There’s a lot of stuff you learn about parenting along the way. The wisdom you’ve gathered that you wish you could share with your younger self. After all, it would make a lot of lives easier. Recently, Ted Gonder, a dad of three, did just that. This fall, he penned an honest open letter to his childless 24-year-old self about how to be a supportive partner during the “becoming parents” phase.

The post instantly went viral. So far, it has received over 68K reactions and 56K shares on Facebook, with many tagging their significant others in the comments. So, while Ted’s former self might not get the message, some soon-to-be parents will probably benefit from his advice.

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Image credits: Ted Gonder

Image credits: Ted Gonder

After seeing Ted’s open letter go viral, his wife shared her take as well

Image credits: Franziska Gonder

Image credits: Ted Gonder

“We didn’t do a lot of the traditional parent prep, like reading books or taking prep courses,” Ted told Bored Panda. “Our preparation path centered around a few key practices. First, we invested in strengthening our relationship by going for a walk together every morning in the forest by our house; all those steps we walked together helped us work through undiscovered differences in perspective and align as a team to prepare for parenthood.”

Image credits: Ted Gonder

“Second, we went on a ‘family retreat’ for a weekend and wrote down our family vision, values, and manifesto — a short guiding document that sets a shared vision between us of how we want our family to operate and who we want our family to become. Starting a family with your spouse is like cofounding a company, so having a clear purpose and shared North Star helps! And third, we are lucky that in our ‘preparation’, my wife was able to lean on her own mum and just pick up the phone any time she had a question.”

Image credits: Ted Gonder

Ted believes that, to some extent, no non-parent will ever be ready to become a parent. “It is the biggest life transition most people will ever experience, and no amount of book knowledge will prepare you for all the real-life scenarios you’ll face,” he said. One thing he and his wife have noticed is how most forms of preparation focus on the baby: how to breastfeed, hold, sleep, etc. but they don’t really hear a lot of people using the pregnancy time to invest in themselves or their relationship. “For my wife, for example, she credits daily pregnancy yoga and kettlebell workouts as the main reason why she was able to birth three very large boys with relative ease and be back on her feet and very active again just a few weeks later.”

Image credits: Ted Gonder

“The first thing I will say is that being with Franziska as she became a mother made me fall in love with her all over again, and showed me yet another of the thousands of reasons why I made an amazing choice of partner and how lucky I am to have found her. I’m lucky to be married to my best friend.”

“I personally didn’t realize the importance of working out for fatherhood until after my first son was born and I started getting backaches and tendinitis from all the carrying, so have held a rigorous exercise regime since then that’s been a game-changer,” the father continued. “But what I did do before our first was born was get a life coach who helped me get perspective on my life priorities and set a clear picture of how I could balance my work responsibilities with being a committed and engaged dad, something nobody had ever taught me how to do.”

People were deeply touched by his wise words