Becoming a Dad is one of the most important, rewarding and challenging roles you will ever experience in Life
The role and engagement today has changed for fathers, from that of their fathers and grandfathers.
I know for myself my Dad would get up at 6 am in the morning, long before I woke and off to work he would go and not return to 6 pm that night. Where we would eat tea and after tea I would head off to bed.
My dad would take me to his work occasionally and we went on family outings. But there was never that really getting to you know your Dad. I was fortunate in the last 10 years of his life when my Mum had passed away, to actually have one on one time with my Dad getting to know him as a person.
Now I am not saying that my Dad wasn’t a good Dad nor my Mum a good Mum, they were. They both loved and cared for me in their own ways but there wasn’t the interaction, communication and demonstrative side to our relationship together whilst I was growing up as a child as now being encouraged with parenting.
Today, the involvement of Fathers in building relationships with their children, providing support from the very beginning, attending pregnancy classes, being at the birth, changing nappies, actually having time alone with their children and for many even being a single parent or co-parent as a separated couple has brought being a Father into the changing and at times somewhat challenging role of being a father. Often without a clear path to follow.
Children benefit when dads are warm, loving, firm yet kind being involved in their lives
Let’s take a look at some behind the scenes areas that will help in your role of being the best Dad you can be. Remembering that this is a lifetime commitment and a journey that you and your children will learn and grow together. Taking it one step at a time.
Becoming a Dad
It is needless to say that the initial news that you are to become a Dad changes your life. You will experience feelings of happiness, excitement and joy. However, there may well be feelings of apprehension, being overwhelmed and unsure of what will be expected of you as a new Dad. You may well have it in your mind as to the Dad that you want to be or don’t want to be, due childhood memories. Wanting to engage with your happy memories and change some behaviours that occurred that left you with some sad or disrupted memories.
It may help to know at this stage there is no single right way to be a Dad, and it is never too late to become the kind of Dad you want to be.
Journey of a Lifetime
As I have mentioned this is a journey that you will work through together. Your child can also be your teacher as bringing about a strong awareness in you, of wanting to be the best person and Dad that you can be. If you have a daughter, to be the type of man that you would like to see your daughter marry, be friends with and have in their life when becoming an adult. If you have a son, to be the type of man that you would aspire for your son to become. Your children will learn more from the example you set by your actions and behaviours than anything that you will ever tell them. You are their foundation and first mentor, example of their life to come.
Opportunity & Change
Becoming a parent brings a dimension to your life that is totally self-less. It is a time when all your dreams and wishes need to be incorporated with the dreams and wishes of how you want to be the best parent you can be. Parenthood is a privilege and should “NEVER” be seen as a burden. The reason I say this is that it will bring out both the best and worst of your emotions. So if you begin the journey with an attitude of it taking away from your life rather than giving you a full and vital life, you will struggle immensely with the journey. So getting off on the right foot to start with is of vital importance for the long term success of your parenthood journey.
Fatherhood will be influenced by:
- Whether pregnancy has occurred within a loving two-way relationship. Therefore having a two parent home.
- Unplanned pregnancy where you may find yourself a single Dad or living in a separate residence to your child/children’s mother.
- Your career or work may take you away from home a great deal putting pressure on building a sustainable and loving relationship often with both your child/children and mother of your child/children.
The most important gift you can give to your children is your love. It is vitally important to schedule time each day if possible and or weekly to spend time with your child/children. Sharing with them things that they enjoy doing as well as involving them with the things that you enjoy, your work and your friends. This may sound unusual to think that you need to schedule time with your children, but more often than not if you don’t make a conscious effort to do this, then the time you spend with them will not be significant or of great quality. Bearing in mind here: that the quality of the time you spend with your children will far out way the quantity.
Being a Father, a husband/partner/friend is a balancing act that takes fine precision and daily thoughts of being in the moment, not the past, not the future but enjoying the being “RIGHT NOW”. You may well have heard the saying – “That there’s no time like the present”, that is because yesterday is gone and tomorrow is unknown but the “The present” is a gift to be embraced and enjoyed right now.
Awareness, Learning, Growth and Change
- Remember the positive things that you enjoyed as you were raised
- Teach your children well with strong values of love, kindness, respect and thought toward one another. To bring in thoughts of others, in the saying – “Treat & Do unto others how you would like to be treated and have them do for you”.
- You may well be the teacher, but you are also the student also learning these values of life to provide your child/children with a strong foundation to follow throughout their lives.
- Dad and Mum being on the same page. The expectations of one another as parents can sometimes be confusing because you each have different and varied skills, lessons and ways of parenting.
- Being on the same page is about having the child/children’s best interests at heart so as not to inflict harm, grief, abuse or toxicity into their lives. It is important that both parties adhere to. These being the true hard and fast rules to parenting. If one parent isn’t adhering to this then it is important to firstly ensure that you are following these rules and then to take appropriate steps to protect your child/children.
Seek help immediately if there is violence. It rarely stops by itself.
If there is violence or you think you might harm your family or yourself, get help immediately. Call 000 or go to a hospital emergency department
Role Model and Example
- Bringing together a good work ethic and life balance.
- No matter what your chosen line of work it is important to understand that this not only provides you, child/children with the finance to feed, clothe and provide a lifestyle for them. It is also provides them with a sense of belonging being part of a bigger picture of the world.
- Providing self-esteem and a way of saying to your children one day – “I helped build that bridge”, “I helped save someone’s life”, “I helped provide a happy and clean environment” and the list goes on. No matter what your chosen line of work, it is all important when it comes to community.
Work, Life and Family Balance
- Bringing it all together, respecting one another, and sharing one another’s likes and dislikes. Supporting one another’s dreams and goals.
- Here I can’t emphasize enough that when it comes to work, life and family balance it is quality vs quantity. It is also about prioritizing so you can have time with your child/children: wife/partner/spouse.
- Pay the unemployed person down the road to mow your lawns, your lonely neighbour to pick up the kids from school, until you get home. I am not saying do this without knowing these people, but get to know the people you can trust and not as to use them as baby sitters or child minders but in supporting your role further to allow more time to have with your family.
Taking Care of You
This is of vital importance if you are going to be the best Dad possible.
- Eliminate Negative Habits: Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs will destroy your life on every level. Leaving you alone, unwell and unable to do anything that resembles any type of pleasure.
- Engage Positive Habits; Take on hobbies that will bring life balance such as fishing, sport, and going to the movies, visiting positive family members and friends. Join a club to meet other people especially if you are a single Dad. This is about meeting people that you can share similar activities with, go for a meal with or even a holiday.
- Have regular health checks. Engage in positive habits and become more than interested in your health. Make being healthy a way of life. To eat fresh wholesome food, to regularly exercise and stimulate your mind continually learning positive ways of living and engaging with life.
Counselling, Coaching and Support
Life is difficult, it is challenging and it is forever changing. Each of us come with our own set of problems and agendas. The importance lies into building these into having positive outcomes to build a Positive, Healthy and Balanced life. To do this you are going to need help from time to time. This is not a weakness but an actual sign of strength and can speed up the process of healing from underlying hurt and pain.
It Is In Recognizing Your Weakness’s That Helps to Define Your Strengths
Most of all
Be Honest, Be Loyal and Never give in to Believing that the “GRASS IS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE”. Keep nurturing, feeding and fueling your life to make it FLOURISH for you and your FAMILY.