Hello again! This is something I’d been wanting to talk about for a while and just never got around to it. You probably know that I’m big on reading and research, so when it came time to learn about being a dad I wanted to jump on it and read what I could.
Here’s the problem: Almost every book, article, or “Just For Dads” section in a larger work had something in common: they assume that you don’t really want to be a dad. They also assume that every man in the world is a self-absorbed, beer-swilling sports nut. I might be self-absorbed, but I don’t drink beer and my interest in sports begins and ends with the Broncos. And most importantly, I was absolutely elated about being a dad. Maybe I’m weird? Scratch that. I am weird. I know this, and that’s fine. I know most books aren’t going to be written with me in mind, so I have come to terms with some of that. But the whole vibe of all of these things really got to me, I have to say.
Do most dads-to-be not want to be dads? I know that every time you see a “Honey, the stick turned blue” scene on TV or in a movie, the man is less than thrilled. But is that representative of reality? I know plenty of guys who seemed like they were all on board with fatherhood. Maybe I just hang out with quality dudefolk? It’s tough to say. I have almost no tolerance for the self-absorbed, beer-swilling sports nut type, so I don’t really know any of them personally. Maybe there are tons of them out there and I just don’t know about it because I tend to stay home and watch Star Trek instead of slurping brews while watching ‘The Game’ with my bros. In any case, the fact that everything written for dads assumed that perspective to some degree or another was off-putting. I ended up not reading much of the “just for dads” stuff, and tried to read as much as I could of the rest.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t any good information out there geared for dads. Or that there’s nothing useful to be gained from those sources that treat fatherhood like some kind of disease you had hoped to avoid but are now saddled with. I’m sure if I were a little less prickly about that sort of thing, and had been able to get through more of it, I might have gleaned some real gems. Some things just push my buttons, and once those buttons are pushed I’m a bit useless until I can calm myself down by rolling dice or making sawdust. If you’re less sensitive than I am, then you might really enjoy the stuff. I’m specifically not mentioning any particular titles here because I don’t want to scare prospective fathers away from a book that they might really enjoy just because I didn’t. Like I said, I’m weird. I might be the only person who has even noticed this issue, or I might have manufactured it in the geek-reactionary recesses of my own mind. I just wanted to say something about it, because it bugged me in a big way.
So, here, we’re all about dads who want to be dads. I don’t know everything, but I know I love my wife and son. And I’m ecstatic that I have them both in my life. I’m learning more about being a dad every day, obviously, but it’s not a burden. It’s a joy. I feel blessed to have this opportunity, and I really, really hope that I do well. If you’re in a similar boat, I think we’ll get along just fine. Thanks for reading!