Guest Blogger: Justyn Smith

November 10th, 2011

Advice to expecting fathers…

Wow! FMD asked me to write about “advice to expecting fathers.” Furthermore, he claims that I have 79 kids. Well, first let me say it’s an honor to write for FMD. He’s a legend and his passion for the next generation is not easily matched. Secondly, I don’t quite have 79 kids, I have five kids and they’re all amazing. I’m going to take a different slant on the topic…I want to talk about the process leading up to “THE DAY.”

Here’s five things I would tell an expecting father in no specific order:

1. Don’t Pick. I can recall people asking me if I wanted a boy or girl before my firstborn was born. I gave the pretty obvious answer of “I don’t care, just as long as he or she has 10 fingers and toes I’m good.” When in fact, deep in my heart I really wanted a boy. I felt that if I dwelt on that too much and he turned out to be a girl that I would be greatly disappointed. Well, it turns out my first child was a girl and there was no disappointment. In fact, after I saw her and months afterward, I couldn’t imagine having boy. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t even know what to do with a boy because I was so in love and used to my baby girl. Long story short—God knows who we need.
2. Enjoy the moment with your wife. Often times we can get caught up with everything that comes with becoming a parent for the first time—endless classes, working longer to bring in more money, parties, etc.; that we forget to take a moment to enjoy what is happening right now. What’s happening is that your wife will never be pregnant for the first time again. All these feelings that she’s feeling right now will not quite be the same the second time around. Every “first time” is special. Don’t just “act” like you care about the first sight of the baby bump, first kick, etc. but actually take the time to enjoy those moments, which takes me to the next point…
3. Be involved. Don’t let your wife do this on her own. Take the time to go through the whole process with her. Go to those classes with her that place you in uncomfortable positions and making awkward breathing noises while bouncing on giant bouncy balls. Don’t miss out on the doctor appointments. It’s easy to say that you’re working, but it means the world to your wife to be there even if she tells you not to worry about it—more than likely she probably still wants you there. Ask her how her day went. Be around more. Do more around the house.
4. Don’t panic. I know, I know, hindsight is 20/20. Exactly. From a father who has been through this I can say with confidence that there’s not much to panic or get worked up about. Also understand that I’m speaking from a perspective of my wife’s pregnancy going as planned. We had no complications and nothing out of the ordinary that would cause us to worry. I talk to many first-time fathers who get pretty worked up about nothing and later they’ll say to me that I was right—there was nothing to worry about. You want to be a rock for your wife. She’s going through a bunch of emotions, she doesn’t need you stressing—her body is doing enough of that. Now, when you see your baby for the first time there’s no such thing as “tough guy.” Many guys cry and at that point it’s more than okay!!
5. Be a proud dad. There’s nothing wrong with being the dorky dad who’s showing off the baby and singing through the halls. You’ll never quite have this feeling again and it feels incredible!! One moment you and your wife were by yourselves doing whatever you wanted whenever you wanted. Now, you not only have to keep yourselves maintained, but you’re responsible for keeping another human alive. Sure it can seem scary, but beyond that it’s a very proud moment. This little person will want to be like you, mimicking your every move; you’ll be his or her prince or buddy and those thoughts through your head should cause you to puff out that chest and strut through the hospital and everywhere else.

I’m sure there are a million other things that could be said, but as a father of five kids I have repeated these steps a few times. As much as I repeat and as unique and special as each birth is, there’s nothing quite like the first. Happy fathering!!

PJ

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 10th, 2011 at 7:52 pm and is filed under The Main Event!!!. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Guest Blogger: Justyn Smith”

  1. Nathan J. Anderson Says:

    I love being a dad! I don’t swing my 16-year old or 14-year old in my arms like I used to. Probably because they’re both bigger than I am now. Thankfully I still have a 10 and 6 year old I can swing.

    Enjoy them every moment you have them. Don’t give in to the frustration or anger or any other emotion that comes with fatherhood because in a blink of an eye, they’ll be gone. I actually had a guy I didn’t know come up to me in a YMCA locker room and start crying as he talked about missed opportunities with his now-grown kids.

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