Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Final Countdown: A Rookie Father's Introspection

Here I am. Staring down the final weeks before I make, perhaps, the single greatest transition of my life. I have been through a great deal of transition in my relatively short life and just digging back through my various blog posts I am amazed at all that has transpired in the short period of time that I have been blogging. But I am pretty sure that the next chapter of my life will prove more monumental and defined than any that has come before it. The transition I am referring to is that of fatherhood.

In a matter of weeks my lovely wife and I will bring a baby girl into this world. In some sense it has seemed like an eternity waiting for this moment. An eternity both in terms of the pregnancy/miscarriage/pregnancy journey we have endured and my lifelong actualization of becoming a dad. On the other hand, I feel like I am running out of time to "prepare" for the ceremonious shift that is fast approaching. As if one can ever prepare for a change like this.

Perhaps my converse perception of time is representative of the majority introspection I have done throughout this journey.

Emotionally I am overwhelmed by excitement and fear. Excitement in knowing that I have always wanted to be a dad and fear over whether I can pull it off. I can't wait to step into this new chapter alongside my wife but am terrified by an overwhelming sense of responsibility for their well being and happiness. I am so excited to see her little face but petrified on what to do after that moment. I imagine my feelings are common to most new expectant fathers but that doesn't make it any easier!

I also can't help but consistently think of the dynamic between the known and the unknown with regard to our family's future. I know that bringing a child into this world will be amazing and that it will forever change my life for the better. What I don't know is how parenthood will specifically alter our current existence and how it will change me. I know I won't get any sleep for the next six months but I don't know what our daily routine will be like. I have spent the last few months envisaging what our new life will be and not surprisingly the different visions of what our future could be are pretty broad.

Although my conscious introspection is wrought with paradoxical thoughts and emotions, my daily ideations and musings are much more random and (ironically) childlike. I can't help but wonder what she will be like. What will baby Blake's favorite color be? What passions will she develop? What will she look like? When will she stop thinking I am "cool?"

The combination of focused reflection and casual wonder can be mentally taxing and I must admit that I have been more tired than any time in recent memory. I can only imagine what my wife feels like! With that being said, I feel that we have harnessed our excitement for this life change and have continued to optimistically push forward towards our due date.

If there is one thing that eases my mind and reassures me that everything will turn out fine it is family. I am taking this journey with my loving wife who I have always felt is destined to be an amazing mother. I have been blessed with an amazing family and a set of parents who have given my brother and I a childhood that serves as a retrospective expose for successful parenting that I can follow and emulate. I married into a great family that provided the same loving environment and positive parenting example to my wife. So with that kind of lifelong support I feel like I have a foundation that will allow me to grow, develop, and flourish throughout my fatherhood journey.

After a few months of introspection I am left with just one question....am I good enough? Hopefully I can look back on a lifetime of trying to be the best dad I can and answer yes.


4 comments:

Carson said...

Congrats brother. Love reading your blog posts and figured this one worthy of a comment and some added reassurance that you will be one hell of a father. Say hey and congrats to Heidi for me. Keep on rocking.

Carson

Matt Bader said...

Thanks man. How are you doing these days? Still in Boston?

Alex Matheson said...

Bader,

Your wisdom and and life experience have prepped you very well for fatherhood. As a fellow recent father to a baby girl the one piece of sound advice I can give you is don't fear the inevitable change in who you are. You will become a puddle of goo the first time she smiles at you and the noises and faces you will make back at her and the way you will do anything to keep her happy and safe may seem like the most foreign sensation ever at first. But mark my words, it will over take you and the man you become as a result will be the true measure of who you are. Enjoy the ride with every ounce of energy you've got though because one things for sure, this ride never slows down!

Congrats Buddy!

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