There are plenty of things we all wish we’d known prior to becoming parents. After all, books and research and well-meaning questions can only take you so far. You can prepare by taking parenting classes, sure, but you’ll still end up unprepared. That’s the magic and beauty of parenthood. Society tends to place our focus on moms, but I think it's time we catch up with dads. I asked dads what they wish they’d known before becoming parents, and their answers were anything but similar.
Thinking back to my own experiences, I know there are two major things I wish I would have known. Because I lost my first daughter to prematurity, the first thing I wish I’d known was that pregnancy and childbirth often if not always catches us off guard. There was no way for me to know my daughter would be born at 5 months, just like there was no way to know my son would be born two days after his due date. Basically, I wish that I’d truly understood that there are no guarantees in parenting, or even in the process that leads up to it.
The second thing I wish I’d known was just how unbelievably challenging being a parent would be, and how significantly those challenges can and will change over time. I didn’t know that I would have issues with breastfeeding, and didn’t know that my son would have feeding issues up until today. When my son was an infant, I didn't know I would later miss those early days of sleep deprivation and want to exchange it for the toddler tantrums that are becoming way too commonplace. There's just so many chances you can't prepare for, and they all seem to happen from one second to the next.
The following responses seven fathers gave about what they wish they’d known vary from heartwarming to hilarious. They're also proof positive that while society likes to prescribe "dad jobs" and "mom jobs" to parents based on their gender, we're all equally clueless when it comes to this whole parenting thing. #Solidarity