Daddy Contemplations

Now that the cat is out of the bag (or the kid out of the, um… yea), I can admit that contemplating fatherhood has me scared stiff.

Well, not really, but in a manner of speaking.

It is one thing to say the words “I’m not ready for fatherhood” in much the same way I said “I’m not ready for marriage” and quite another thing to actually mean it or grasp the idea that there will be a helpless little baby needing my wife and my care for it’s every need. Then growing and growing, becoming more independent and self-willed, maturing and growing older, learning and absorbing, and then leaving.

And God has tasked me with the primary responsibility for the childs spiritual growth and nuturing. My wife and I for teaching the child and loving them and providing stability and security such as we can while allowing freedom and experiences to broaden the childs horizons and abilities.

I haven’t the slightest clue…

If you’re a parent: What is one thing that you are glad you did and one thing you regret or wish you’d not done? And why?

Everybody is a child of someone: What is something you are glad your parents did and one thing you wish they hadn’t? And why?

4 thoughts on “Daddy Contemplations”

  1. There are so many things for each question that I can’t claim these are the tops ones, but here goes.

    One good thing: Bible reading with the kids, especially when they were younger and now that they are older. Making our faith a real part of our lives and not just a Sunday thing.

    One regret: Inconsistent Bible reading, especially in the middle years.

    Re. my parents: I wish they knew the 5 Love Languages (everyone should read that book). They loved me, as evidenced by them not kicking me out of the house for being an idiot. But we had mismatches on the love languages. I was words of affirmation / physical touch and they were heavy duty acts of service.

    The positive was that they set unbelievably good examples of how to live Christian lives.

  2. I have three kids, 6, 9, and 11. And I’d have to say that one thing I’m really glad I did is to ignore the “experts” on occasion.

    There’s always someone out there that will tell you that you “have to” do this, but then there’s another that will say the exact opposite. With what and when to feed my child, to where my child sleeps, I made up my own mind (still after reading the “experts”, but taking their thoughts as just advice, to be heeded or not).

    As a result, my (second and third) kids didn’t eat baby food, but just nursed for their first year. My doc said that was completely alright as long as the girls were growing fine, which they were.

    I also slept with my babies for their first year in my bed (on my side, not my husband’s) so I could nurse them at night, but still get sleep. Some “experts” say that’s a no no, but others say it’s great. I made my own decision, and I think it was right for our situation. (And I never had a sleepless night because of it!)

    One regret I have, and continue to have, is that I don’t always set a good example for my kids when it comes to my temper. I sometimes lose my cool when I’m frustrated, and that’s NOT the example I want to set for my kids. That also leads to the main thing I wish my parents had done differently. It’s not an excuse, but I got my temper from my dad. He modeled it for me, and I learned it well (unfortunately).

    The one thing that my parents did that I really appreciate is to love me, no matter what. If I screwed up, they continued to love me in spite of my faults. My mother also made a point of telling me she loved me frequently. As a teen, of course, I didn’t like it, but I totally appreciate it now. It was an expression of their unconditional love.

    Congratulations on the expected arrival. And August is a great month to have a baby! My first and third kids were August babies.

  3. And by the way, I don’t think anyone ever really feels ready to be a parent. But if you love your child, and you strive to do God’s will as a parent, you’ll be just fine. Children are so resilient!

  4. I’m going to agree with Joy and say that I don’t think anyone is ever ready to be a parent for the first time. It is the learning that can make parenting fun. Now… To answer your questions.

    One thing I am so thrilled we have done as parents is work together as the parents to stay extremely consistent. Our daughter always knows what to expect in both punishments and rewards and has already figured out that she will get the same answer from both of us. She is not terribly manipulative, so she hasn’t tried “double dipping” as my father used to call it and playing my husband and I against each other hoping for separate answers. We’ll see if it stays that way and see if our son is also as unlikely to manipulate.

    Something I regret is my lack of patience with my daughter especially. I have a wicked temper…and she and I are so much alike that I often get frustrated with her when it’s not necessary. What is worse is she has figured thisout so she often apologizes for irritating me. Way to go Mom.

    One thing I am SO grateful that my parents did for me was allow me some freedom to make my own choices. I was very different from my older brother in that I had to learn things for myself. I can imagine how this must have forced my parents to really change their parenting style. But they granted me some of the freedoms to make mistakes when I was a teenager and I believe this kept me from becoming a wild and rebellious young adult. While most of my counterparts were running around partying I was already happily married with a kid at 20. I was ok to do this in part because I had been allowed to make decisions and mistakes on my own so I learned more from them.

    Something I wish my parents ( mom especially ) wouldn’t have done is push me so hard academically. She pushed so hard that I insisted on making it through highschool and college in 3 years each. I wish I would have, instead, been encouraged to relax a bit and enjoy my time a little more before adulthood. Don’t know if I would have listened, but I at least wish they would have encouraged it.

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