I got married at 21 and instantly became a father to an awesome step-daughter that I have been able to adopt. By the age of 22 I had two kids and no idea what is was doing much less how much effort it took to become a dad. I’m now 30 years old and I have four kids and a much better idea of how to handle being a dad. However, there are still a lot of things that are tough for dads to find information on; from how do you deal with pregnancy emotions, to when will my son’s annoying phase end, to what the heck do you tell your daughter when she comes home moody and emotional about how someone looked at her wrong that day at school.
The Young Dad’s Guide is meant to be an aid through those events that all dads will go through at some point. An excerpt from the upcoming book, The Young Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy explains why I believe there is a need for a movement of transcending the simple role of father and fully embody the role of a dad.
“Being a father is easy. Being a dad is hard. The former can be achieved in seconds while the latter is only achieved through a life of concentrated effort. A life spent working for the title of dad is a life filled with more meaning than you can imagine.”
“Some days being a dad is a piece of cake. Other days test every ounce of patience you have. One of the main obstacles to being a dad is that there are so few materials to reference for that immense responsibility. When I first started out on the path to fatherhood I looked for information in books and online. Even with endless forums and social media it seemed like there was no real guide for being a dad.”
“Further complicating this there also exists a certain lack of respect felt by expectant fathers which is only partially self-inflicted. Media in general has done such a poor job of portraying fathers that even the closest relatives sometimes expect them to fail or at least be incompetent at all things related to being a dad. This reputation is not helped by those fathers who never fully embody the title of dad.”
– B. D. Nelson, The Young Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy
I might not have all of the answers and I definitely don’t have it all figured out. But my hope is that telling my stories and sharing my lessons learned will help guide young dads through the ups and downs of fatherhood. The Young Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy is just the beginning of a series of books and articles that can help dads make it through the newborn stage, navigating through the hormonal teenage years, and all the other years in between.