My Unsolicited Advice to New Fathers, but Especially to Brian Bozzo
We go way back! Long before he was my partner at Knots Apparel, Brian and I were true partners in crime. We met in high school on the cross-country team and have been best buds ever since. We’ve really been through it all together!
Brian and his wife are expecting their first child in a matter of weeks. So as Father’s Day approaches, I felt it was only appropriate impart a couple of nuggets that I’ve learned in my few short years as a father. Those that know me, know that I jump at any opportunity to give unsolicited advice. The fact that this is going to be so public makes it even more irresistible! So here we go:
PJ’s Unsolicited Advice on to all new fathers, but especially Brian Bozzo.
· Be confident, but carry no expectations – You got this. You already know everything it takes to be a great dad. Think about all the great examples you have around you. Your own dad, Grandfathers, Father-in-laws. Use them as your guide. But don’t think there is a secret sauce to fatherhood. Every situation is different and you can’t compare yourself or your relationships to others.
· Show up and be present –Half the battle is just showing up (isn’t that a famous quote?). Don’t let the other facets of your life get in between you and the time you have with your wife and kids. Parenting is much more enjoyable when you are fully present.
· Try to learn more than you teach- I thought being a father was all about instruction and teaching. I wanted to be the ultimate sensei for my kids. However, I’m discovering that I build a much deeper bond when I’m actually in “learning mode” instead. Absorb everything you can, cause your kid is pretty awesome!
· Breathe. - I’m not a very patient person. Parenting requires all the patience that I can muster up, so taking a deep breath occasionally when things get frustrating helps to re-frame the situation for me. Still learning here….
· Laugh and enjoy every moment – “…because it will go by so fast” are words spoken by every Grandparent that ever lived, so maybe we should listen. But seriously, if I had the ultimate day surfing and caught a bunch of great waves, the best part of my day would still be some small exchange between me, my wife and my daughter. So soak it in!
· Invest in your wife – Let’s be real. Fatherhood is a gift and you wouldn’t be a dad without your wife. Not only that, no matter how dedicated of a dad you are, she’s still doing more than you. Make sure you always appreciate that. Spend some alone time with her too! ….I gotta do a better job here.
So there you have it. Fool proof, right? I should definitely add the disclaimer that by no means do I claim to have mastered any of these, but I’m working on it.
For all those more experienced Dads out there: What did I miss? What are your keys to being a great Dad?
To the new Dad’s (and especially Brian P. Bozzo): GOOD LUCK!