Finding out that you’re going to be a father is one of the scariest yet exciting things that can happen to a man. Especially the first time! Mainly because it’s a role that you have absolutely zero experience in playing. There is a weight that is automatically placed on your shoulders upon finding out. You’re no longer living for self and that’s such a huge concept to grasp in the beginning. My personal journey started a little younger than I would recommend to anyone else. I’ll tell the story briefly. . .
I was a 17 year old high school senior that was anticipating graduation in practically a month. Being a 4 year varsity basketball player had afforded me several opportunities to attend college on scholarship. I don’t remember the exact timeline but I had accepted one of those scholarship offers around this same period of time. So, here I am, thinking I’m only closing one chapter of my life and education while preparing for a secondary chapter of more basketball and books. I had no idea that God was placing me into a more pivotal position in the grand scheme of things. 17 years old and officially expecting my first child! I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one other major detail about my experience: My best friend and his girlfriend were already halfway through their pregnancy so I wasn’t gonna be going through it completely alone.
For anyone thinking that we planned for it to happen like that; you’re completely insane! However, I will admit that I found myself at a higher level of acceptance with someone close to me in the same predicament. That level of peaceful coexistence was short lived and decimated quite quickly though. It happened during a heavy conversation with my good friend not too long after my fate was sealed. With a deserved melancholy tone, he told me that she started having complications and they had lost their baby boy. Now I was right back to truly carrying the weight of this reality all on my own.
I didn’t have the picture perfect relationship with my father but that didn’t play too much of a role in how I initially felt. The reaction and support of my mother was far more important to me. She was the person that raised me and essentially molded me into this soon-to-be father. With hindsight being 20/20, and me being 11 years a father, that relationship with my father was imperative. I’ve since learned a lot about him and even more about myself! One of the most profound lessons being the value of your presence over material things (presence > presents). That was a tricky realization for me to grasp fully because you have to provide as best as you can no matter what. Finding that balance with my children has been my greatest achievement!
My final train of thought is extended to anyone that’s preparing for this journey and/or struggling with building/maintaining a healthy relationship with their kid/s. . .
Remember that it’s your responsibility to do right by them. Your emotions cannot get in the way of that. Your pride cannot get in the way of that. Your expectations of the family dynamic cannot get in the way of that. Your relationship with their mother cannot get in the way of that. Your bad habits cannot get in the way of that. Your finances cannot get in the way of that. YOU cannot get in the way of that! You will never regret making a sacrifice or spending time with your children. Make those sacrifices and spend as much time as you possibly can!
Peace and Love,