Being a new dad almost broke him — until one moment changed everything.

"I was a horrible father, and I knew that from the very beginning."

Those are the words of a new dad named Art who offered a not-so-flattering assessment of his parenting abilities.

But in his defense, being a new parent is no joke.


Babies are fussy, toddlers refuse to listen, and it can seem like a herculean feat just to make it to bedtime with your sanity intact. In Art's case, he realized that he may have been in over his head from the jump.

After feeling overwhelmed by fear and anxiety once he looked into his baby boy's eyes for the first time, he approached the delivery room nurse and told her something he thought was embarrassing:

GIFs by Upworthy/YouTube.

The nurse's response? "He doesn't know that."

The lightbulb began to flicker in his mind about his ability to be a dad, but the challenges of being a new parent dimmed his shine quickly.

Art isn't alone. In fact, a study revealed that 63% of dad respondents believe being a father today is more difficult than it was 20 or 30 years ago.

Another new father named Carl shared his thoughts about that very topic with us:

"When I was growing up, my dad was focused primarily on bringing home a nice paycheck and taking me and my sister to a basketball game every once in a while. To me, he was a good dad — but that wouldn't cut it now. In today's world, dads have to make money, know how to braid hair, make healthy meals, and be amazing caregivers. It doesn't help that whenever I access social media, I see these great dads who can do it all. It can be completely overwhelming at times, and I often wonder if I'm cut out for it."

Needless to say, the struggle is real for many dads.

"I must've missed that day in school when they gave us the lessons about how to actually be a decent parent."

Fatherhood wasn't getting any easier for Art, and his confidence was completely shot.

"Every single thing I did felt like I couldn't possibly be doing it quite right," he lamented.

But after months of not believing in himself, a single moment changed his perspective.

One night, his 18-month-old son vomited in his bed. Once Art walked into his room and saw his child utterly miserable, he noticed how his little guy's face lit up with an expression that said...

But Art didn't like that look. It put pressure on him to be something he didn't believe he had the ability to be: a good dad.

Feeling defeated, Art cleaned up his son, placed the sheets in the laundry, put fresh sheets on the bed, and put his son back to bed.

As Art went back to his own room, he just knew he wasn't going to figure out fatherhood.

Until he woke up the next day.

"Dad, you had no idea what you were doing, did you?"

First thing in the morning, Art picked up the phone and called his dad to ask him that very question.

And that's when his father dumped a cold glass of "universal parenting truth" on top of his son's head.

"No, of course not," Art's dad laughed. "Nobody has any idea what they're doing. You just do the next thing."

Remember that lightbulb that was flickering when Art met his baby boy for the first time? Well, now it could illuminate an entire city block.

"Nobody has any idea what they're doing. You just do the next thing."

To Art, his dad was his hero, the guy with all the answers. It was incredibly reassuring to know that a man he holds in such high regard experienced the same parental doubt and insecurity that he did.

But that's only half of it.

Art realized that he handled the previous night's moment with his young son perfectly — and (most important) that he's doing a much better job than he gave himself credit for.

Then he took a deep breath and uttered the words all parents should remind themselves of.

Moms and dads, whenever parenting becomes overwhelming, just take a moment to remind yourself that you've got this. Because you do.

Check out Art's powerful story in this Upworthy Original video.


More

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture