Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.
I have always read these words. Although, I was not able to understand them until I saw my first born.
I was a married, settled 24 year old when I was expecting my first baby.
Parenthood had always been an intimidating concept for me. It was not due to the huge sense of responsibility, but only for my desire to be the best father and husband.
It was my wife’s curiosity that led us to knowing that we were going to have a baby boy. In our culture, having a boy is considered to be a mark of pride for the parents. However, I did not share this belief. I was ecstatic enough to know that the love of my life was giving me the gift of fatherhood.
On May 20th, 2016, I fell in love for the second time. This time is was with my son, Ibrahim.
There was no doubt that the whole labor period was stressful and concerning, but I simply felt immense love, admiration, and awe for both my wife and child after it was all over.
This wonderful addition to my life was accompanied by many changes, the first of which was my sleeping pattern.
Newborn babies tend to give us parents sleepless nights. This is one of the fundamental truths of parenting. I must say those sleepless nights were exhausting, but it took us a couple of weeks to get our sleeping patterns in order.
The one thing that really worked to my advantage was my work. Since I work from my own home, I had the opportunity to be always there for my child. Although, it is worth noting that being a stay-at-home dad comes with its fair share of interruptions. Nevertheless, the struggle to balance my work life and personal life was real, but overall worth it.
As I embarked fatherhood, the second change that I witnessed was my gender limitation. As fascinating as it is to see my wife care for my child, I have always never fully understood how she just knew everything. It was intimidating as I wanted to care for my child like she did.
I just did not want to be the breadwinner, but the caregiver as well. My solution was to take care of her, while she works with her motherly instincts.
There were some myths that always seem to erupt whenever parenthood is discussed. The most famous of them is to say bye-bye to your “me” time. Speaking about my personal time, let me just add in this one thing. My personal time is incomplete without my son. It does not matter if I have a day off or 5 minutes to myself. I want to see, play and just be with my son during that time.
Raising a child is no easy task. The increasing bills and the roller coaster of emotions can make it hard. However, it makes you realize how much your parents had struggled during your younger years. As a parent myself, I have even more respect for my parents. They did not only raise me well, but remain as my biggest support system.
Children are a blessing without a doubt. Your life does change, but I have found that the extent of that change to be partially in your hands. I would tell the fathers of our future that the fear of parenthood is much worse than parenthood itself.
It may be true that men are not as prepared as women. Although, you will be in more love than ever during every moment that you share with your child. You can see all of the things that are going to change, but you cannot imagine the new things that will arrive as a result.
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