The thought of raising a daughter really scared me. I knew that relationships between fathers and daughters and the bond they form are often talked about as among the most important of their lives, and I wasn't sure if I was strong enough for the challenge.
I remember the day like it was yesterday: Four years ago, my wife and I walked in to get the ultrasound to determine the sex of our second child, and when the technician announced that we were having a girl, I went into shock. My wife says that it lasted about an hour or so, but I really don't remember. I do remember trying the best that I could to process what I had just heard, but after that, it's all a blur.
When my daughter was born, I instantly fell in love with her. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I knew my world had changed forever. I quickly warmed up to the idea of having a daughter, because all I had known up to that point was how to raise a boy. However, in the first two years of her life, she taught me more than I had learned in my lifetime. My new outlook on life was refreshing.
And then, two years later:
I was lying in bed when my wife came into the house, I could see her from the doorway walk into the kitchen, set some bags down on the kitchen island, turn around and head towards our bedroom.
"Babe -- don't panic."
"Why, what is going on?"
Nine months later, we welcomed our second daughter and our third child into this world.
So, now where do I stand? At the beginning, I was worried about having one daughter and now, suddenly, I've been blessed with two beautiful angels. My greatest fear is not knowing exactly how to raise them as they should be raised. But slowly, what I've realized through all my fears and anxiety is that as I was raising them and teaching them about life, they were also teaching me about life, and their message was much more powerful than anything I could have ever expected.
1. Women are always right. Always.
The Truth: Remember the old saying 'happy wife, happy life' ? Don't rock that boat. So if there every comes a time when something arises that depends on one of you being right and one of you being wrong, guess which one you are?
2. Women are never wrong. Ever.
The Truth: Remember the old saying 'happy wife, happy life'? Even if she says to you "Babe, the moon is made out of cheese," AGREE WITH HER!
3. Women can do anything a man can do. Anything. and in many cases do it better and more efficiently.
The Truth: Remember that time you cut down that 100 foot pine tree and removed the stump with your pickup truck by tying a chain to it and yanking it out? Then sawing the wood down into lumber and building a log cabin? They can do it faster, more efficiently, have it furnished and decorated, andhave dinner and laundry done all in the same amount of time.
4. Never, EVER ask a woman her age.
The Truth: Women want to be vampires and never, ever age, so do whatever you can to avoid that question. However if that question is necessary for some reason, always, always, unless she is obviously really young, tell her immediately after she tells you her age that she looks 10 years younger than what she answers.
5. If a woman asks you if her butt looks big in an outfit that she is trying on, change the subject.
The Truth: Men like big butts generally, but to make them feel confident and feel good about themselves, tell them what they want to hear and immediately change the subject before they trap you into more questions.
6. If a woman asks you if you think she needs to lose weight, say no and then change the subject IMMEDIATELY!
The Truth: ALL women think they need to lose weight even if they don't, so don't waste your time trying to convince them otherwise. Also, if you are one of the men who make the mistake of admitting their wives need to lose weight, be prepared for a LONG drought in the bedroom.
7. Compliment your woman OFTEN.
The Truth: All women love to be complimented as often as possible. It doesn't take much, whenever you see her tell her she looks great, if its an outfit, her hair or whatever, definitely invest in this time, it would pay off 10 fold in the future.
8. Bring something to occupy your time when you go clothes shopping with a woman.
The Truth: Sometimes we get trapped into going shopping with our wives. If you are lucky, most times, you can get out of it, but occasionally it happens and when it does you better be happy about it because she wants you there even less than you do, so bring something to help pass the time and try to be as supportive as possible. Be as honest as you can without making any bad remarks about HER appearance. If you don't like something, maybe say something about how you don't like the color, or the shape, or the way it hangs on her -- but NEVER EVER say anything negative about how she looks, I just can't stress this point enough.
9. Women are smarter than men (don't even try and argue this one)
The Truth: This will be a bitter pill to swallow for some of you, but women like to think that they are smarter than men, and even though women and men are just as smart as the other, always agree with their logic, ideas and opinions and never make them feel like anything they ever say is stupid or wrong -- remember their opinion is just as important as yours.
10: Use Instruction Manuals
The Truth: It drives women crazy whenever we try and put something together like a piece of furniture of a toy and we bypass the instruction manual. Often times this leads to frustration, arguments and a lot of wasted time, so to to avoid all of that, no matter how much it effects your ego - start using the instruction manual. It once took me two days to built a bookshelf together, this advice could have saved me.
These are some of the very important life lessons I have learned since having daughters. Maybe it's because I was forced to open my eyes in regards to women, their needs, wants and desires, or maybe it's because I've slowly been brainwashed and now outnumbered by the opposite sex. Now how exactly did having two daughters, one whom is still in diapers and one who is just 3 years old teach me these valuable life lessons?
Because they planted a seed in my heart that I never knew existed, and I'll be forever grateful.
Follow Michael Cavender on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Daddyfishkins