My daughter has changed so much in the two weeks that she’s been home. Her facial features have changed, she has certain mannerisms, and she’s aware of her surroundings. As she grows, there will be more overt and subtle changes that will come about. The change inside of me started the second she was born.
I became a father the moment my daughter was born. I provided my DNA (willingly of course…and it was fun! LOL), she was born, and voila! I’m a father. I’ve expressed in previous blog entries that my goal is to be a dad, not a father. When we brought her home, I told myself that it was crucial that I set a foundation immediately. One thing I didn’t want to do was to think of it as a job. You often hear parents say “It’s my job to take care of my child.” For me, this is something I want to do because I love her, not because I have to. She isn’t a burden; she’s my daughter and I’m going to make sure that she’s taken care of.
My lady and I have adopted a system where we alternate overnights to watch over our daughter. This ensures that one of us is always fresh to give her the full attention she needs during the day. I’ve been really enjoying the overnights with her. It allows me that quiet one-on-one time with her that I don’t really get during the day. When I’m feeding her in the early hours of the morning, I’ll talk to her like an adult; I call her by her name, tell her funny stories about people I know, and encourage her to finish her bottle. I’ll also beg her not to pee on me when I change her diaper. So far I’ve failed in that area..LOL!
There is one thing that I do at every single overnight feeding with her: I’ll remind her that she has NO LIMITS WHATSOEVER in life and she can do whatever she sets her mind to. I know that may sound weird; I’m talking to a newborn about her future like an adult. You know what? It isn’t. What I’m doing is giving her the support and encouragement she needs to believe in herself. Self-esteem is such an important piece of a person’s development that we often neglect to understand what the impact really is until AFTER they’re older.
Being a dad is not only for my daughter, but for my lady as well. I’ve been able to help take care of both of them at the same time. My daughter needs to see what kind of man I am to her and her mother. I want to be that role model for her so that she understands that her DAD, is a person that she can count and rely on.
My journey to fatherhood is complete. The road to dad-hood is a long one, but I’ve already embraced it. Now, it’s just a matter of following through and staying the course no matter what happens.
My Instagram bio has a line that says “I set goals, and crush them.” Let the games begin.