Welcome to Fatherhood

“What surprised me most about fatherhood is that
it means more to me than anything else."  — New Dad

Welcome to Fatherhood

“What surprised me most about fatherhood is that
it means more to me than anything else."  — New Dad

Welcome!

 Welcome from a brotherhood of fathers dedicated to helping you and all new fathers get your best start. This is our way of making the world a better place for all our children. We believe we are all in this together and we learn how to do our best from each other.

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We’ve been passing on our collective wisdom to men becoming for decades, and each year, it is enriched by men like you. As you transform into a dad, we invite you to pay it forward by sharing what you learn with those who follow.

And welcome to fatherhood, the ultimate challenge of our lives. We give it all we have, sometimes stumbling along the way, but we always recover and take our best shot again. Our reward is the finest life has to offer.

What Not To Worry About

You have a lot of work ahead: crucial strategies to develop, and a life-changing personal transformation to navigate. A man becoming a father has a lot on his mind. A good first step is to focus on those issues worth the mind space. Here are a few things our dads have learned that may help you out:

DON'T WORRY ABOUT

Your Baby’s Birth:
Go ahead and worry about your baby – we all did. But for handling your job as her coach, we put everything you need to know in the Cornerman’s Coaching Guide. Download or print it, look it over and when she says “I think I feel it,” you’ll be ready to go.

Dropping Your Baby:
Dads don’t drop their infants, and neither will you. On the other hand, once they go mobile at six months or so, our dumb and fearless babies regularly attempt to shorten their longevity. That’s when you should worry.

Taking Care of Your Baby:
In our workshops, even the most nervous dads-to-be only take a few minutes to get used to holding a baby for the first time. After just a few times changing, feeding, burping or bathing your baby, you’ll get the hang of it. While those first days can be frustrating, you’ll get 80% of it down after two weeks, and soon you’ll be an expert at it.


THINK ABOUT

The New Mom in Your Life:
Some new fathers are stunned by a rapid decline in their relationship once the baby arrives; others find theirs ultimately flourishing. If you understand how a woman transforms into a mother, how to support her, how to work together in raising your baby and how to bring back the romance, you’ll be a happy dad.

The Economics of a Baby:
Your family’s finances will change and you’ll need to respond constructively. In addition to outlining a new family budget, you’ll want to look at who works, who cares for the baby, commitments to long commutes or big mortgages, and how you and mom can bring balance to your lives, etc. Needless to say, big changes may be in order.

The Need to Be Proactive:
It’s easy to get swept along in mom’s wake by the changes a new baby brings, but you run the risk of going in a direction you’ll regret. Fatherhood is a huge rite of passage for any man, and getting educated, developing a plan and becoming involved is a no-brainer.


YOU SHOULD EXPECT

Ambivalence at Times:
Expect downs with the ups; you may cry at her birth and wonder what you got yourself into two weeks later. Sleep deprivation, rapid change in your life, and the sacrifices you make can bring overwhelming feelings for this child you barely know. You will bounce back up.

To Gain Strength from Your Baby:
A child brings out the best in us and makes us stronger. We all have issues we’d like to handle—from getting a degree to quitting smoking. When we hold our very immortality in our arms, finding the inner-strength to get it done becomes easier.

To Come Last for a While:
The distinguishing characteristic of a man who transforms into a dad is priorities shift from his own interests to his child, partner, work and then himself. Changes in their lives are profound, but they take them in stride, even when sleep deprived.

dad and two sons

The Dad You Want to Be?

What kind of dad do you want to be? It's a good question as it helps you refocus from your current concerns to what you want to strive for as a dad.

Here are some suggestions to get started:

  • Start with your instincts: what comes to mind when you ask the question?
  • What did your own father do right that you want to do as well?
  • What would you do differently compared to your own father?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses for being a father?
  • What kind of relationship do you want with your child?
  • What do you want to do together as your baby grows?
  • What values and strengths do you want to teach your child?
  • How do you want to be remembered as a father?
  • If you pass on the best of yourself to your children, what will it be?

Starting Point: Your Own Father

 Our own fathers differ dramatically: some were great; some weren’t there at all. Stepfathers, coaches, or other men may have served as fathers, as well.  

The legacy of our fathers is a starting point for becoming a dad. It’s ironic that a distant or absent father can benefit us now – the more we missed out on, the more desire we bring to be there for our own child. It’s also true that the more we learned from our father, the more prepared we are.

Connecting to Your Father

You’re taking on an extraordinary, challenging role that creates common ground with your own father. If one of you reaches out, an upgrade in your relationship—one that supports your path as a dad—is possible. Even though he probably did a lot more for you than his own father did for him, it’s still likely he won’t reach out. So open the channel by asking him how he felt as a new dad and then share how you’re feeling.

What Our Dads Did Right

In 1990, our rookie dads talked about their own father as part of their self introduction. Their responses ranged from “great”, “emotionally distant”, to “didn’t have one around”. In 2010, we switched to “name one thing your dad did right.” While we still occasionally heard “my dad was a douche bag”, the picture that emerged is a profound statement on the possibilities of your own future as a dad:

  • "Aside from being there for my sports, he instilled character in me and taught me to be a man of integrity. Also took off the day before we started our new school year to do something fun."
  • "... was always supportive of anything I wanted to do, even if he didn't like it. I always respected him a lot for that. "
  • "My dad was always there to support us with our dreams and aspirations. He was always behind me one hundred percent."
retro-pingpong

Our fathers loved us but often lacked the vocabulary to express it or the skills to put that love into tender actions. Newer generations are developing this capability.

So, now what?

Start exploring Ramping Up to Birth. The information is organized and layered so you can dig as deep as you want. Then explore The Rubber Hits The Road , and then Hitting Your Stride to cover all you need to know.

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