Thoughtful Parenting: Appreciating the baby steps |

Thoughtful Parenting: Appreciating the baby steps

If you go

What: Boot Camp for New Dads When: 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 14

Where: UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, Conference Room No. 4

Cost: Free

More information: RSVP, additional information contact Tom Valand at 970-875-4229 or or visit

As we age, the goals we set for ourselves grow with us. Unfortunately, the hurdles to achieving these goals — real or perceived — can develop in tandem. Cutting unhealthy habits, going back to school and finding fulfilling relationships are common goals that can fall to the wayside in the face of everyday life.

Despite the tremendous benefits of prioritizing these life-changing goals, the road to achieving them can be rife with challenge. To prevent bumps from becoming roadblocks, it’s important to acknowledge the small achievements and steps made towards reaching our goals. The momentum we build will ultimately propel us to greater successes.

Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command provided words of wisdom around this topic. “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”

For an expectant dad, the approaching world of parenthood is exciting and daunting. Because the baby isn’t growing inside their body, it can be easy for dad’s to delay the acceptance of what’s coming. Fortunately, as the pregnancy progresses, so does their partner’s need for support.

This time period provides the opportunity for the soon-to-be dad to develop his nurturing skills, and should not be dismissed. Building the confidence to care for his baby is critical to his involvement, in the short and long-term, in his child’s life. Despite this period of time being critically important for fathers, resources for expectant dads are few and far between.

To meet this need, the Fatherhood Program of Routt County and UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center have recently launched Boot Camp for New Dads, a program where soon-to-be dads, or rookies, learn the ropes from new dads, or veterans, and their babies.

During these sessions, rookies have the chance to hold and interact with newborns and discuss a number of topics with the veterans, including how to bond with your baby, supporting your partner, work/life balance, forming a parent team, safety, preventing child abuse and more.

To the soon-to-be dads of Routt County, we wish you the best of luck in preparing for baby and hope to see you at the class. Until then, don’t forget to make your bed.

Tom Valand is with the Fatherhood Program of Routt County.

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