Dads and Moms Speak Out

By Gerald Korson

First-time fathers generally share an outlook of joy, hope, and responsibility as they greet their new child. Here’s what some of the dads and their wives had to say:

On how fatherhood has changed him:

“I don’t know that becoming a father changed my husband, as much as it increased his drive, dedication and love for his family. It is so important to him that his children grow up knowing that he was always there for them, and that they have the best life he can possibly provide. He would sacrifice everything for his family, and I love him for that.” — Cassandra “C.J.” Wagner, wife of James Wagner (daughter, Zoe, June 9, 2006; twin daughters Macie and Violet, Feb. 23, 2008), Corinth, Texas

 

John Paul and Ali Poelman and son Benedict

“Having a son really made me appreciate just how beautiful children are. I knew I liked kids before becoming a dad, but my son has made me laugh more often than I could possibly keep track of. Of course, he’s also had the odd ability to highlight my flaws and really make me examine my own life as I raise a son.” — John Paul Poelman (wife, Ali; son, Benedict, April 17, 2008), Anchorage, Alaska

“Fatherhood has brought out his ‘special daddy powers’ (as we call them), when he can soothe our son’s cries and rock him to sleep when I cannot.” — Ali Poelman

“Fatherhood has made my husband show his sensitive side to someone else and she loves it. He has not missed a beat when it comes to caring for me or our daughter. He seems like a more fulfilled man now that he has a beautiful little girl to attend to.” — Galena Seiler, wife of Jason Seiler (daughter, Gabriella, Aug. 11, 2008), Clifton, Va.

 

James Wick and daughter Katherine

“Fatherhood has brought out a protective side I had never seen in my husband. He’s always been good with kids, but watching him with our daughter is amazing. He is so good with her and does anything and everything — from changing dirty diapers to playing with her to giving her a bath every night. You can tell he loves her so much and it’s just so awesome to see them together.” — Carrie Wick, wife of James Wick (daughter, Katherine, June 17, 2008), Hewitt, Texas

On strengthening their marriage:

“It certainly has brought me closer to my wife. It’s great to look at your child and then look at your spouse and know you created that. Having a child will create more stress, obviously, but it also wakes you up to the wonderful qualities in your spouse you didn’t know they had. My wife is a wonderful mother.” — Matthew Moore, (wife, Alissa; son, Jackson, Aug. 8, 2008), Greenville, S.C.

“Our son has brought us closer together. For example, there are the many sleepless nights, causing me to be grumpy the next day. However grumpy I may be, my husband still loves me through it all. He reminds me about how beautiful I am, even when I am half-frazzled with exhaustion. My relationship with my husband has grown immensely.” — Ali Poelman

“The birth of our daughter has renewed our affection and devotion to each other. We both have become more considerate of each other’s well being and become a more solidified team in the past two months.” — Galena Seiler

“My wife and I are closer than ever, and there isn’t a moment that goes by where we both try to think of ways we can be together as a family.” — James Wagner

 “I would say becoming parents has made our marriage stronger, and definitely made our relationship stronger.  Our marriage changed from a focus on ‘we’ to a focus on ‘us’ as a family.” — Cassandra “C.J.” Wagner

“My wife and I are really in sync now. We are tired together, happy together and love each other even more.” — James Wick

“Our daughter has been wonderful for our marriage. We’ve always had a very strong relationship, but Katherine has strengthened it. Our love for her has increased our love for each other, and we have really come together as a team to raise our daughter. We are more loving towards each other and we’ve both grown in patience for each other’s little quirks. All of that just takes a back seat to our daughter!” — Carrie Wick

On a renewed sense of purpose:

“It has really made me realize even more my role as a provider and a protector for my daughter and also my wife. Our daughter is our world, and being there for her and protecting her first and foremost.” — James Wick

“I find myself contemplating decisions that will affect my family with much more attention and anxiety, as I know now that I am making decisions that affect not only Laura and me, but my child, too.” — Anthony Procaccini (wife, Laura; daughter, Isabelle, June 24, 2008), Alexandria, Va.

 “Knowing you are solely responsible for a tiny, helpless baby gives you a new level of commitment and passion for both the miracle of life and the person you created it with that you never knew was possible… . I will continue to work hard to make it a better world for them and for all of us, all for the glory of God.” — James Wagner

On enriching their faith:

“After praying for three years for my wife and me to become pregnant, we were blessed with the news of being pregnant on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. On Aug. 18, we were happy to bring into the world our first child, Ava Maria. I will never forget the first time I got to look my daughter in her beautiful big eyes. My heart melted. It is worth all the prayers and sufferings of those three years just to be able to love my daughter. God blessed me with a great wife and a beautiful daughter, whom I both love greatly.” — Matthew Gibson (daughter, Ava Maria, Aug. 18, 2008)

“My wife and I are strong in our faith. That said, the knowledge that our little girl will look to us first for religious guidance is a humbling thought. It has made me turn to my Catechism and Bible, to ensure that I never give her a wrong answer. That my wife and I are doing this together helps us to grow in our faith in God, and in each other.” — Jason Seiler

“My faith has grown tremendously. I constantly pray for strength and patience, and thank God all the time for the blessing that is our daughter.” — James Wick