The New Dad: Exploring Charts (and Hearts) Unknown
Fear. Excitement. Anxiety. Hope. Joy. Confusion. EXHAUSTION. These are words that should be written on every new parent guidebook. There is so much that comes with being a new parent, and though there are myriad books to explain step by step how to maneuver those first few years, there isn't a single book in the world that can prepare you emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. As women, we know and understand deep in our hearts what new motherhood feels like – from every angle. But what about new fatherhood? What does that look like, feel like, and sound like?
Meet Christopher. New dad to a gorgeous 2 ½ month old baby boy. He is learning everything firsthand, and as he tells it, he is blessed, humbled, and beautifully surprised.
Name: Christopher Crawford
Occupation: Business owner/Entrepreneur
Age of child: 2.5 months
What were some of your first thoughts when you found out you were going to be a father?
Shock, a little disbelief, excitement, complete and utter joy and happiness. I wanted to be a father for as long as I could remember and I wasn’t sure if it would happen, so when it did I was just completely humbled and thankful to God for blessing me with this opportunity. Words cannot truly convey all of the thoughts and feelings I had when I found out I was going to be a father.
Did you have a hope for one sex over another? Why or Why not?
I hoped for my first born to be a boy, but at the end of the day my hope was for a healthy baby. As far as why, I’ve just always wanted my first born to be a boy. I guess it’s the man in me.
Your son is here now. What was the first thing that went through your mind the first time you saw him? What were some of the emotions you experienced?
Amazement and so much happiness, contentment, and pure joy… I was filled with so much emotion. It was only the 2nd time in my adult life that tears filled my eyes (the other being when I lost my mom).
Is parenting all you thought it would be? Did you/do you feel prepared to be a parent?
Parenting thus far has definitely been a little more challenging than I expected, but on the flip side, it has also been the most incredible and rewarding experience of my life. I feel like I was prepared in some ways (desire, maturity, financially, spiritually, etc.), but I wasn’t prepared for how many questions I would have… a college degree, but dumb when it comes to newborn basics… lol. I’ve always known that being a parent can be hard at times, but I think that is something a lot of people don’t talk about too often. The tough times and challenges that come from parenthood - like having your child just cry and cry and not being able to soothe him, just hoping he’s not sick. Or just wanting to get some rest because you’ve gone weeks/months without knowing what it’s like to get a full nights sleep. It has been tough sometimes, but beyond worth it.
What has been the biggest shock or surprise for you since you've become a father?
I would probably have to say the way in which I love my little man. I mean, I love my wife with all my heart and the only one above her in my life is God, but to have someone who is completely and totally dependent on you is both a scary and amazing feeling. And it’s something you truly can’t understand until you become a parent.
What does the word “fatherhood” mean to you?
To me fatherhood means unconditional love, commitment, responsibility, complete trust in God, leadership, protector, teacher, provider, and friend. It means being the type of man that my son can be proud of and look up to… being my son’s hero. It means realizing that every decision I make from here on out will be viewed by a very impressionable mind that is looking for guidance and direction. Therefore I must make my decisions wisely because I know the old adage is true, that for the most part children do what you do, not what you say.
Lastly, what are your hopes and dreams for your son as he grows into a man?
First off and foremost I hope that he grows up to be an upstanding man of God. I want him to be a man of character and valor, a big dreamer and a hard enough worker to make all his dreams come true. I want him to be a leader; I want him to have the courage to create his own path, live his passion, and do whatever it is that will truly make him happy. I also hope that should he decide to have a family one-day that he will be a great husband and father… a man I am proud of. Overall I guess you can say that my biggest hope for my son is for him to find true joy in his life and to never let it go.