Having a kid, becoming a dad, is maybe the biggest thing that’ll ever happen to you. It’s completely understandable to feel like you’re not “ready” - you’re not first to feel this and you certainly won’t be the last.
You’re not alone
“Learning I was going to be a dad was the most horrifying thing,” says a good friend of mine, Torrie, a professional wrestler aged 30 who has now been a father for 14 years. “All these thoughts circled through my head. ‘What if I’m not good?’ ‘I’m scared’, ‘I don’t think I can do this’. I was not fucking ready.”
But, he went on to explain to me that it was like a switch flicked in his brain once his son was born. “The instant love you have is something you can’t write about. No one is ever truly ready for kids, we make mistakes and learn as we go,” he says.
My own brother is also a father (though of a six-week old girl, not a 16-year-old boy). He reckons he had felt “ready to be a dad for a while”, but agrees with Torrie. “In hindsight I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was once the baby came. It’s the little changes that I wasn’t prepared for. The lack of sleep is the obvious one but then there's the no downtime and you can't see your mates whenever you want. I struggle a little with the things I can’t find time for anymore,” he says.
But it’s worth the hard work
Personally, I’ve been getting a little bit clucky of late, what with my niece being born, and so have been asking a tonne of questions to anyone with kids. Is it worth the lack of sleep? The crankiness? Putting your wallet in the fridge because you can’t think straight?
And every single person has agreed - yes, it’s fucking worth it. I'll leave you with some last words from my brother: “when you’re holding your little one in your arms… it’s the most incredible feeling in the world and you won’t trade it for anything.”
Dadvice / Beyond Blue (includes funny YouTube videos by Aus comedians)
Support for Fathers (organisation providing simple tools and resources for dads)
Things no one told you about being a new dad
Joe Rogan - “Becoming a parent changes you”
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