On Sept. 15, 2013, my life changed dramatically.
I grew up in working class family. Not poor, not rich. My
parents are divorced but both have been always been involved in my
life. I have step-parents on both sides and they are equally
wonderful. I guess you can say I am lucky in that aspect because
there are a lot of stories about divorce and/or step-parents that
are usually negative. I don't have a story like that.
I am an only child. Why is that important? Well, because I don't
have any experience with children, as I might have with if I had
had younger brothers or sisters. Honestly, I know nothing about
kids. And an even bigger nothing about babies. But here I am, with
an infant by my side.
Prior to Sept. 15, I could walk through our door, sit down and
relax. I could grab a snack, something to drink, flip on the
television and watch my favorite show. I could grab my motorcycle
keys and tell my wife I'll be back in a little bit. My friends
might call on a Friday night and out the door we would go.
Those days are over. I'm a dad now. I'm a parent now. I have a
Here's the thing: I love it. I wouldn't trade this life for
anything. This whole family thing is exciting.
Hard? Not really.
Enjoying it? Every minute.
I do miss being a kid. Some people say they would do anything to
be young again and I would be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy
life before having a family. But I have to say, I like raising a
child better than being one.
As a matter of fact, this morning before I left for work, I gave
Brynlee a kiss on the forehead. She instantly smiled. To someone
with no kids, this might not seem like that big of a deal. But for
a new father, it does something near unexplainable.
It makes your heart melt.
To look into my daughter's eyes and feel the way I do is another
near-unexplainable feeling. Only another father can know what I am
Mothers have a different bond. A
just-came-out-of-my-body/part-of-me type of bond, if that makes any
My bond, as a father, is more of a reflection-of-self. I can see
myself in her. It's extremely intriguing and somewhat addicting.
How someone so small, who has characteristics of both of my wife
and I, is here in my arms, is just amazing. My vocabulary isn't
large enough to completely describe all of the emotions and
thoughts that run through my mind when I look my child in the
We do not have the physical bond that mothers share. Our bond is
strictly emotional. Have you ever seen a grown man cry? Probably
not, because it's pretty rare. But I can guarantee you that if the
emotional bond between the child and dad is broken, there will be
tears. It's that strong.
I am already freaking out about when she is in her teens, and
when she is ready to part from us. How am I going to deal with
dating? Or seeing her heartbroken? It's bound to happen. She will
be hurt, she will be taken advantage of, she will be lied to.
There's nothing that I can do about it, except be there for her
when she needs support. Every dad goes through this. You can't
change the inevitable.
She can always be daddy's little girl. I will always remember
her the way she is now. She will grow up and change, but not in my
heart. I will take care of her until I no longer can. I will spoil
her a little bit, but not too much. Not enough to make her lazy and
not a productive member of society. Enough to let her know that I
care and that I love her the most.
I hope she sees me the same way. I hope that I can be the best
dad in the world. I want her to think of me as the ideal father.
Will she? I don't know. Only time can tell.
Kevin Whitehead lives in the Southwest suburbs with his wife and almost one-year-old daughter Brynlee. He started PregoForMen shortly after finding out his wife was pregnant. He invites you along on his journey as he discovers just how much life can change in nine short months and beyond.
See more of Kevin's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.