Growing up, people always seem to give the same advice:
Do well in school so you get a good job and make lots of money Don't do drugs, because they'll kill you One day you'll meet your soul mate When you see your child for the first time your life will change
For the sake of argument; I only believe #2 on that list is true…but I got lucky and #3 became true for Me. Some would say #1 is the most basic and straight forward --but, #4 is why I'm writing this post.
My girl turns 1 next week -- and I've yet to experience this "magic moment". This is not to take away from those who have had this feeling…I just want you to know that people enter Parenthood differently.
Full transparency; I was probably to tense beforehand and had no idea what to expect. From participating in a 36 hour labor, yelling at nurses for clean sheets, and encouraging my wife to keep pushing…it makes it very difficult to understand how your Life is about to change.
That said, I do remember the moment I saw my daughter…The Doctor had her dangling in her hands -- then plopped on my wife's belly like a 16lb Brisket at a butcher house. Seriously, we're talking Hulk Hogan from the top ropes kind of scenario. Doctor had little remorse for this creature entering the world 7 seconds ago.
Since that day, she's grown up and developed her personality -- I still question "if she's real or not" often. There are moments I blank and just stare at her. It's hard for me to grasp being a dad….5 years ago I was single, running the streets late night and had little discipline. Now, all of the sudden I am responsible for this human who can't talk or walk -- but can only eat, sleep and poop??? S*** was just different.
But, I'm not writing this post to say there aren't "special" moments --- there are…100%! I'm trying to provide visibility to the Dad-World…that if you don't instantly feel a connection or see fireworks go off meeting your baby -- it doesn't mean you're a bad Dad…or your kid doesn't love you.
All it means…things take time. Get to know one another first - don't put so much pressure on yourself. Plus, I'll fully admit I didn't really like my daughter until se was 5 months old (jk) (but seriously). There is no manual to parenting -- take everything in stride. Figure out what works for you. 95% of parenting is just being patient and present -- the other 5% will just happen.
The bond I have with my daughter is #special. We're learning from each other daily -- and at the end of the day…even Mom knows she'll grow up being a "Daddys-Girl".