Ian Philpot

When I have spoken with other men about how I will be a father soon, I get two kinds of responses:

1. You’re excited now, but just wait… You have no idea.

2. This is such an exciting time for you! You are going to love your daughter so much.

Fathers say both of those phrases with smiles, but they’re very different smiles. One of them is warm and endearing, and it feels so encouraging to hear a dad tell me how great fatherhood is. The other smile is sly, and I feel embarrassed to for their children when they complain about them.

I fully understand that being a father will mean I will have nights that aren’t restful, days that are strained, and challenges I can’t even imagine right now.

But I don’t think those are reasons for me to lose my excitement.

What really bugs me is that people with a negative attitude are impressing their experience on me. That’s not fair to me, but it’s also not fair to my children.

I know that raising my children will not seem simple at times. But there are millions of dads around the world who handle it, and I can too.

So I’m looking forward to fatherhood and the struggles it may or may not bring. Either way, I will do my best to only encourage other fathers, because—as I’ve learned from my pre-dad experience—fathers need that encouragement.