I’m going to be a Dad. It’s as simple as that. By July I’m be the responsible for a living, breathing, screaming bundle of life. That life will revolve around me and my partner. Its upbringing, and indeed its very survival, is dependent on our decisions and our choices.
That’s a lot of responsibility. Probably more than I’ve ever had in my entire 30 years of living on this planet. There’s no question that this will probably be the most massive undertaking of my life, and that’s the part that worries me. How do I be a good father? I guess most people would rely on the ‘write what you know’ philosophy that writers often advise. In this case, dads might wonder ‘what did mine do in a situation like this?’
Now, that can work. I mean, if your father raised you and you turned out a great, well adjusted person then doing the same for your own child could only bring about a similar conclusion right?
But what happens if you’ve got no background research to go off? My parents divorced when I was 3 years old, so I really didn’t have the benefit of a full time dad. I can’t use his experience to prepare my own child for life. That’s not to say he had no direct involvement but it wasn’t consistent. Think of him as a special guest star on the show of my life. It was great when I did see him, but I didn’t get the full picture because 2 days a week doesn’t always cut it. I rarely saw my dad angry, or annoyed, or unhappy. I didn’t get the benefits of having the complete father experience.
Thoughts like this do keep me up at night, because although I believe I’m a confident, happy, loving person, I sometimes question my abilities to successfully raise this child. I mean, my dad was (and still is) very traditional. Before the divorce he was firmly of the mind that the man of the house goes out and works. He leaves the initial upbringing to the mother. No changing of nappies, no feeding of milk, no bathing of baby.
I don’t know much about children but I do believe that this is detrimental to the development of your baby. You need to be there, even if the child is too young to appreciate it at the time, you’ll appreciate it. Although I’m scared, it’s a good kind of scared. How your child perceives you whilst growing up is going to affect them in many ways. If you’re not there, then maybe in a sense, they won’t be there. Not completely. And that’s something you can’t get back.
Being a constant presence in the raising of your child is a factor I’m acutely aware is essential. So yes I have a million thoughts flashing through my head, but not one of them is going to make me miss anything for a second.
[About the author: Halit is a copywriter for Appliances Online. When he isn’t writing about that, he loves the books of Hunter S. Thompson, has a penchant for Japanese cinema and was once almost punched by Sean Penn. True story.]
Image: jenny downing