Writing about being a father brought forward plenty of challenges. Undeterred, I decided to learn as much about being a father as I could possibly learn. With some help from a series of books provided by Atlantic, and a lot of Internet research, I was able to begin putting together a meshwork of what it meant to be a father. There was plenty to learn.
Through my research for the book, the first thing I learned about was pregnancy. Just like everyone, I knew the general process of pregnancy but to learn about the minute details that come into play that a husband and future father needs to think about? Let’s just say I was quite surprised. There are the many trips to the doctor, the need for Lamaze, the complications that can arise and most importantly, what a future mother goes through with pregnancy. I know now that a husband has to be there for their spouse to help with their spouse’s emotions and needs. That means when the time comes for me, I will be ready for the challenge.
There has been plenty of comedy done about men on the day their child is born, worrying about the birth and panicking while the mother calmly prepares for labor. Again, through research for this book, I learned not only about the phases of labor, but what one needs to have ready 24 hours a day for when the labor begins.
Of course, pregnancy and labor was only the first third of the book, and there was plenty more for me to learn about being a father, or a future father in my case. Taking care of a puppy is nothing compared to the effort it takes to take care of a baby. For the first few months, there is very little sleep and a lot of worry about how to be a father. There is playing with the baby and finding ways to entertain the baby while helping fuel the development of their mind and personality. As the baby ages, there are the worries about illness and even knowing what I know now, I know I will be rushing to the hospital at the first sneeze from the baby. (Babies sneeze: It’s nothing to worry about.)
There is a lot to know about being a father, and that may deter some fathers but if I took one thing away from writing this book, it is this: Being a father is a joy. With every worry over a single sneeze and wonder about the growing fetus in your partner’s belly, there is the joy of playing with a new baby and helping to forge a new life into this world. There is the happiness that comes from your baby’s first steps, their first words and their smile. Like seeing my dog’s tail wag even after I have had a hard day, seeing a baby’s smile has a way of making a father smile no matter what happened during their day.
Writing this book I now know that there is much more responsibility in being a father than I ever thought possible, but much more happiness as well.
Craig Baird is a writer based out of rural Canada, where he lives on a ranch with his wife and dogs. He has published several books and short stories, as well as written for magazines and newspapers across Canada. When he is not writing, he spends his time traveling the country and hiking in the outdoors with his wife, Layla. Follow him on Twitter @CraigBaird.
Are you going to be a new dad? Check out Craig Baird’s new book, I’m Going to be a Dad: Now What? Everything You Need to Know About First-time Fatherhood.
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