Saturday, April 19, 2008

Transition to Fatherhood

Over the years, it has been encouraging and challenging to me to think about the prospect of fatherhood.  It's amazing to hear the remarks of so many dads in so many contexts, and then wonder what it would be like to actually be a dad.

I have wanted to be a dad for quite a while, so that certainly affects my response to this transition.  And I realize that different people act, react, and cope with changes in different ways.  However, I would like to say that, in my opinion, the transition to fatherhood is nowhere near as dramatic as many have said.

Don't get me wrong: Taking care of our newborn is not exactly easy, and it currently involves nonstop care.  But it's not difficult, either; it's just time consuming.  My so-called pastoral schedule is essentially non-existent at this point, but we are only three weeks into my son's life, and things are already getting back into what I would call a new normal.  No, things will never be the same for my wife and me, but instead of letting that sound like a negative, I want to unequivocally and clearly state that it is a huge positive.  Even though it's extra work, it's not hard, and we absolutely love having this new addition, our son.

Many times I've heard statements from fathers who questioned whether the transition to married life or the transition to parenthood was a more dramatic change.  For me, I can say that the transition to being a husband was more prominent than becoming a father, but both were smooth transitions.  Neither change has to be dramatic or traumatic.  The key is remembering that my life is not my own (it is God's), and that I cannot be a good husband or father apart from God—I am completely dependent on a God who loved us so much that He came to serve an undeserving crowd.

So, to any reader who might be awaiting marriage or parenthood, for what it's worth, let me give my perception of life as a husband and new dad.  If you know and draw your strength from God, and prepare your mind for the changes, neither transition has to be difficult.  In fact, it can even be relatively smooth and comfortable.

You know, I had been wondering what would bring me out of my blog posting slump.  Since February 13, I had lost track with trying to write and publish here.  But I knew that something big at some point, like for instance, becoming a father (!), would bring renewed impetus to writing.

Before, the problem seemed to be: having enough time to write all that I wanted to write.

Now, as a father of a newborn, having enough time to write should not be a problem....

And even though that last sentence drips with sarcasm, I actually hope to write more, and more frequently, in the coming days regarding some thoughts on family, parenting, and specifically fatherhood.  I count it a blessing and privilege.

Comments are welcomed.