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Father’s Day Prep: 8 Things Every Dad-To-Be Ought To Know

Fatherhood means being in it for the long haul. More importantly, children are always watching their heroes, so what they do matters.

A good father influences a child’s psychological, cognitive, and social development, ultimately steering his children toward adulthood, but that doesn’t mean that his path isn’t riddled with challenges. Experienced dads make the wisest dads.

Ahead of Father's Day (16 Jun), here are some of the most important things to remember on your journey as a father and what to expect from fatherhood:

1. You get to decide on the type of father you want to be

You might have had a great dad that you want to emulate yourself, or you might have had one who left a lot to be desired. Either way, it’s your turn to be a father now and you get to decide how you approach parenthood. You’re creating this role from scratch and it’s up to you to decide what you make of it.

2. Fatherhood is a marathon, not a sprint

As soon as you think you’ve got a handle on something, your child will move on to something else. While you’re waiting for the moment to do all the fun things, don’t forget the importance of the stage of fatherhood that you are at. The teaching moments that guide them through toddlerhood into adolescence and finally into adulthood may not always be easy or glamorous, but they are very necessary, fulfilling and eventually, rewarding. Stay in the now, enjoying the little moments, while looking forward to the future as you watch your little baby grow into a young person every day.

3. You’ll need oodles of humility and patience

Nothing prepares you for being a father the first time and bringing up a child tests your patience and skill set every step of the way. But don’t be intimidated by all that you have to learn and by all the mistakes that you will make (and you will). Little humans need little things, so take your time and do it one little step at a time. You don’t have to be perfect to bond with your baby.

4. Children are expensive

You’ll worry about money – not just for yourself, but whether you’re saving enough for their future. Don’t feel guilty for having to leave the family every day to go to work. You’re just doing your best to provide for them, whether you’re the primary breadwinner or not.


5. Say goodbye to ample personal space and “me time”

Say goodbye to lazy TV afternoons. Not only is your side of the bed going to get invaded, but you’re also likely to step on toys on the floor from time to time. Baby things, toddler things, teenage things – they can take up all the space around the house. As for quality “me time”, yes you might not have as much of it as you like, but it’s easily fixed by tag teaming with your partner so that you can get a break when you need it. Or you could also take more frequent toilet breaks to be alone.

6. Expect a heightened awareness of your own mortality

When you’re young and childless, you don’t often consider the dangers of your actions, but fatherhood can change that. Once you’re a dad, you realise how much your child needs you, usually making dads reconsider doing risky things, even something mundane like speeding, alcohol and cigarettes, and whether they are worth it anymore. You’re boring now. And happy to own it.

7. Your definition of "cool" changes

Almost everything you thought was cool before becoming a dad most likely disappears with fatherhood. As a dad, what’s “cool” now is being tall enough to reach things on the high shelf, being the fun parent, being good at sports, and being goofy enough to make your child laugh.

8. You learn to be a good loser

Being a good dad means letting yourself lose at almost everything, including card games, board games, one-on-one sports, and even rock-paper-scissor showdowns. After all, you don't get extra dad points for crushing the competition, particularly when they're your own children. Plus you’ll give oodles of confidence to your child when they see you losing once in a while to them.

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