I sat down to try and figure out the top five things that have changed since I became a parent 3 years ago. Wow, only 5 things. I’m positive i could list five things times infinity. Having a kid is like knocking a house down and rebuilding it from the ground up. It leaves you as a brand new person with a renewed sense of worth and appeal. I honestly couldn’t list 5 negative things about being a parent because I have yet to find one. So here are my top five things that have changed. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as i enjoyed recounting them.
The biggest thing that has changed since being a parent was my heart surgery. That’s figuratively speaking of course, but he did transform it like nothing else could. Holding a little baby in my arms and realizing that his life was solely on my shoulders was the most amazing feeling in the world. He opened unused areas of my heart that would cause random crying at pictures of his birth and heartache and worry at the slightest fever. The little man made me whole where it mattered most. He kicked me, myself, and I right out of there and taught me to use it for others and not myself. Changing my heart is number one.
Time management is taught by many motivational speakers across the country. Their voice just didn’t reach me. It took the one with no voice to teach me. Nothing will create a sense of urgency within you other than knowing that if you don’t get it done during nap time then it won’t get done. I have also found myself wanting to get more done around the house and in my life to create a better environment for him. Having a child basically removes any slack in the schedule cord that you may have previously had. So be prepared to get things done and enjoy your time with your child free of the burdens of tasks uncompleted. Making the most of every day is number two.
I climbed Mount Everest, took awesome lessons from Chuck Norris, and spent a week with the Dos Equis most interesting man in the world, yet I couldn’t seem to tap into that inner motivation to push my life in the right direction. Once again let me introduce the man who will make Tony Robbins appear to be lifeless and cruel. His name is Shane and he taught me to never stop improving. Need a reason to go back to school? How about the fact that you are now setting an example for someone, and what better one than proving that it’s never too late to do what you have always wanted to. Need a reason to improve your diet and work out? How about imagining yourself at 40 trying to keep up with a 14 year old that has an energy tank the size of North America. I am not going to let my son play catch with someone else because I’m out of shape and get winded halfway through my first throw. Dive in head first to this program! I promise you will come out feeling like you can take on the world. Self-motivation is number three.
I’ll be the first to say that I lived very selfishly before my son arrived. I made money to buy myself things and based a lot of my decisions around how it would affect my goals, 5 year plan, and toys I wanted to own. Funny thing happens when something means more to you than a blank check from Bill Gates. You learn that those things just aren’t all that important anymore. It’s very unfortunate that my situation resulted in a custody battle that i thank God every day for winning. I was backed up with payments and bills I didn’t need staring at a long expensive court battle. Gone were the HD TV, the PS3, the mustang rims, and anything else i possessed that i thought i could get a couple dollars out of. I sat happily with custody of my son watching Cars on a 19 inch TV with no cable and not a dime to my name. I have never been happier. Self-sacrifice would be number four.
Careers are what define us. Where do we work, what do we make, and can we advance are all vital things to consider in your career. I was successful in my work and made what many would consider to be sufficient money to live comfortably. That’s just a hobby now. My true calling in life is being a dad. There’s always room to grow and improve, i love working with my employee, never does a day go by at work where I don’t laugh hysterically, and I’ve never felt better about how i spend my days on earth. I will retire and die a proud dad and no economy collapse or union grievance can ever take that from me. Finding a purpose is number five.
I love being a parent all the way from sleepless nights and poop diapers to random i love you hugs and standing in the living room with a box on their head asking where they are at. I love my child with all my heart and can only strive to be my best everyday so that my son will sit down one day and pen an equally enjoyable paper about five things his dad has changed about his life.