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Entries in dad (1)


I Grew Into Being a Dad

Hey, wanna know a secret?  A deep, dark secret?  Something only my wife heard about?

I didn’t initially enjoy being a Dad.  I had to grow into it.  Let me explain.

When we got home from the hospital our entire world changed.  Sleeping through the night was gone, as was any ability to do things spur of the moment; we had to plan child care.  And the little one required care and feeding….lots of care and feeding!

In hindsight, I think I had it lucky.  In an era before paternal leave, I went back to work within days.  My wife was taking care of the baby until her maternity leave was up and she went back to work.

I just didn’t take to this whole concept.  It took me a while to come around to the idea of caring for something more than you care for yourself.  Something requiring food, diaper changes, care…..love!

My world changed to evening discussion of how many poops were created and of what color, from thinking about work and conquering the world. I perfected stirring in my sleep so my wife would get up and take care of a crying baby….after all, she was breastfeeding and there really wasn’t much for me to do….(note: yes, fathers, I am breaking the sacred touch and acknowledging to moms we do this!)

In hindsight, I think I was pretty selfish.  I had participated in creating this living, breathing creature and needed to fully help raise it.

Thankfully my wife took to parenting immediately and helped get our kids off to a great start.

My recollection is it took about 12-18 months for me to really embrace parenting.  It happened as the child went from “blob” phase to being fully aware of his surroundings and interacting.  When I came home and that connection was made, I was hooked.  Heck, I enjoyed the “terrible twos” as this was just the child further exploring the world.

I was reminded of this little secret when my kids got together to coo over my grandchild. 

The kids were talking about the changes in my son’s world.  “Dad, it’s kind of amazing you had more kids.”

After a brief family debate about the need for a second child to achieve perfection after the first, I made a valiant attempt to explain why having children is so special.  It’s about nurturing your offspring and taking pleasure from their learning and success.  It’s about hope for the future.  It’s about continuing humanity.  (Yes, it is also challenging, sometimes maddening, and exasperating!)

As a grandparent it is exciting to watch the new little one, and to offer advice (when appropriate) on raising children.

I’d argue it’s the most important thing in my life.

How about you?  How quickly did you take to your new role?