6 Months into Fatherhood 6 months into this journey of fatherhood I find myself regularly starting off my thoughts with these two words, ‘what will.’
What will keep my 6-month-old daughter Patricia entertained until her mother gets back?
What will bring a smile to her face?
What will keep her from crying?
What will put her to sleep?
What will ensure she is reaching her growth milestones?
At times when I am with Patricia, my what will thoughts expand into the future.
What will she remember about her father when she is all grown up?
What will keep her safe from dangers?
What will she decide to do for her education and her career?
What will keep her loving me when I am old and gray?
The list could fill up an entire page or two. I learned early on that there are no guaranteed answers to the questions above. And apparently Patricia did not come with a user manual 😊. All I can do and strive to do is BE PRESENT. When these thoughts come to my mind, I start by answering them with BE PRESENT! When I come to the Fatherhood Effect, I learn strategies on how I can BE PRESENT for Patricia.
I will raise both hands to admit that being a father can be [IS] challenging. In the world we live in, it seems like there are traps and dangers lurking around every corner. In these last 6 months I have made my share of mistakes and tripped up a few times. And you know what, I am not alone! One challenge that I am working on with the help of the Fatherhood Effect group is arguing in front of my child. She is watching and listening to me, every raised voice and hand, Patricia is taking it all in at the tender age of 6 months. She might not know exactly what is coming out of my mouth, but I feel that she knows the environment has changed from a positive to negative atmosphere. This brings me back to my ‘what will’ thoughts, what will she remember from the arguments in front of her? Thanks to the advice and testimony from the group, I now have tools that I can use to help with this situation. I might have an argument or two in the future, BUT I can control how I react in those situations, especially when Patricia is in the room. Once again, my list of challenges I face could fill up a page, and resolutions for these will not come over night. As I continue with the interrupted sleep, changing diapers, teething, and constant supervision of Patricia (she is rolling).
I welcome these challenges when they come because I know I have decided to take a proactive approach to fatherhood. I am listening to fathers of all ages, backgrounds and experiences. I am keeping an eye out on situations that could directly impact her and doing my best to BE PRESENT with Patricia each day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Because if I am present with her now, she will be present with me in the future, and that is a priceless gift.
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