“Pre-Dad Mode”

I made it… I survived the wild and crazy holiday season relatively unscathed. Not completely, but for the most part I made it through. I wanted to expand on my Christmas-y Stuff… 2016 post. (Definitely take a look there for a little background info on what I go through)

This year was a bit unique for me. Although it had the same hectic running around between families while stuffing my face with food, this year felt different. It wasn’t a “bad different”, I just felt as though I was on the outside looking in. I think I was experiencing “Pre-Dad Mode”.  I couldn’t help but think about how I would be as a Dad. So grab a cup of something good and let me take you on a journey through the mind of Kevin through the holidays…

First stop on the Evans holiday train was to my Mother-in-Law’s house. The wife and I felt that we needed to visit her Mom on Christmas Eve so that we would have enough time to travel and visit with everyone this year. It really was a nice time. We ate dinner, talked and caught up on things. I really felt good. I remember lying in bed that night getting the first inkling of “Pre-Dad Mode”. I wondered how it would be next year and what I would do differently. I just replayed the evening in my mind and tried to pretend how things would have played out if Baby X was involved. I imagined the four of us in her house, warm and cozy with the light of the tree; my child playing with the boxes and wrapping paper more than the actual toy.  I’m pretty sure I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

Getting up Christmas day, I was feeling pretty good. We got up early to head over to my parents’ house. My sister’s one and a half year old was there. Watching him bounce around the house really hit me hard. I instantly went into “Pre-Dad Mode”. It was like having an out-of-body-experience. I imagine my eyes were glazed over and I was drooling a bit. All I could think about was how I would be as a Dad. Would I be the crazy overprotective parent who was afraid to let their child open their own gifts because I wouldn’t want Baby X to get a papercut? Would I be afraid to let anyone hold my little kiddo without going through an operating-room-level-hand-washing procedure? Would I be the Dad with multiple cameras recording every single moment? It was only the sound of a highly annoying Tickle-Me-Elmo doll that brought me back to my senses. Sure enough, there was drool…

Later, as we headed for my Wife’s grandmother’s house, I brought up my concerns to Sara. While I could see the corners of her mouth turning upward in a grin, I’m glad she had the restraint to not laugh at me. (At least not right away) She assured me that after a little bit of time with the baby, I will be pawning off our child whether or not anyone even asks to hold them. Then she couldn’t hold back anymore and laughed and told me that I will be just fine as a Dad. Even though my Wife can sweet-talk me into just about anything, it didn’t really alleviate my fears. I decided to distract myself by singing Jingle Bells along with the radio at the top of my lungs. Sara was not amused…

Long story short, I made it through the rest of the day and evening traveling back and forth between families. We visited grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and even family friends. I was social. I talked and laughed, spread Christmas cheer, and ate more pie than I should admit. But each place triggered this “Pre-Dad Mode”. Every situation I tended to look at from the perspective of a Dad. Would my Father-in-Law’s rectangular coffee table end up giving my little one a bruise if I took my eyes away for a split second? Does the outside of Sara’s grandmother’s little electric heater get hot enough to burn my kiddo? Are the bigger kids too rough when they play? A thousand things crossed my mind all day long. I don’t think I truly relaxed and enjoyed the holidays. My mind just raced. It still does…

I don’t know if it’s normal or if I’m just in my head too much. I’m hoping it makes me a better Dad. All I know is that it’s part of my journey into becoming a Dad. One step at a time…

Thanks for being part of this journey. If you have any similar experiences or something to add, please feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with me.







One thought on ““Pre-Dad Mode”

  1. Pingback: Can’t Forget About Husband Mode… | Dad to the World

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