By David Wygant

One of my subscribers sent me a fantastic question the other day: When are you ready to be a dad? I’m a dad. I never thought I would be one. And now, not only am I a father, but I love it. For me, there’s no greater feeling in the world. There’s nothing better than walking across the street holding my daughter’s little hand. There’s nothing better than sitting on my sofa while she climbs and crawls all over me — except when she bounces on my stomach after a big meal!

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My daughter’s still very young; she’s only three years old. But the love she gives me is a love I’ve never experienced in my life. It’s so fulfilling. And you know what? I wasn’t ready to be a dad. It’s like the old saying says: “You’re never ready to be a father…until the kids arrive.” Even then, you might not be ready, as the changes in your life are so sudden and drastic.

Remember that your wife becomes a mother; it’s a completely new experience for her too. She has a little human being entirely dependent on her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You’re no longer going to feel like her number one priority, but she’s going to need you more than ever.

You need to understand it’s only a temporary feeling of displacement. Once you start bonding with your child, you’ll start to feel a lot more involved again. Don’t worry if it takes a bit of time to get to know your little one. Some guys don’t feel like they bond with their kids until they hit two-years-old — it’s easier to connect with their children when they’re walking and talking. There’s nothing wrong with that.

You need to ask yourself a different question: Is being a father something I want to do? The changes are so major that you have to really want it. The sleeping in on the weekends is over. The late nights over at your friend’s house are done. Coming in after work and just putting on the television is no more! When you’re a dad, you have to be on when you get home. You must spend time loving and connecting with your child. You need to be the role model your dad may or may not have been for you. You have to open your mind and open your heart.

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You have to step outside your comfort zone and live for someone else. Is that something you can do? Is that something you desire from life? If the answers to these questions are yes, then don’t worry about being ready and don’t think you need to know everything. There’s no guidebook. We all learned on the fly!

If you truly want to embrace the good and bad experiences that fatherhood brings, then you’re as ready as you’ll ever be.  Nothing will prepare you for it, and it won’t be anything like you imagine. But honestly, it’s the most beautiful, rewarding, and humbling experience any man can have.

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