Unfortunately, children don’t come with a manual. Furthermore, no one is born knowing how to be a father, and everyone is afraid of making mistakes. For instance, you might go to the doctor’s office in the middle of the night as something seems to be wrong with your child. Or, you spend hours trying to understand why your baby is crying and what it is that they want as you’ve run out of suggestions.
You usually consult parents and in-laws (especially mothers and mothers-in-law) about what you can do so that your child sleeps, eats, doesn’t get sick, etc. However, no matter how hard you study, there’s no Harvard degree that can make you the best father in the world. Therefore, you simply have to make mistakes and learn from them.
Books for fathers: teaching or anxiety?
Until a few decades ago, men didn’t take care of anything related to raising their children. Today that’s completely different. We see fathers on the subway carrying their children on their backs or others preparing themselves for fatherhood by reading self-help books and guides.
Nevertheless, this kind of ‘salvation’ in book format can’t tell you everything, in a timely fashion, that’s going to happen to you. They simply serve as an introduction to a topic that shouldn’t be taken lightly: being a father.
Indeed, it’s not been proven that those fathers who visited the bookstore and bought dozens of parental guides have been able to survive parenthood without making any mistakes.
Nonetheless, better-informed fathers do generally mean happier and healthier children. Therefore, reading or looking for information or consulting those who already have children is a good idea, even if you end up not putting a single piece of advice from them into practice.
Prepare yourself psychologically and emotionally to be a father
Making the decision to have a baby is the most important you’ll ever make in your life. From the moment your child begins to grow in its mother’s womb, everything changes.
For this reason, nothing should be left to chance. Even in cases of unplanned pregnancies, it’s necessary to be serious and understand that, from this moment, it’s no longer about you, but about the new life being formed.
Emotional preparation is really important. It’s vital to educate your feelings. You can do this by practicing. Being more optimistic, less irrational, unselfish, and more understanding is at the top of your to-do list from now on. It might seem impossible to fulfill but, as you surely already know, from now on, you’ll do everything possible for your child.
Responsibility doesn’t only mean arriving at the office early or paying bills on time, but understanding that a new life depends on you from now on and that this is your greatest commitment.
If you’re a person who’s too sensitive, who loses their temper easily, and doesn’t usually look at all sides of the argument (only your own) then it might be better that you wait for a while before becoming a father.
If you do decide to have a child, you should carry out some introspection and determine what elements from the past have marked you. In this way, you’ll be assured you won’t make the same mistakes with your little ones.
Ask yourself what it was you liked least about your parents? What did you appreciate about them? Is there something you wouldn’t like to see happen again? Would you ask them for advice? These questions can only be answered by you. Give it a try.
Learning to be a father: the school of life
You can start even before deciding to be a father by reading thousands of books and publications. You can ask your mother or even call a doctor every so often. However, nothing will help you more than practicing.
Nevertheless, you’ll face a long road ahead, during which there’ll be episodes of uncertainty, anguish, and fear. On the other hand, there’ll be many more hours of complete happiness, love, and unforgettable experiences.
If you have doubts, ask. If you don’t know something, find out. Above all, be open to learning how to enjoy every minute you’re able to spend with your children. That’s the best way to get top marks in this career called fatherhood.
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