Lessons You Learn The Instant You Become A Parent
My son Lincoln was born on December 28th, 2012. My two most important goals in life have been to be a good husband and a good father. I’ve always just assumed that everything else will finds its place if I’m able to focus on those two things.
I’ve been looking forward to being a parent since I started working at a daycare my senior year of high school. I worked with other people’s kids as often as I could for close to seven years. This experience is what made me think I knew what to expect when I eventually had my own child…I was wrong.
There are a few things that you don’t realize until you see your child and hold them in your arms.
I’m calling them lessons, but in reality they are more like a combination of epiphany and your emotions that set the framework for your thinking as a parent moving forward.
There’s nothing more important - Rationality no longer plays a role in your thinking process, especially when it comes to your child. If they are sad or mad or even just a little bit uncomfortable you will do anything and everything to take it away. You’ll also expect everyone else to do the same.
Nothing is more entertaining - This is coming from a guy with one of the shortest attention spans on the planet. You’ll find yourself watching your child do just about anything and you’ll never get bored. You created a human life and after 10 months of waiting, he/she is here. You learn more about them every time you lay your eyes on them, so you never want to stop.
Your planning doesn’t matter - I’m the kind of guy that likes to have a plan because it makes all the things I want to do seem much more manageable. When you have a baby you learn quickly that your plan doesn’t matter. Babies do three basic things: eat, poop and pee, and sleep. On occasion they’ll be awake and playful but those are their three primary activities and they do them wherever and whenever they feel like it. On top of that, one usually follows the other. So, if your baby needs a diaper change, they’re probably going to be hungry. That combination of activities can throw off your plan/schedule by an hour or more.
There’s nothing more rewarding - Before I write this and you think I’m some kind of softy or wuss I want you to consider that I work out every day and used to be a competitive boxer. I’m telling you that no matter what kind of person you are (tough or not) your child will melt your heart. The first time their little hand grabs your finger, they have you. From there it gets even better with hugs and smiles and laughs and funny faces and on and on and on. Just knowing that your baby is paying attention to you is enough to make your greatest successes seem small.
There are plenty of other things you experience right away, but why would I ruin it for you?