Again, I am no expert. I have no children of my own and no real desire to see what a little version of myself looks like. I am a son, though. I have also had the honor of being present as my stepdad stepped forward to be the man I needed. For 30 years, I have been proud to call myself his son. In that time, I have learned the following.
Modern manhood is about work, and only your best, but not for yourself, for someone much more important. Here, I am not just talking about your job. Your job should be about fulfilling your aspirations. It should also be about providing and/or creating a home for your family. The work I am referring to is about being present. It is about passing along the best of yourself to your children. It is about putting their needs first. A true love and sense of sacrifice should lead the way here.
Fatherhood is also about forgiving. Children need us to forgive their mistakes. They are so small and have much to learn. When they fail, discipline, but offer guidance. Show them an alternative path. Also, allow your children to fail. They need to learn this feeling well. Let them fail on their own accord. There are life lessons to be learned here.
Men, don't worry so much about being strong. Retire old notions about being a man and being a dad. In your relationship, find your role and realize it will fluctuate based on the situation. At times, you will be called upon to lead and be firm, and at others you will need to follow and show some emotion. Embrace the ride.
Fail forward. As a parent, you will make mistakes. When you do, learn from them. Be open to new ideas, even if the audience providing feedback is your children. To me, the parent/child relationship is a conversation with the goal of being full partners in the life of your kid(s). You will fail. They will fail. You will succeed. They will succeed. Both should forgive.
Finally, show up. Be present. Love. These are of the utmost importance. Half of the battles in this world are won by showing up. The other half are claimed by being present. And In all that we do, love should be our guide. I know this to be true, because my parents often proclaim there is no love like the one you have for your children. I love my parents unconditionally, because they were there for me and they were present. As a child and a modern man, that's all I needed.
Thanks for entering my world,