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By Nicolas Callegari , on the one hand – writer, gamer, full-time sci-fi geek, and future rock star.  On the other – first time dad, stumbling his way through parenthood one lesson at a time.  Visit his blog

I’ve always been one of those okes who really didn’t think about having a family.  In fact, for a number of years I was pretty outspoken about the fact that I actually didn’t want kids for a very long time, if at all.

The truth is that I was pretty comfortable in my life.  I have a beautiful wife, a good job, a nice house, a motorbike, a V8 Land Rover and hobbies that include playing drums, PC gaming and paintball.

In all honesty, I was going to avoid the baby question as long as I could and eventually, well, let’s just say that time caught up with me.  I turned 30, as did my wife, and the clock started ticking.

So I manned up – literally – and we fell pregnant.  And so began one of the most disruptive, harrowing, stressful and tiring rollercoaster rides of my life.

credit:goodtherapy.org

credit:goodtherapy.org

But do I regret it? Oh hell no.

As a father, you’re no less of a man than you were before.  Being a “man” means being a pillar for your family, using your manliness to protect and encourage your family and demonstrating compassion and love for those you hold most dear and being completely comfortable doing it.

I remember listening to a talk once by a pastor from the US named Mark Driscoll (here’s the talk if you want to have a listen) who spoke about what it meant to be a real man.  He said a lot that resonated with me, especially that real men don’t lead with fear.  Real men don’t resort to violence and bully people into respecting them.

Who’s more of a man?  The guy who steps into a boxing ring and wins by knock-out in the first round, or the guy who sits and enjoys a cupcake made form mud at his daughter’s tea party?

Yes people will say that you’re delusional thinking that endless sleepless nights, sick children, your affected sex life, the lack of personal time and the stress of having a child, or children, is worth it when you get a smile or the first “dada” that come out of their mouths.

I concede, parenthood isn’t for everyone.  There are people out there who are not cut out to be parents or just don’t want to be parents.  And I respect that decision.

But, in the same way, I think parents, and fathers in particular, deserve the same respect and recognition for making the decision to be parents.

Make no mistake, it’s tough and it will test you and your marriage to your limits, but know this, you’re as much, if not more, of a man as a dada than you were when you were single and living the life of a predator.

All I can say is my son made me a better man and I hope to goodness that you feel the same about your kids.

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