Where do You Start
Before becoming a dad, there are certain lifestyle foundations that you should have in your life. The foundations will be presented in two parts, so that brief explanation can be included. This is not an “include all” list. Even though there are more good foundations available, I have condensed the list with the highlights.
Setting Out to be the Dad that You Always Wanted:
1. Be a Good Person to be a Good Dad
A. Treat others with respect.
Respect is showing value toward someone for the good they do, not because they are prettier than you, richer than you, or can kick your butt.
B. Treat your wife/girlfriend as an equal.
The roles may differ in the relationship, but the roles are equally important and must be treated as such.
C. Your actions during the dating ritual will be how life will be shacking up or in your marriage.
Don’t expect to change each other after you are together in a committed relationship.
D. Marriage is better than shacking up if you want a family in the future.
It is harder to break up a family from marriage than a family just living together. In a marriage there is a stronger commitment and it is tougher to separate. This means you will have to try to work things out and not just quit when life gets tough.
E. Always seek your partner’s input.
Your partner’s input is important even if it is agreed that you are the primary decision maker. Be willing to change or modify your decision based on their input and then act on your decision. If your partner says, “Do what you want!” that is a threat to attack you with your decision later and a warning that they are not going to support the decision. Make sure that your partner actually supports the decision and will continue to support it. Two people wrapped in unity are stronger than two strands going in opposite directions.
F. If you changed your plans
Sometimes you may choose to follow the other person’s advice, then treat it as the best decision and work hard to make it become reality. This proves to your partner that you are willing to support them even if their idea was stupid. Don’t ever say that their idea was stupid or say “I told you so!” Those words are death sentences!
G. Failure is the fire in which success is forged.
After each failure, you must evaluate why you failed and figure out what you can change to succeed next time. Always blaming others is a cop out. It comes down to what you did and how you protected yourself against the adversities that are definitely going to come your way. If you don’t, you will do the same thing and have the same result. Someone has said that is the definition of insanity.
H. Take risks before you are responsible for other’s support.
Risks and even losses are okay. They teach you how to maintain control when things are not going your way. Failure teaches you what to not do the next time. One of the worst things you can do is go through life having never tried something that inspired you, only to have a relationship stop you from pursuing your dreams.
I. If you are a verbal or physical fighter
If you are a fighter before you get married, then you will be an abuser after marriage, ready to explode at anytime. A time bomb is a time bomb no matter where it is placed. Defuse and destroy the fuse before you get married or bring children into this world.
J. Manage your money and it won’t manage you.
If you have to rob Peter to pay Paul, make sure Peter is replenished right away. Write a budget, stick with it, and change it if you need to. Since I only get paid once a month, I use the envelope system . When my paycheck comes, I divide the money into expense envelops. Even the food budget is put into four weekly budgets to ensure that I survive for the month. Always estimate low on income and high on expenses. A great program to attend to learn how to manage your money in called Financial Peace by David Ramsey https://www.daveramsey.com/fpu.
K. Have a source of income.
For most this is called a job. Having steady, reliable income is important in your life before bringing children into this world. You don’t need to have a lot, but must be willing to live off of what you have. That is where the budget comes in.
L. For heaven’s sake stay in some semblance of shape!
Your kids and your wife want loving physical contact. Kids love to wrestle and tickle fight. They like to take turns chasing each other. You don’t have to be GQ or a muscle magazine cover photo. You can look like a pear as long as you can keep up.
Start Here and Keep Going
This was just the beginning. Part 2 goes into additional areas in preparing to become a dad.
I encourage you to leave me a comment and to keep your eye out for the second part of “Laying the Ground Work to Become a Dad”.
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