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SmootSmack 09-01-2010 11:18 PM

Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
So this thread is really for all the fathers out there. My wife and I are that point when we feel we want to look to start a family in the next year or so.

On the one hand, we feel ready. We both have good careers, we're in good (not spectacular) financial shape.

On the other hand, we don't have any immediate family near us, we don't know what a baby will mean to our finances and our careers, and we know our lives will forever change.

Sometimes we feel like we'll always find an excuse not to be ready.

So for all the dads out there, how did you know you were ready? (If you knew). I mean the thought of it is so overwhelming, how do you adjust your mentality to the idea of being responsible for a brand new human being?

FRPLG 09-01-2010 11:45 PM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
This is easy to answer. You figure why you'll be in better shape in 1,2,3,4,5 years rather now. You probably won't be. It will never ever seem like a perfect time. If you look at it like a football game where you have to carve out time to get to the stadium and park, then tailgate and get into the stadium, then watch the game and get back out and drive home. Then well you're crazy. Because having kids isn't a finite effort like that. It is both way more work than you can imagine but not nearly as hard. But having kids is by its nature not something that fits your current lifestyle in any way whatsoever. Most people can intellectually grasp that but until they experience it they really have no idea.

So logistically you make it work. The first five years with a kid is a constantly changing set of needs and therefore the logistics are impossible to predict and/or describe. What you will certainly face though is this: you no longer live your life for yourself and your wife. Everything you do...EVERYTHIING now gets filtered through the prism of your child's life. Before you could have regular old fun. You could drop everything and go on a 3 day vacay somewhere. Hit a bar with friends every couple of weeks, have a nice dinner with your wife. All things you do without much thought. They just happen With a kid that stuff doesn't happen the same way. It takes planning and it happens a lot less often. A lot of people look at it like their lives become less fun. I like to look at it like I replaced that fun stuff with more meaningful stuff. Yeah maybe sitting at home and taking the 10:00pm-2:00am shift with the newborn is a killer and makes you wonder what happened in your life but eventually the kid will sleep through the night and ever other day the kid will do something that almost makes you cry.

To me if you're wondering if its a good enough time...then its a good enough time. Only when you KNOW it isn't time is when it really isn't the right time.

BleedBurgundy 09-02-2010 12:56 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
We're going through this same process right now, SS. Pretty much the same situation applies, we're in overall good shape but how do you know it's the right time... I always said I'd wait til I was 30... and now i'm 30. (time flies.)

dblanch66 09-02-2010 01:24 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
I had my son 10 months ago. At 44 years old, I never thought I'd be a dad but if you want to hear God laugh, make plans.
It is the most rewarding experience I have ever had and the great thing is, it keeps getting better. The old ways of "fun" waned years ago. I have so much fun with my family now, it makes everything in the past seem very cliche, blase and meaningless. New feelings and emotions come up daily and all are welcome and fantastic. Don't let fear of financial insecurity or anything else stop you from experiencing this NOW. I wish I hadn't waited so long and wish we could have more, but that won't happen.
Being a Dad is the richest, most excellent, most overwhelming thing I have ever done and the good news is that grows and grows.
Go for it!!! You will never regret it.

GMScud 09-02-2010 02:39 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
[quote=SmootSmack;726711]So this thread is really for all the fathers out there. My wife and I are that point when we feel we want to look to start a family in the next year or so.

On the one hand, we feel ready. We both have good careers, we're in good (not spectacular) financial shape.

On the other hand, we don't have any immediate family near us, we don't know what a baby will mean to our finances and our careers, and we know our lives will forever change.

Sometimes we feel like we'll always find an excuse not to be ready.

So for all the dads out there, how did you know you were ready? (If you knew). I mean the thought of it is so overwhelming, how do you adjust your mentality to the idea of being responsible for a brand new human being?[/quote]

Good thread. I'm not a Dad, but I certainly plan on being one in the not too distant future. Hopefully I'm not hijacking by posting my thoughts!!

I know my wife and I aren't quite ready, although we could both handle it if she got pregnant. I just turned 32 and she's 28. We're thinking that about 2 years from now will be the perfect time. She just got a nice promotion, and my career is going very well too. We have been building a nice nest egg, and are looking to buy a house next summer. So ideally we'd like to keep the pedal to metal work-wise and continue to stack as much money as possible, get the house, and then maybe start trying in middle of 2012.

For us, it's not the mental aspect. I know I can be a good father, and mentally I think I've been up to the task since I was probably 27 or 28 years old. If I had to guess, my wife will be a great mom. The care-taking aspect certainly won't be lacking. Also, I have lots of family and close family friends in the area. My mom is practically Mary friggin Poppins, so the fact that we know my family can help is huge. Shit, I'm 11 weeks removed from my wedding and my mom is already dropping hints left and right about popping out little ones.

Our roadblock right now so to speak is more of our life situation. We just got married 3 months ago (although we've been together a little more than 7 years). We're not in our early 20's anymore, but we feel like we're young enough to where we can spend a little more time saving, furthering our careers, and getting a house suitable for raising a family.

Not that you have to do all these things to be good parents, but the amount of money I figure we can sock away over the next few years coupled with the house, and we're setting ourselves up for the best possible situation for parenthood relative to our lives.

So I guess long story short, mentally I'm ready to be a Dad, but lifestyle-wise, I'd prefer to wait about two years before little GMScud's start roaming the earth.

