So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

If I can put my finger on a single event that would change the course of my life, it would be the day my daughter was born.

On September 17, 2013, I became a man . . . well, at least I thought I did. See, the nine months leading to that day, I did everything I thought a man would do to be ready.

Side note: this wasn’t planned. As a matter of fact, the initial news scared the crap out of me.

I got a new job, put my “hobbies” to the side, and ultimately started thinking about the future. I was 23 years old and at the time I felt like I was mature for my age. I had a good head on my shoulders and always took a positive approach to everything. Also, I am extremely blessed to have great parents.

My parents divorced when I was 12 and, luckily for me and my siblings, they remained close. It was more difficult for my sister and me, being the older kids and fearing that our relationships with our parents would change. My brother grew up with this and my father made sure to always be around.

Seeing my dad sacrifice and be there for us no matter what made me feel like being a father is something I can do. He set the ultimate example of what a father is. I knew I had what it takes because it was in my DNA.

I had no idea how much I would grow and how hard it would be.

Remember this wasn’t planned nor was it something I even remotely thought about at the time. I was enjoying my life and lived carefree. The thought of the future wasn’t on my mind at all. Goes to show you how “mature” I thought I was.

Speaking to other parents, you realize whether you plan or don’t plan, being a parent has its challenges. I’m so thankful that naturally, I was able to prioritize my life and put my kid first. I realized that what I wanted at the time wasn’t important and being a father was my calling.

My daughter became my why and my reason for living.

I wasn’t motivated before her. I wasn’t grateful before her. I took life as it came and reacted. When she came into my life, I had a purpose that would propel my mindset to the bigger picture. Not being prepared for a kid meant I had to eat crap. I had to do things I didn’t love for money and I had to put my stuff to the side. It honestly didn’t matter to me because I knew this was for her.

My daughter is six now and I can say that I’m in the best place of my life. I have a beautiful relationship, I have a positive and healthy mindset, and most importantly, I have grit. I’ve gained skills that push me through adversity. Things like patience and hard work are some of the skills that I believe are the key to success. Add those with a “why” and I knew in time I could create the best life for my kid.

It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t.

I’m constantly faced with challenges and adversity, but because I’ve fought through and remained true to myself and my kid, I have this unstoppable mindset that keeps me positive.

Related: Being a Dad is the Best Gig There Is

I don’t recommend rushing to have kids. If you can wait until you’re mentally and financially established, more power to you.

I will end it on this: a hard life stinks but a hard life builds strength and confidence that will make life easy. My daughter sent me on a whirlwind but I’m grateful for every second of it.

Stephen Cordovano

I’m Stephen Cordovano. A proud, proactive dad of a silly/sweet 6 year old that has me wrapped around her finger. I created The Good Dad Movement to inspire a community of fathers who are on a mission to love and lead their families the right way. I  am here to help likeminded dads to navigate the trials and tribulations of parenting with positivity, humor and compassion.

To the Stay At Home Mom From Your Husband: I See You

In: Fatherhood, Marriage

To the woman who sacrificed her comfort zone—leaving her family, friends, and everything she’d ever known—to follow her new husband across the country for his job: I see you. To the wife who pours herself into making a house her home, only to have to move again: I see you. To the wife who put her career, education, and personal pursuits on hold for the sake of her family: I see you. To the mom who went through pain and misery for nine months, only to have motherhood turn out to be nothing like she’d dreamed and longed for it...

Keep Reading

I Struggled With My Son’s Diagnosis, But Found Hope in the Special Needs Community

In: Fatherhood, Tough Times

When I found out I was going to be a father I was beyond excited. My wife and I had been trying to conceive for years before she got pregnant. So, when she told me I was going to be a father I wanted to shout it to the rooftops! I made sure to call my wife every day at work to make sure she ate lunch. I’m sure I annoyed the heck out of her. We later found out that we were having a boy, and started to plan everything. We started to paint the baby room with blues...

Keep Reading

My Son is Growing Up, But I’ll Hold On To the Pictures Forever

In: Fatherhood

A certain part of my heart longs for these moments to never change. I look back on pictures like this one, where my oldest son tastes the salty breeze on his lips for the first time, feeling the sand underneath his toes and laughing out loud at this wholly new experience. I look back and want to freeze it, but in something more than a single picture, more solid than a flimsy memory, more lifelike in substance than what a camera can fashion. RELATED: Stay With Me a Little Longer, Daddy Because that little person who could not stand without...

