|“Dad?? Who… ME??|
I often wonder if being a parent makes you a better person. No, I don`t mean better than other people, such as those who have never known the joy (and pain) of having children- I mean better than the other version of YOU, before you had children. Am I a better man for having become a dad? I can’t be sure. But, I’ll tell you one thing: I wouldn’t change it for the world.
In the two years since my daughter was born, I’ve accomplished several things that make me extremely proud. One, I’ve helped to raise a wonderful human being (to this point at least). My little girl is not only my joy but she is my pride as well. She is funny, and sweet, and smart, and caring, and loving, and the focal point of any and all family gatherings. Everybody who meets her is enamored with her. She just has that quality about her: a light that people are drawn to. And it makes me proud to be lucky enough to call myself her dad.
Another thing I’m extremely proud of is my own transformation- from the guy who had never held a baby (or changed a diaper) to the guy who now writes about it like it’s the easiest thing in the world. I had no idea what kind of dad I was going to be, I just wanted to give it my all, and I’m proud to think I’ve gone above and beyond the call of, well, “doodie.”
I’m also proud of being able to call myself a dad blogger, an activist, a common sense parenting advocate, a friend of the first-time father, and a member of some of the most respected parenting groups in the world. I didn’t set out to be these things. I just wanted to be an involved dad, and for some reason, wherever I go or find myself, people just seem to like what I have to say. I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy with an opinion on the world in which he lives- the world in which his daughter will grow up- and I’m not shy about speaking my mind on a number of topics.
So, am I a changed man? Not necessarily. I like to think being a dad awakened certain parts of me that had been asleep for a long time. Or, maybe it’s the fact that I only sleep 4 hours a night now and that allows me lots of time to accomplish all the things I want to get done. But, most likely, it’s just the natural progression of things that brings me to where I find myself today. I’m just a guy who had a kid and woke up to the fact that I am responsible for not only my daughter’s emotional and mental growth, but my own as well. Apparently, talking about parenting, writing about it, and attempting to improve upon the ways of the past appeal to me, much like taking care of my daughter appeals to me, and thinking of creative ways to both entertain and educate her appeals to me. It gives a sense of purpose… much like fatherhood itself.
At the end of the day, I’m just a dad. I’m no more special than the next guy. I’m just a guy following his passion. I’m just a guy chasing after a toddler… and loving each and every minute of it.
Am I a better person for being a parent? No. I’m a better person for caring enough to be the best parent I can possibly be. And that’s something to be proud of… I guess?
I`m not really fond of thinking about the alternative...