I’ve been a dad now for just over four years. Always wanted to be one, always thought I’d make a pretty good one. But how much of a learning curve is it when it finally happens? I don’t believe anything can ever prepare you for what’s ahead. Every single day brings a new challenge and something to learn. I don’t believe that will ever stop, and I’m not sure I want it to. My boys teach me so much and I hope I can do the same for them along the way.
Here’s a list of 10 things I’ve learned since becoming a dad:
- Sleep is overrated
- Getting up through the night. NJ appearing at my bedside at 2.33am for no apparent reason. Early morning get-ups with J-Bubb. Get to work, do it again.
- My gag reflex is much stronger than I thought
- Having never been one for bad smells and nasty mess, I’ve found that I’ve handled all the baby sick and poo pretty well. Pretty well, not perfectly!
- You can’t always be laid back
- I’ve always had a reputation for being laid back, but with children, especially when you’ve got two to handle, you just can’t be that laid back all the time. There’s a time and a place and I’d like to think that my situational awareness is much higher now.
- I chose the right woman
- Or she chose me. Either way, I couldn’t do any of this without my awesome wife. She’s a great mum and the three of us would be completely lost without her.
- Time is way more precious than I’d ever imagined.
- It’s common to hear people remarking how quickly children seem to grow up these days, but when you’re a part it’s ridiculous how true this sentiment actually is. I’d love to turn the clock back a little bit for both my boys, there’s things they both used to do that they don’t any more and I miss them.
- Dads have it tougher than you think.
- One of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with is the phase that both boys have been through (and I’m still in it with J-Bubb) where they want nothing to do with daddy and will only entertain mummy. This is hard to deal with, especially first time around.
- Dads have it easier than you think.
- Compared to mummy we have it relatively easy, both in the day to day dealing and caring but also, if we go out and a child gets their clothes mucked up with mummy, they can often be frowned upon. When the same happens with dad it’s all about how nice it is to see a dad spending time with their children!
- Allowing your children the freedom to learn is hard.
- Sometimes our children need to learn lessons that we just can’t teach them, and this can be hard to watch. Like not to touch radiators, even though you’ve told them a thousand time it’s hot, they won’t learn the lesson until they’ve established the danger for themselves. Or fallen off the back of the sofa. Or a wall.
- Children’s laughter is in fact the most wonderful sound in the world.
- Regardless of what sort of day you’ve had at work, hearing you kids laugh when you get home reassures you that everything is alright and restores the smile to your world.
- It’s impossible to tell your kids how much you love them
- It’s important to tell your children how much you love them, it really is. But even when I know I’ve told them plenty, I still get asked the question, “do you love me daddy?”. It’s important they understand that I do, and that it’s unconditional.
Our children are such important teachers for us, and they don’t even know it! What lessons have you learned since becoming a dad, or a mum?