Keep Reading

I Want My Sons to See How Important It is to Cover Your Wife

In: Fatherhood, Marriage

Transparent moment—I did not always do the best job of covering my wife. Early in our marriage, I was often guilty of being selfish. Our first of four childbirths had contentious moments. From the whistle I jokingly wore on our first trip to the hospital while she was in labor, to me telling her in the midst of her frustration that if we didn’t have the baby that night, she could decide if she’d go into work the next day—I’m not proud of the way I handled some of the challenges. RELATED: 5 Ways To Love Your Wife After the...

Keep Reading

Dads: Your Kids Love Doing Things Because They Get to Do Them With You

In: Fatherhood

This piece was co-written with the author’s husband, Nathan Glenn. I remember my husband taking our daughter golfing for the first time and wondering if she’d enjoy it like he did. He’d dress our kids up in Pittsburgh gear, hoping they’d love the Steelers and Pirates and Penguins as much as he does. When we imagined our someday kids, he hoped he’d have someone that would want to play catch with him and go sit on the banks for hours fishing. Now here we are over a decade into this parenting three thing, and our oldest has her own clubs...

Keep Reading

This British Dad’s Parody of Orlando Bloom’s Daily Routine Has Us Cracking Up

In: Fatherhood

Two men on the same parenting journey see things a bit differently. Read to the end for this British dad’s hilarious take on what it’s like to be a father if you’re not a famous A-list celebrity. Ever since his cinematic debut as Legolas in the Lord of the Rings film series, celebrity actor Orlando Bloom has been capturing hearts around the world. Let’s be honest, we all know why our wives were so excited when Pirates of the Caribbean hit theatres. Outside of fantasy, there’s not much that makes Mr. Bloom relatable to the average Joe. However, parenthood tends...

Keep Reading

How My Husband Used a Classic Dad Move to Teach a Lesson in Gratitude

In: Fatherhood, Marriage

“Don’t make me pull this car over!” I bet you’re picturing your dad driving the family station wagon and shouting this over his shoulder at the peak of lost sanity while on a family trip. Or maybe fast forward, and it’s your own carload of kids! In the world of classic dad moves, this one might be boss. My husband pulled this move recently. Except, this cool cat put such a beautiful, modern, mindful dad twist on it. RELATED: Here’s to the Dads Who Keep Calm When Their Kids Are Losing it First came a long full day of family...

Keep Reading

My Arms Will Always Be Open For My Baby Girl When Life Gets Hard

In: Fatherhood

I’d intended to write a sweet, good-natured post to accompany this picture. I’d intended that post to exude the love I feel for my daughter and the happiness she brings to me each time she smiles. I’d intended to convey, in some small way, just how much joy she brings to our lives each and every day. And I’d hoped that this post would serve as a pleasant trigger point for these feelings whenever I looked back upon them in my increasingly fast-approaching dotage. Until . . . Until she spent this entire day crying. And crying. And crying. Until...

Keep Reading

Embrace the Grind and 4 Other Things I Want My Son to Know

In: Faith, Fatherhood

My youngest child, our son, turned 4 years old recently. I’m amazed at how much he mimics those around him. At this stage of development, he is easily influenced. He watches me, his mother, his sisters, his preschool teacher, and his peers very closely. He repeats what he sees in movies and on TV shows—even hilariously shouting at the top of his lungs, “I’m living alone! I’m living alone!” at a family gathering after watching Home Alone over the holidays. It has me thinking. These next few years could be very important to shaping the kind of person he will...

Keep Reading

Someday My Son Won’t Need Me Anymore, But I’ll Always Be There If He Does

In: Fatherhood

At the beginning, the world splays out in front of us, wide and open and always at least a little bit terrifying. The fear never really goes away as we age, but our world certainly seems to grow smaller over time. My boy is nearly three, with yet another demarcation point in his life coming up as his birthday month looms before us. He seems older already. His personality flexes and evolves on a daily basis, as he seeks to sort out his part in this life and as he strives for self-sufficiency and independence in all facets of living. He...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections