Managing Your Fear
“I had no clue what I was doing. How do I braid her hair? What does she like for lunch? How do I set up a playdate? What do I say about what happened between her Mom and me? What do I do if she gets sick? What do I do when she gets her period in ten years?”
Take a breath, brother.
Take another one. I’ll wait…
Alright. Let’s call this what it is; scary. And that is what we are here for.
This is the main thing that is going to get in between you and being a Good Father. Not your ex. Not the financial stress. Not the disappointment of your family. Not your child’s distress.
Fear is the thing that sends a lot of other single dads running for the hills. But, you’re not going to do that. Because you love your kids more than that. And because you understand they need you in their life just as much as their mom. And you need them too.
Here’s the funny thing about fear. There’s a particular type of situation when it’ll show up every, single, damn time; when you’re on the verge of an experience that’s going to challenge you to grow.
Hokey? Maybe. True? Absolutely.
Think of all the (non-life-threatening) times in your life when you’ve felt fear. The first time you rode a bike. The first time you asked a girl to dance. Just before you took that important exam. The first time you got behind the wheel of a car. The first job interview. You get the idea.
This is the first time you’re going to be a single dad. You should be scared. I was terrified. But, you need to also recognize it as an amazing opportunity to pull up your big boy pants and challenge yourself to grow into this new role.
A lot of it you’re going to learn by doing. One day at a time. Don’t start thinking too far into the future right now. You’re just going to do your best every day. And most people, including your kids, are going to be very understanding of your efforts. And for those that aren’t…
This is about you and your kids.
And your ex. But, we’ll get to her later.