It has become common to hear that parenting doesn’t come with a handbook, which is an understatement. No matter how many books you read, friends or family that have kids; nothing will prepare you to be a parent, especially a dad. I didn’t have any younger siblings and I was always the youngest in the extended family, so when my wife had pushed out our first child and my son needed a diaper change, $#@t got real! Seven years ago, my life changed drastically when I entered fatherhood and I guess I expected some kind of bright light shining and to feel completely different; it didn’t. I did realize that I wasn’t the most important thing in my life anymore and I would do anything for him, but he was just this tiny little thing that cried, ate and pooped, I was pretty jealous of his life. I remember not being able to calm him down a number of times and thinking that I would never bond with him, nobody told me that was normal until I had a few beers with a few of my other dad friends and one of the guys got the guts to ask if it was normal as he just had a newborn and the rest of us completely understood, but we weren’t courageous enough to ask for ourselves. I deployed pretty soon after he was born and missed a lot of time with him and then thought that he wouldn’t remember me, but he did after each deployment.
There are so many situations that my wife and I were not prepared for but after a few years, we felt like experts and we could start all over again and it would be so much easier. Then we had Lilly and our world would never be the same again. Boys and girls are so very different and that may go without saying but living with my Lilly flipped my world upside down. Everything that was super easy with Brennan was difficult with Lilly and visa versa.
Being a dad has changed me and I would like to think that it is for the better. I want to set the right example for both of them; I don’t use bad language in front of them and want to be their superhero at all costs. I have ridden the emotional high of seeing your kid score the winning goal, get 100% on a test or just treat someone kindly when they don’t know that you’re watching. I have also seen all the tears, the selfishness and back talk as the pendulum swings back the other direction. I have Google’d some of the most bizarre things for advice and if acting a certain way was normal, I have no clue how our parents survived without the Google machine! Parenting is the hardest job that I’d ever had and the most rewarding and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Follow me on my humorous journey through parenthood through the eyes of a working dad, who will do anything for his family while trying to retain his sanity.