The Biggest Challenge for Men Starting a Family

Love is in the air this week, as many people around the world have been celebrating Valentine’s Day. And, of course, various types of love are celebrated, whether it be parental love, sibling love, friendship love or loving your pet! But most would agree that the focus is usually on romantic love at this time. And while at the start of a romance or infatuation, the couple are not usually thinking about starting a family, that is generally where romantic love leads for the majority of people. In today’s #ThursdayThoughts blog post, we thought we’d share a snippet of Owen Connolly’s wisdom on what it really takes to make a family. As usual, this is an excerpt taken from his book for fathers entitled “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: From Father to Dad”.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING A MAN AS HE PREPARES TO START A FAMILY OF HIS OWN?

The commitment that a man shows towards his partner and his children is extremely important in making his woman feel secure. That said, the biggest mental shift for a man upon getting married is the choice to truly commit. You can fall in love; you can be all kinds of sexy and all kinds of lustful, but commitment is a whole other thing. When you fall in love, you have all kinds of loving feelings flowing through you and that’s very natural and normal because your testosterone level is going absolutely crazy through your system. We were created so that when we fall in love, there is an actual chemical reaction that causes us to be madly in love with somebody. But that isn’t actually a preparation for marriage or fatherhood. Being a good spouse and then a good father requires a decision of the will to commit to that woman and your children no matter what may come.

Anybody can be a father but not many can become a daddy, because to be a daddy, you need to be committed to parenting and understand what your role is in your child’s life. You need to value the contribution that you have to make to the new life that’s been put in your care and understand how that new life will develop because of your input. So what I say to most men is that unless they really understand themselves and value who they are – in other words, are really happy in their own skins – it’s very hard for them to impart that kind of happiness to their children. The more and more you’re content with yourself and with who you are, the more you’re prepared for daddyhood as opposed to just fathering a child.

* If you are wanting to take that step from father to dad yourself, you may want to read through some of our earlier blog posts on upbringing and how that affects self-esteem. You can start here.

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