We have discovered that the best advice does not come from a writer, a TV personality or a celebrity It comes from real people, who have experienced real things.

In this spirit, we reached out to twenty fathers of all ages. We specifically wanted to discuss the time between discovering you will be a father and becoming one? What can expectant dads do to be ready? What can they do for their wives? How can you be the best expectant dad possible.

Here is the best advice we were give:

“Appreciate the time you have with your wife before the baby comes. Understand that her body and mind are going through changes you will never really be able to grasp. Be patient with her, and do everything you can to make her feel comfortable – physically and emotionally.” – Age 35 (Father of three)

“Read all the books about being a dad and then forget all of them. They never really prepare you. Just be a good person to your family and you will be a good dad.” – Age 28 (Father of one girl)

Becoming a dad“Learn to change a diaper. Learn to do all the things that a mom is supposed to do, because sometimes they cannot do them. Be ready to watch your child alone. I have no patience for dads who cannot do that.” – Age 56 (Father of two sons)

“Be ready to be freaked out. Pregnancy is weird, but it is also the time in my life I felt the most spiritual. Women are amazing. Respect what they can do!” – Age 38 (Father of two)

“Save. You can ever really understand or expect the expenses that a child incurs. If you want to provide, learn to be cheap, learn to have a savings, and learn to say no.” – Age 29 (Father of three)

“Do not take any of it too seriously. Enjoy your life. It only gets better when you are a father.” – Age 43 (Father of one boy)

“I had no idea what I was doing when my wife became pregnant. I did not know what it meant to be a father. I do not think anyone can tell you what it means or what it is, until you do it.” – Age 34 (Father of one girl)

“Work on your marriage before the baby comes because it will be harder once the baby is there. The baby is a test. So study.” – Age 24 (Father of two boys)

“You get to be a father. Remember that not everyone gets that blessing. Love your wife, love your kids, love yourself. Make the better choices. It is not just you anymore. From now on, you will have someone looking up at you, studying your every decision, every success and every failure. Someone learning from your every move. Make good moves. That’s what being a good father is.” – Age 45 (Father of four)