Yay! It’s story time! While we aren’t going to be whisked away on a grand adventure in Middle Earth (sorry Tolkien fans), we are going on a quick jaunt over to the local mall. I was over there a couple weeks ago with my daughter, as I am apt to do on a not so infrequent basis, when we were approached by a young man. He asked a poignant question, I gave an insufficient answer, and then I was inspired to shoot this week’s vlog!

Did you watch the video yet? You really should before you read any further, because I’m about to get into all sorts of spoiler territory. Don’t worry. These words will still be here when you get back.

Okay. You’re back? Good.

So, this young man asked if I had any advice for someone who was thinking about having a baby. This kind of question is fundamentally different from asking for tips and tricks as a new or expectant parent. In the case of the latter, the child is already a foregone conclusion. He or she is already here (or will be soon).

I’ve had some time to reflect on my life as a dad and I think I can narrow it down to the two most important points. First, understand that this is an all-inclusive kind of decision. Fatherhood comes with a lot of good, but it also comes with a lot of frustration and a heavy emotional burden. You have to take it all in stride and there’s no turning back. Quitting is not an option.

Second, do all the child-free things you want to do now. Love to travel? Scratch that itch, because traveling with kids is an entirely different experience. Want to pursue an all-consuming hobby? Get that out of your system, because you won’t have time for it when the kid arrives. The last thing you want is to resent the child for “stealing” these opportunities away from you. Your love should be unconditional.

When I asked my dad blogger friends what they would have said, the general sentiment was similar. Recognize that your life will be irreversibly altered when you become a father. Your priorities change as you learn that selflessness isn’t just desirable, it’s necessary. I turned to these guys for wisdom before I became a dad. They didn’t fail me then and they haven’t failed me now. As one of them said, support is everything.

And in the spirit of selflessness, I’m also participating in the #Donate3Challenge. We should all give to charity more often.

Did you miss last week’s vlog when we went for dim sum and harassed the lobsters? You should watch that too! And, as always, don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe on YouTube!