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Adjusting to Parenthood a Fathers Guide

Updated on October 24, 2010

This is to answer a question posed on Hub Pages, about how to adjust to the birth of a new baby (like there's an old one LOL). While the answers posted were very well stated, and I believe have much merit, they were the views of Mom's not Dad's. So I thought I ought to offer some instruction here since the question posed appears to be asked by a male.

Now before I get into the paternal male bonding pattern and all that let's resolve an important issue in your question. You have posed the question in such a way that implies you will actually be given any credit for the birth of your child. Get this through your thick skull of mush immediately and you will save your self much future grief. Only the female of our species gets any and all credit for the birth process and it is credit that they will viciously and righteously remind you of at every opportunity. Trust me on this one, I have been witness to the birth of both of my children, was a Lamaze coach etc, played classical music and piped it through headphones over the growing uterus, even reminded my wife to practice her Keagel exercises; yep did all that even before it was popular, and I tell you flatly the credit for birth was all hers. If you are wise you will remind her of that more than just once a year on mothers day and when you do use a tone of respect and awe. It will pay many harmonious dividends.

Young man, (at least I hope you are young for you need to be young to undertake the tasks now at hand for the next 18 years or so), at first site of your child you may be overwhelmed with the idea of the miracle of life and your part in it's creation. That's a good thing stand there in the hospital take a minute or two and soak it in. Once your chest has puffed out a bit and you've stood a little taller, and said to all within earshot "Look at this! Look at my Son/Daughter." you will not recognize the tone of your own voice because you have never been prouder of anything you've ever accomplished. Go ahead soak it up enjoy it. Soak in the oohs and aahs of every female on the planet when they see your child. Puff that chest when other fathers give you a knowing nod, a smile, and pat you on the back, "Welcome to the Fraternity!" Ah yes enjoy it, but don't get too carried away with a swagger in your step, or pumping yourself up, millions of us have done it before and you're wasting precious energy; you're going to need all of it and then some for a while.

Why you ask will I need extra energy? Well to put it simply and plainly, you now have a new job lad. Take special note that I have not said a second job. That would belittle the task at hand by implying that some other job would have a higher priority. You may have other tasks now that fit in to your new job, tasks like earning a paycheck, going to the store, changing a diaper, feeding the baby in the middle of the night, but all of them are subordinate to and are but sub-tasks of your new job of being a father. It is an awesome responsibility. The best way to prepare for that is to recognize it's coming, get as much sleep as you can while you can, and practice stuff like waking up at 3 am and functioning for 45 minutes or so then returning to sleep. Cut what ever your personal budget is now for stuff like lunch, beer, partying, golf, etc. by at least a third and start husbanding supplies like pampers and formula.

Finally remember, that your child's Mother will nurture, every person your child ever comes in contact with will be a teacher of one sort or another for good and bad, but you will be their primary instructor in all things. What is the difference you ask? Well, the primary objective of teaching is to create a self-perpetuating learning process so at some point you can teach yourself or others, instruction however is the interactive process of showing someone how thru demonstration and practice. You will be Instructing your child in the proper application of all the knowledge they gather. That is the key I think, and with that thought I pass along this poem that hung in my Grandfathers house, and now hangs in mine...

A Little Fellow Follows Me

A careful man I want to be

A little fellow follows me:

I do not dare to go astray:

For fear he'll go the self-same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes;

Whate're he sees me do he tries;

Like me he says he's going to be:

That little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine;

Believes in every word of mine;

The base in me he must not see:

That little chap who follows me.

I must remember as I go:

Through summer's sun and winter's snow;

I am building for the years to be:

That little chap who follows me.

- Lee Fisher

This final thought; if you can (and I don't think you can really till the blessed day comes, but ponder on it anyway) prepare for a new emotion, Unconditional Love...

Work Hard, Have fun and above all Be Koo-el!!


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    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful hub and so very interesting. GBY

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Thanks Creativeone!

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you for a beautiful, useful and awesome hub, no one else could have done it any better. Thank you for sharing it. Godspees. creativeone59

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 7 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Hi it is me again, This poem of yours, I need more people to read it. It is quite urgent. For a lot of reasons, it will be so much more easier if I may put it on a hub alone.

      May I have your kind permission to use it. I will make mention where I found it with a link to your site. Please, please, big please.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      equealla - Thanks so much for stopping by, us guys have come a long way since we boiled those rocks the hard way. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 7 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I love this age of comfort and machines. Now the dad's do not have to toil the soil, after they have boiled the copper for the axe out of the rocks. Finally they can also share in the interactive-growing-up days of their youngsters, and that is goooood. This poem, it needs to be read by a lot more people, I think....

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Faybe - Glad you enjoyed it, if it helps pass it along to your kids when its time. Help reset the cycle eh. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 7 years ago from Florida

      Wish you'd been around to advise the fathers of my children. But then maybe they were too knuckle-headed to get the point. Excellent Hmrjmr, excellent.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Thanks Janiek Thought you'd enjoy it!

    • janiek13 profile image

      Mary Krenz 7 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

      Great advice for new fathers and that poem says it all.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Cathinfrance- Thank you for your kind words. The part of Tiger's sad tale no one is telling yet is how much his actions has hurt his 'First Tee' Charity. The Charities focus has been teaching kids responsibility and self discipline through golf. Gonna be hard to sell that message to kids from now on from him.

      As for publishing if you know any that are interested please have them contact me. Again much thanks..

    • profile image

      cathinfrance 7 years ago

      Well why on earth haven't you published a book on being a good father??! Young, and many middle-aged, men and fathers are in crisis these days. Divorce rates are through the roof; men casually start families and then casually abandon them. The poem you quote about a man setting an example to his kids contains exactly the ethic that's being lost. So does your point about kids needing a father's guidance/instruction. Tiger Woods is a product of our times and sadly no-one is too surprised at how he's treated his family. Whoopi Goldberg announcing she didn't care about the story is part of the problem - men so often abandon wives and kids that it's become banal, acceptable... Somehow men have lost pride in their roles as fathers. Your book - when you write it - will help restore the crucial importance of fatherhood! I've been in books/publishing in Europe for over 25 years - I bet you'll find a publisher.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Putz- it was an epiphany for me when I heard that for the first time as well. Thanks!

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 7 years ago

      Hmrjmr1, Great hub sir and I can tell you are a great daddy. You are so right little boys and girls will emulate our behavior. What an eye opener when I first saw myself in my own sons and when a nephew told me one day,"Uncle Robert, when I grow up, I want to be just like you." I then realized there are a lot of little eyes observing my life. Thanks for your insight and wisdom, I appreciate men like you.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Receptionist - Thank you sir!

    • receptionist profile image

      receptionist 8 years ago

      Ey! I like the poem that you've posted here. Great hub!!!