Thinking About Becoming A Dad? This Flow Chart Will Tell You If You're Ready.

Whether fatherhood is right around the corner or in the distant future, it's time to find out.

Many dads consider fatherhood one of their greatest life achievements, but that realization only comes after having successfully raised a child. For those thinking about becoming dads, however, having a child can feel like a big step on unsure footing. Who can blame them for being nervous? They've never done it before, and it's always scary to try something new. 

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So if you're thinking about fatherhood, but aren't 100 percent sure if you're ready to be a dad, this chart can help point you in the right direction: 

Are you ready to be a dad? flow chart
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That's right, no one is 100 percent ready to become a dad. All you can do is be ready to try your best. 

It's OK if your living space isn't fully child-proofed yet, if you're not up on all the latest parenting books and trends, if you don't know how to change a diaper, or even if you're aren't 100 percent emotionally and financially ready. While it's important you are able to provide some level of stability for a child, most people do not enter parenthood completely prepared because it's impossible to anticipate everything that might happen. 

As one dad, jdbrew on Reddit, put it, "The timing will never be perfect. There's always one more career move, one more step towards owning a house, one more zero tacked onto the savings account. I decided I was ready now, and she [his wife] agreed... In October of 2015 our oldest was born." 

After your child comes into the world, you might find that the tools to becoming a good dad don't always come from growing up with a good father figure yourself, or from having other dads around to give you fatherly advice (though that can certainly help). Parenting skills often come as you go, and there are so many online communities for parents, parenting groups, and dad blogs filled with people willing to help each other and answer questions along the way. 

And while every dad has their own perspective on the pre-fatherhood experience, one Reddit user summed it up pretty darn perfectly. "You never feel ready. Over time, you simply recognize the desire of wanting to be a father more than not," they said. "...The first time you hold the newborn in your arms, you realize that you love this new life, and will do everything in your power to care for it to the best of your ability." 

So, regardless of how ready you feel, just wanting to be a good dad and knowing you'll do everything in your power to eventually put that into practice is enough. 

This article is inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul's Being Dad, a television series about nine dads navigating the joys and challenges of fatherhood. Check it out now on Netflix.

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