The New Dad Awakening

 The Championship Fathering blog by Carey Casey

It’s amazing to think that some of you reading today are brand new fathers, or soon will be. Believe me, you’re in for an awesome ride!

Do you know how long it was after we were married when I found out I was going to be a dad? Two months!

Father with his young baby cuddling and kissing him on cheekEven now, I remember what it was like to feel overwhelmed by the fact that I was going to be a dad. It was not easy or comfortable at first. And you know what else I found? Being a dad changed me. I felt like the importance of my life had just been taken up a notch. Tweet this! It was like I stood up straighter. Suddenly I had a bigger purpose than just my own needs and desires.

Guys have a taste of that kind of awakening when they get married. Being a husband is certainly a serious and noble calling as well, and demands our very best. But it isn’t the same. It’s been said that we don’t really learn what it means to live unselfishly until we become parents and have someone totally dependent on us. It adds a deeper level of responsibility and commitment even compared to marriage.

That’s some of what I was feeling all those years ago. I needed to grow up in ways I hadn’t thought about before. And over the months and years, that happened. I’m far from perfect, but eventually I accepted and grew into my identity as a father.

I was fortunate to have a good dad, and as I thought about the kind of model he was, I knew I had some work to do if I was going to pull off fatherhood like he did.

Maybe some of you didn’t have a good dad, so you didn’t have that standard to live up to. Even then, I hope you recognize that being a father is a high calling, and it will require the best in you to come forward. Maybe, like me as a young dad, you need to grow up in some ways.

If you’re a new dad, it’s okay to be a little unsure. A little in shock. In awe and wonder. But translate those feelings into a solid commitment to be a great dad. Don’t get worried if it’s more like a process than an instant transformation. In many ways, I’m still figuring out all it means to be a father and truly be there for my children.

So, congratulations new dads. If there are ways we can assist, that’s why we’re here. (And you might start by downloading our free ebook for new dads called Forming a Lifelong Bond. You can get it right here.)

Dad, what were your first days as a father like? What wisdom would you pass along to new dads? Please join the discussion at our Facebook page.

Action Points

  1. Take a short inventory of your “fathering heritage.” What good things did your dad do that you want to carry on? What shortcomings did he have that you want to improve in your fathering?
  2. Consider journaling, blogging, or creating videos or a photo scrapbook to preserve your memories and emotions during this stage of your fatherhood. (Your child will treasure it someday.)


Carey CaseyCarey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering (NCF), as well as a husband, father, and grandfather. He is author of Championship Fathering and general editor of The 21-Day Dad’s Challenge. See more about Carey here.

NCF is a nonprofit organization seeking to improve the lives of children and establish a positive fathering and family legacy that will impact future generations by inspiring and equipping fathers and father figures to be actively engaged in the life of every child. We encourage you to help us change the culture of fathering in America by joining the Championship Fathering Team. You can also sign up for NCF’s Today’s Father Weekly email here.

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