How does a guy raised on and off by a single mother with no relationship to speak of with his own father find himself writing a blog for new dads? Well, it's a long story, full of interesting life lessons that most people should be lucky enough to never have to learn. And I won't bore you with the details, except to say I know well enough to know if not for my upbringing I wouldn't be the man I am today: a husband, a father, a guy who likes nothing better than talking about his awesome little girl.
Now, I'm not saying I'm the best dad in the world- lord knows I didn't have the best role models to that effect growing up- but I try. And, no, I wasn't one of those guys that always dreamed of being a dad either. Truth be told, it scared the shit out of me. I never held a baby, never changed a baby, never fed one, never conversed with one, and never, ever, ever bothered with one before I had my own. But the second I did, my whole life changed. And I don't mean in some cathartic, angels singing kind of way; I mean, I haven't seen a sleep in in over two years and I'm okay with it. Being a dad is the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and I'm not shy about telling people how awesome fatherhood is... in my own unique way.
For me, it started the moment my daughter was born. No one, including me, knew how I was going to react. Well, I didn't faint; I didn't cry; I didn't make a break for it; and I certainly didn't ask for a paternity test (that nose was unmistakeably mine). I just assumed my new role.
Was I a superstar at first? No. But I wasn't utterly useless either. I changed my first diaper without being asked (it was just me and the baby in the room at the time). I fed my daughter her first bottle (after we learned my wife was physically unable to breastfeed). And, no one had to ask me to watch my daughter- I was the one leaving my wife alone in the hospital room to sleep so I could take my daughter to hang out in the visitor's lounge to show her off to strangers. Being a dad just felt as natural as breathing, and no one had to tell me how to do it (but, I'll admit, the occasional tip never hurt).
When we got home, we had help, but it wasn't long before my wife and I were on our own. But my wife never made me feel like I was a second class parent. If anything, she liked the fact that I was reading a month ahead in all the parenting books and filling her in, and taking an equal interest in our child. Hell, my wife left the house to go out on the third day and only called to check in to apologize for coming back later than she promised. I was afforded the respect all dads deserve, and I used that alone time to get to know both myself and my daughter.
And so the first year passed, and so did I, with flying colors. I only dropped my daughter off the couch once (on to a bunch of pillows, I might add). I had settled in to my all-important role as father-adding child meal planning specialist and infant stylist to my repertoire- and prepared to tackle my daughter's second year, when it hit me: "I'm good at this." So I decided to start sharing my experiences with others.
We're not perfect, us dads, and all topics are fair game. That's what "Fodder 4 Fathers" is all about. In a world where" the evil that you know is better than the evil that you don't know," we think it's important to educate every new dad so he knows what to expect and how to handle it with poise, grace, and a MAN'S sensibilities (i.e. "no I'm not crying, I was chopping onions").
Thanks to all our fans, far and wide. We appreciate your continued comments and all of your support. For a guy who didn't have such a great father himself to take it upon himself to be a better man for his own child is one thing. But for a community of experts, authors, PHD's, parenting professionals, dads, and most particularly moms, to stand up and take notice of what we do is something very special, and it makes us just want to take this thing and go, quite frankly, "where no man has gone before" (can you say: “One Dad Vegas Show?”)
Thanks for coming along for the ride. Here's to a new generation of fantastic fathers.