I remember the day we found out my son was going to be born like it was yesterday. I wasn’t young enough to use my age to justify how immature I was. I wasn’t a horrible person, but I would say I had 0 priorities or responsibilities. I always worked hard, I always tried to be a good person, but when you are 29 years old, making decent money and your biggest plans all week were which bar to go to that coming Friday night, or what concert tickets to buy you don’t have to stress too much about how your actions impact others. I never missed a rent payment, but I didn’t stress about it. A lot of words that are now frequently party of my vocabulary were unknown to me. RESP? Never heard of it. Social Services? No idea what you are talking about. Child Care subsidies? No idea… Strong Start? What? Early childhood education? Child Tax? Vaccinations? The list goes on…. I lead a life where I could come home from work, park on the couch the odd night and watch netflix until 2 or 3 in the morning. Get up at anytime and drive to the store to buy a pepsi, or go meet a friend at literally any time of the day. Getting Tattoos and hanging out with people who added no value to my intellect seemed to be a couple of the only priorities I had.
5 years later where am I? Camping Trips have replaced hotel parties and vacations, #Parklife has replaced #YOLO, and tea has replaced alcohol. I now enjoy the taste of whiskey in very minimal amounts very infrequently and cherish the time I have connecting with my friends. I am a proud father of an amazing young boy who spends at least 4 hours a week at local parks and playgrounds. I frequent school field trips to ski mountains, pumpkin patches and parks. Residue of aquarium entry stamps have replaced bar and club stamps on my hands. I’m up at 6 AM, and making dinner at 4:30 PM. I read a book every two weeks. I read 5 children’s books a week. I have a library pass. The odd time I do have available to myself I am meeting with other parents, pastors, business people, business partners, good friends, family, loved ones and mentors. I waste absolutely zero time and am focused on the longevity of my mental health.
Fatherhood changed me. And it made me who I know I am supposed to be. It made me work harder at the most important aspects of my life, and let go of those things that were holding me back.
I wasn’t ready for Fatherhood in my mind, but it happened exactly when it was supposed to. It has made me a better man.