Fatherhood was always something I looked at with tinted glasses. It was this blurry thing that I could possibly see in my future but based on not having a constant male figure in my life growing up, it was something I wasn’t sure I’d ever be equipped to be successful at. While my daddy issues caused me to overthink my own father potential, one part of the equation I rarely gave much thought to was the mother of my unborn child.
Once I found out that my wife and I were expecting our first child—everything changed.
In the months since my wife shared the news of our bundle of joy, my thoughts have been less about my potential shortcomings and strictly about the potential. Within my soul mate’s womb lies our future. A mini-me or mini-her that has already changed our lives forever. For the better.
Marriage is hard work and anyone who says different is a liar. After you say, “I do,” you actually have to start doing. Over the course of the past four-and-a-half years of marriage my wife and I have had our fair share of ups and downs, our rough patches and growing pains. Thankfully, there’s never been anything of “Lemonade” proportions in our story but life on the other side of the broom isn’t always as sweet as it is in the movies.
The reality of creating a life has only enhanced our own.
I can honestly say that I love my wife more each day, and that’s become even more apparent through the bonding experience our journey to parenthood has afforded us. Naturally, I find myself more affectionate and protective. I go out of my way to ensure her random cravings for Butterfingers are satiated quickly, even if that means going out of my way and taking the long way home.
In the long run, a few extra steps are a small price to pay for the larger sacrifice she is making for us. This woman who I love with all my heart has given up her body for the greater good of our family. She’s put her own comfort on hold for that of our child’s. She will likely undergo great (but hopefully not too much) pain just to push our child into the world.
As a man, all I can do is wait, watch, and praise her for braving the journey.
The highlight of my day is no longer binge-watching “The Walking Dead” or hitting the gym to decompress from work, it’s the opportunity to snuggle up against my wife and rest my hand on her growing belly as I await a subtle kick from our unborn child. The simplicity of it all puts everything into perspective.
Family is the most important thing in the world.
Before getting married, family to me only included my mother, siblings and a few close cousins. But after I got hitched, that extended to include my wife and her immediate family. But now that we’re expecting, that’s expanded even further to include my wife, our soon-to-be-born child and myself.
Starting a family of your own is a surreal experience. It’s not something you’re born into or sign a legal document to become a part of. This family is something we created together. It’s a beginning and a continuation all at the same time.
Although we’re still a few short months away from meeting our offspring, my wife and I are already parents in my heart of hearts. While some might think it’s too early to celebrate Mother’s Day, but I consider this our first opportunity to celebrate what we’ve started and take a moment to reflect on the amazing sacrifice my wife has made. At the very least, it’s just another excuse to tell her how much I love her today and every other day.