Good luck SS!!

saden1 09-02-2010 06:22 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
I'm ready to be a dad, the question is "is she ready to leave her job to raise the child?" I hear these things don't feed and clean themselves.

Smooter 09-02-2010 08:30 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
You mean kids aren't always accidents? I'm 27 and my wife is 23 and we've yet to take that step. I've always wanted to have a nice house and been financially stable before having children. Now that we're at that point I find myself too selfish and don't want to give up my money and time. So for now we're gonna wait at least 3-5 more years and I'll just borrow family members kids for the time being. I'm definitely gonna keep an eye on this thread though. Good luck with your decision SS.

Schneed10 09-02-2010 08:55 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
I've mentioned before, I have two girls, one almost 4 and the other 13 months. I was 27 when my first was born, and she was an accident. We had planned for basically Scud's exact plan, age 30 for the first.

But the funny thing is, you will never feel completely ready, but you've been ready all along.

There's no mental adjustment that you need to go through. As soon as you hold the child for the first time, a switch will turn on. Suddenly you'll just feel it, everything you do will be with that child in mind, and that thought process will be effortless.

The workload of course is not effortless. Don't be scared of it, you can handle it, but know that it's a lot. Shop for car seats and cribs, paint the nursery, middle of the night feedings, diaper changes, pediatrician trips, scheduling your entire day around the nap schedule, etc.

But the nerves you feel about the idea stem from the unknown. You've simply never cared for an infant before, that's why you feel you're not ready. But you'd be amazed how fast you pick it up. I did not consider myself ready when we had our first, but I'm so glad we did. In a very short time my wife and I felt comfortable and at ease in caring for her.

There will be rough times, you and your wife will be tired and you'll get on each other's nerves and you'll feel stressed at times. Try to recognize the stress as simply a symptom of feeling your way through a new process, and do your best to treat each other with respect. You need each other.

There are things I miss about not having kids. Ability to travel on vacations, ability to spontaneously decide to go catch a ballgame or a movie, etc. But that's replaced by watching the kids play on the beach or in the pool, and it sounds corny, but you'll see how great that is. And besides, having the kids early may cramp your freedom now, but your 50s should be a good time for travel. I'm not sure what's worse, losing your entire 20s to raising children, or going straight from raising children right into retirement.

But I can just tell, SS. You've got your act together, you will be 100% fine, and you will love being a father. When you do have your first it will click for you. You may not feel ready now, but you are, it's obvious to me. Trust yourself and your wife, you will handle it wonderfully and enjoy all the labor that goes into it.

Schneed10 09-02-2010 08:58 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
[quote=saden1;726792]I'm ready to be a dad, the question is "is she ready to leave her job to raise the child?" I hear these things don't feed and clean themselves.[/quote]

We did daycare when we just had 1 child, and when the second came along my wife became a permanent stay at home mom.

You want to pick your daycare carefully of course, but ours was wonderful. Our oldest is very well adjusted socially from being around so many children, and has a nice head start on ABCs, writing, taking instructions, and basic math.

Now with the second, my wife gets to enjoy all the moments and shape her development herself. Both ways work just fine. Having a mom at home definitely takes a load off when it comes to managing housework, that's the big advantage. Weekends can actually consist of quality time together.

mredskins 09-02-2010 10:15 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
To say I was ready to be dad would be a lie. My relationship with my wife is much like GM as far as length of time together before marriage but shortly after being married we my wife became preggo.

The first year was very long and if both parents are working it gets even harder.

In the end it is very worth it and a love him a ton and would not change anything but to say it has been a golden brick journey would be lie.

KLHJ2 09-02-2010 10:29 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
I will keep this short and sweet. I have 4 kids.

1. You will never be ready, but once you have them you will never regret it.

2. No matter how much advice we give you on parenting or trying to prepare you, you are going to figure way more out on your own. Every child, situation, and family unit is different.

3. Good luck and have fun makin em!

redsk1 09-02-2010 10:56 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
If you wait til everything is perfect you'll be waiting the rest of your life. It'll never be. So, the answer is, you never know, you've just got to go for it. You'll be ready, you'll have to be ready.

BTW...expecting our 3rd now.

JoeRedskin 09-02-2010 11:11 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
Schneed and Angry said it very well. Too much good advice already given for me to add much - So I'll just reiterate what they have said.

You're ready (SS - I can tell, you will have a blast being a Dad, really!!). Even if you think you're not - you're ready. Don't worry, you'll figure out all you need to know. Finances will work out. Scheduling will work out. It's a bit of a leap of faith, but well worth the plunge. As I tell people, being a Dad is the best job I have ever had.

Finally, in the immortal words of Douglas Adams: Don't Panic.

mredskins 09-02-2010 11:13 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
[quote=redsk1;726831]If you wait til everything is perfect you'll be waiting the rest of your life. It'll never be. So, the answer is, you never know, you've just got to go for it. You'll be ready, you'll have to be ready.

[B]BTW...expecting our 3rd now.[/B][/quote]


Congrads!!!

JoeRedskin 09-02-2010 11:14 AM

Re: Are You Ready to be a Dad?
 
Smoot is going to be one of those Dad's whose kids thinks he knows [I]everything[/I] b/c he is filled with useless and semi-useless knowledge. You know, the kind of information small kids eat up. Plus, he plays catch with Drew Brees at lunch. - How cool a Dad is that?


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