooly mammoths in their saber-tooth tiger loincloths anymore. Allow yourselves this vulnerability. Put aside that tough man façade and accept the possibility that your children may very well be your kryptonite. Believe me, that’s a beautiful thing. There’s no better weakness to have than your children. Smother those little fuckers with love. Why? Because you can. Do you need any more reason than that?
We’re men, yes. Society has built this image of us through the years as providers and seldom makes us out to be nurturers. That’s not the case anymore and that excuse should be balled up and tossed in the Diaper Genie with the shit it belongs with. This is an age where fatherhood is at a rise and we should ride that wave to the cusp. We are equally responsible for the upbringing of our children. Shake off that dated fatherhood description and take some time to be a dad. For me, that means taking responsibility for the day-to-day raising of your kids from the moment they come into this world and straight on through till the day you kick that metaphorical bucket. There is no substitute for the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing all that you can for a life you helped create. A life that relied on you for its survival from the moment it came into this world.
Before Ollie was born, Lori and I discussed something I had never really heard before: skin to skin contact. This is where a newly born baby is immediately given to the mother after birth, bare skin to skin, so the mother can share her body heat and closeness with the baby. There are a multitude of benefits to this. I decided that I definitely wanted to take part in that at some point during the first 24 hours after Ollie’s birth. My brother Will did the same with his daughter Stella. Can you visualize a lovelier foundation to a lifelong bond?
I haven’t the words to explain what it felt like having my newborn born son held against my chest. It was my first true connection with Ollie, and the establishing moment to the bond I hope to always share with him. I encourage all you expecting fathers out there to do the same. Let this be the first step in your goal to being the dad your child deserves.
We here at A Dad’s Guide want nothing more than to empower fathers to be more active in their children’s lives. We believe in leading by example, and that’s why we started this all; so that we could share all the good and all the bad experiences we’ve had, with you. There is no perfect parenting technique, and we’re all bound to screw up now and then. The main goal for us as parents is to: love them, accept them, provide for them, educate them, raise them as best we can and make sure they don’t grow up to be assholes (there are enough of those out there already).
As fathers who are very involved with their kids, we’re grateful to be a part of this community of dads that’s thriving all around us. It’s refreshing to see that men are falling more and more into stride with active parenting. You are vital to your children. You may question that sometimes, but we hope to remind you otherwise.