Monday, February 27, 2012

(Someone Else's) Reader Mail

One of the web sites that Mrs. Blackwell visits for her baby news, tips and facts recently ran a story for the "Top Ten New Dad Fears."

This particular column included reader-generated questions submitted to the site and then answered by a helpful mom. 

We here at Blackwell's Mark are just  a humble start up and admittedly, we've got a lot to learn, but we thought we'd take a stab at answering a few of these questions from a guy's perspective. Below are the questions and my answers.

"I'm scared that everything we do will now be centered around babies." - Hendrik

MY TIP: You're not alone Hendrik. The fear that your babies will dominate your life is a common one, mostly because it's true. Life as you know it is over forever. Sleep tight.

"I fear not being able to properly provide for my family once baby is here." - Brian

MY TIP: Brian, I'm glad you mentioned this. Money is a touchy topic and people are reluctant to admit not having as much as they'd like. Perhaps this is why most fathers are reduced to helpless bystanders who cleave to pennypinching by adjusting their thermostats in two to three degree increments. 

"Forward Tom! The hat works when turned forward!!!"
"I guess my biggest concern is that having a baby will force me to grow up. I'll have to drink less beer, play less video games..." - Tom

MY TIP: Tom, I didn't know you actually existed outside of television commercials and sit coms. Put down the beer and the PS3 controller, go for a walk and consider the choices you've made that have led you to become a walking stereotype. Also, turn your ball cap forward. 

"(I fear) lack of sleep, because it makes me really cranky." - John

MY TIP: I'm scared too John. I'm scared too. 

"Will I do everything right?" - Andrew

MY TIP: Andrew. Andrew. Andrew. Who left you with the impression that you ever did "everything right" to begin with? 

"All that crap will be everywhere around the house." - Nate

MY TIP: Yes. All that crap will be everywhere around the house. However, you do have the option of picking it up.

I shouldn't fail to mention that this site also included some touching questions from guys who were serious and had clearly worried about things like "not being a good father."

As best as I can tell, you can't allay all of your fears. New ones will always pop up to take the place of those recently eased. I've learned I can only seek to address what I think I need to know and, in the meantime, have a healthy respect for many the things I haven't thought of yet. 

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