Growing up without a father, I never had the opportunity to play with him, look forward to showing him my achievements, or even learn the things I needed to know. The uncertainty of what to do and how to love our children the right way has been a source of doubt and fear for me from the beginning.

We live in a society where it is not okay for a man to fail, be sensitive, or show weakness of any kind. I have been able to be all of those things with my wife—and my children—and their love has made me strong.

I love being able to coach sports and practice lines for school plays.

I love playing chess and seeing the amazing way logic takes over our son’s face.

I love seeing his eyes light up when we are able to go outside and throw the football.

I love the sound of our daughter’s voice as she prays with overwhelming faith.

Our kids have a safe place to say what is on their mind. Sometimes so safe they can’t stop, but that is also what I love!

I remember being the kind of guy that could only want beer and football on Sundays… well I still want these things, but I want it with my family. It makes me smile to think of my wife sitting next to me cheering and excited watching the game.

I love that our son literally bounces off the couch when a touchdown is made, and I love that if he could, he would wear that jersey until it was only a couple of threads.

These are things I thought I would miss after being married, but they are in fact the things that make me love being a husband and father even more.

I often think of what kind of men and women our children will turn out to be when they grow up and have families of their own. They are growing so fast.

One thing I am sure of, is that I don’t totally know what I am doing. (I think that it probably wouldn’t be much fun if I did!) Even knowing that, I am not one bit worried because we figure it out as we go along. I love my family more than they’ll ever know, and I absolutely love being a dad.

Having a newborn is challenging at the best of times, but during forced isolation and in a climate of fear and uncertainty, it can become overwhelming.

The coronavirus pandemic is setting up our communities for genuine mental health concerns. This may be especially true for new parents. When will 'normal' life return? How will I pay for diapers and baby food? Will my mom be able to help us now? What if my baby or my family get COVID-19? Unfortunately, no one knows the long-term impact or answers just yet.

Most families have built a network of social support by the time they have their first child—if they don't already have a support system, they develop one through various baby classes and groups set up for parents. The creation of the village can be instrumental to the mental health of new parents. Social distancing, the lockdown of cities, and isolation will inadvertently affect the type of support available.

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