So you got in the car at the hospital, drove slower than that old lady you used to yell at on the freeway, and got your baby home. Pheeew. That is such relief. Now for the bad news: you have a harrowing tale ahead of you full of rocking, bopping, singing, dancing, praying, wishing, and if you are lucky a little bit of sleeping.
The reality is, kids bring a whole new focus to life. A time when your priorities will shift and you will start to forget things that mattered to you. A time when moments and ideas of who you were or how you saw things fade. So what are those things I have been surprised have faded away……
#5 Labor & Delivery – As you leave the hospital those fateful hours are already starting to fade (unless you are crazy enough to video tape yourselves in the craziest moments of your life). There really is no video or description that does labor and delivery justice. The slow anticipation, the build up of the moment, the psychosis that settles over what is happening, the birth. Let’s just say “wow” and move on. Thankfully, this will all fade into a joyous memory of your child being born because if it didn’t we would only ever have one child.
#4 Days when Poop was not a topic of conversation – Welcome Dad to your new life! Frankly, I don’t really remember there being a time when bowel movements and pee-pee wasn’t a daily conversation. It happens. You won’t be upset by it, it just comes with the territory. I am a bit surprised that I don’t get angry when I get a surprise on my suit for work, but this is the role of a dad. In fact, when your friends seem off put by your discussions with your significant other about poop, don’t be surprised, just try and remember back to when your life didn’t involve these conversations.
#3 Sleeping In – No, it is not a bad thing that your sleep patterns are no longer your own. In fact, you will forget quickly what sleeping in was like. Probably the best argument for this is how exciting it is to get up and spend time with your kids, I guess, but in reality sleeping is simply a luxury that most parents cannot afford. As the night owl of the house, sleeping in was fully my domain. But now I am up at least two hours before my kids getting prepared for their day. I am not even aware anymore that there was an option to sleep past 8am.
#2 Spending Cash – Kids cost money. I am still surprised by how much. I am also surprised by how easy that cost was to fit in our budget. What does that all mean? Well in my house it means I wasted a lot of money before our kids came along. And now that they are here, well I don’t miss the money I wasted. I get to invest that money in my kids lives. But I still think back and have fuzzy memories of buying some sort of game that I played on my TV. If only I could remember what that was or how I paid for it?
#1 Friends & Family – This one, well sadly is inevitable. All parents go through the moments of “I want to be a good friend” or “I want to keep seeing my family just as much” but in reality, your time is now more valuable at home. Your kids demand way more time than you think you can give them or have to spend. Those friends and family that understand that, you will find, will be a part of your life-long circle. Those friends and family that complain about you being with your kids or not spending enough time with them? Well they will fade into the background, lost to those memories you will talk about years from now. Friends and family that cherish you being a parent and the sparse moments they get to be a part of it will bring joy to your life still, and be thankful for those that do.