It's a tough job.
If you and your lady are expecting, or if your new bundle of joy just arrived, I can only imagine the life-changing level of emotion flowing through you right now. It's a rite of passage that every new dad goes through.
You're afraid. You're thrilled. You have no idea what you're doing. But you're ready to learn.
As long as you have the latter, you'll be good to go.
I'll also nudge you in the right direction so you can chew on some universal truths of fatherhood.
You Won't Get Everything Right
Let's take that one off the table right away.
The biggest pressure that new fathers have is that which they put on themselves.
You want to be the protector and provider, and that's a natural instinct. However, take solace that this is a situation in which you will learn more as you go along, not something that you'll just understand all at once.
Besides, there's absolutely no "right" way of being a dad. You just give your heart, protection and wisdom, always try your best, and correct mistakes whenever you can.
You Need To Take Care Of Yourself
A good dad's first instinct is to sacrifice everything for his family.
While this is great, make sure you have something to give. Your capacity to give increases the more you take care of yourself.
Start a morning ritual and stick to it. People who jog a few miles every week find themselves going through everyday calm and in control. You'll also lower your blood pressure, so you can stick around and be healthy and active with your family.
Take some time to yourself to regroup and refresh so that you're able to take some stress out of the household, rather than add to it. Make this "you" time sacred.
Your Kid Only Wants You
Sure, presents are great.
It's also nice that you can do extravagant things for them from time to time. However, you're the common denominator in all of this.
Even Disney World alone doesn't mean anything if you're not there sharing those memories with them. Children need that bond with dad, -- especially daughters, who derive much of their self-esteem from a strong relationship with their father.
Put the phone down and be present with your child when you're taking time out for them. It's about the quality of the time you put in, rather than the quantity alone.
If you start with these suggestions as a foundation, you'll be in good shape for your fatherhood journey.