I still have a lot of friends who do not have any kids, and they often ask me how parenting has changed my life. Every time that question is asked, my answer usually begins with a long blank stare. I don’t know if this is possible, but being a parent has changed my life in such a way that I’m not even sure how it has changed.
Being a parent isn’t a label or identity that you can turn off even for a second: From the moment you hear those words, “we’re having a baby,” your life is never the same. I understand that evolving one’s self into becoming a parent and being responsible for someone other than yourself can be quite daunting, but for me, it really was one of the most natural progressions in my life.
My daughter will be 2 years old soon, so I still have memories of what life was like prior to being a dad. I’ll be honest, most of those memories are foggy. From what I can piece together from old Facebook photos and the “on this day” feature is that my wife and I used to have fun. A LOT of fun. Nearly 2 years later we still have fun, A LOT of fun, but now our fun is different. Nowadays our fun involves figuring out where our nose is and spinning around in circles. Oh sure, in a lot of ways I miss the pre-parenting days of naps and the occasional day-drinking.
Nowadays my meals sometimes consist of an egg yolk that fell on the floor or chicken nuggets that touched the mac and cheese. Instead of Meet the Press and coffee on Sunday mornings i'ts Peppa Pig and most likely a temper tantrum. Here’s the thing though, me being a dad was such a smooth transition of sorts it really felt like one day I was eating tapas with my wife on a beautiful sidewalk café in Madrid then the next day I was pulling my iPhone out of the trash because the kiddo thought it was hilarious.
I can’t give parenting advice. I read a bunch of books and blogs and even listened to podcasts about how to handle becoming a dad and when it happened I just plain forgot about it because I was too entrenched in the moment. My pal Rob once told me, “You just are a parent and you just ‘do.’” The instinctual nature of me evolving into a goofy loving dad happened without me even knowing or even taking a second to enjoy that change of life mentality.
So wait, actually I can give some advice on how to handle the life change of becoming a parent…
Enjoy the change and embrace it because it happens way too fast.