Otpor - Resistance, originally uploaded by Igor Jeremic
I don't believe you can ever truly be "ready" to have children. No amount of reading or instructional DVDs or even taking care of other people's kids can fully prepare you for parenthood. You just have to dive in, and learn as you go.
On the other hand, before we had our baby, I felt about as ready as I'd ever be. In the past two years I had a pair of nieces come into my life, and all my friends were having babies, so I had a good idea of what to expect. I was prepared for sleep deprivation and midnight feedings. I was prepared to change a never-ending stream of diapers, temporarily lose the use of one arm, and try to comfort a baby while she cried for hours. I was not prepared for her to fight me every step of the way.
I try to change my daughter, and she kicks and squirms. I try to give her a bottle, and she spits it out. I try to soothe her, and she screams. She's strong, and whatever I'm trying to do, she loves to resist me. And I love her for it.
I figured out that my fatherhood role is going to be a balancing act. I have to thwart her anarchic drives just enough so that she survives to grow into an independent young woman, but not enough to ever break her spirit. Which I guess makes one more thing that I wasn't prepared for.