When we were expecting our daughter, we were blessed with three baby showers — one from my mother-in-law and one from two of my moms. Separate showers because the moms weren’t seeing eye-to-eye, which was a whole other situation (more on this to come). With our son, we had two — one with all of our family & friends and one thrown by my wife’s co-workers. We took control of the family baby shower the second time around because it was easier. Our moms admittedly go over the top and run with things. Lol! Everyone was helpful and generous, no bad feelings, and we had a very nice shower.
When people find out you’re expecting, there’s always well meaning advice. Even if you don’t ask, it’s shared. I suppose it’s all par for the course and I found it helpful, some of it was comical and then there was just the obscure. All digested and considered because the idea of fatherhood was new to me at the time. Everything I thought it was going to be, it was... but on steroids.
First, there’s this overwhelming love you feel the moment you lay eyes on your child. I understand now why people say it can’t be explained. Each time, I looked at my newborn baby and felt this tightening across my chest and a tug at my heart. I helped make this bundle of perfection... and I knew I would do anything in my power to protect, love and give my child everything.
Second, nothing prepares you for how having a child forces you to grow up. It’s not about you anymore. Those days of a full night’s sleep and quiet — gone. It’s diapers before cologne and baby clothes before new socks. Something shifts and your view expands beyond just yourself. You don’t even think about your needs anymore, it’s all about your baby.
Third, it’s hard. Not everyone will admit it, but it is. It’s hard in every way you can think of — mentally, physically, emotionally and financially. You change and there are growing pains. If you’re lucky, you adjust and you get better. You and your wife become a team... stronger and synchronized.
What they don’t tell you after the baby shower, is that it’s worth it. It’s worth the tears, the fear, the lack of sleep. It’s worth the lessons, the challenges, the mistakes. It’s worth it because your child will always be your child. We get to love, nurture and teach them — we get to do better than our parents did. I look at my daughter and son with pride and devotion because I’m all in. I’ll never leave them, they know daddy is there... they know I’m not going anywhere.