A wise dude once told me that one of the biggest teacher in life will be my children. Today is a significant milestone on my 10-week journey into parenthood: It’s my first Fathers Day. I have dreamt of this day for a long time. You should see the smile in my face as I type this article.
To be honest, I did not know what to expect from fatherhood. My mom raised me mostly solo out of no fault of her own. My stepdad who was a stable father figure was only in my life for 3 years before a sudden car accident took him away. I met my biological dad when I was 14, we got along very well until lost him at 20. I’ve never looked at man’s face and called them dad. Thankfully, years of personal development has helped me define the kind of man, husband and dad I want to be.
While the parenting journey has had its ups and downs, our son Ian has been the best kid we could ever ask for. He’s growing soo fast and we can barely keep up with the changes. This experience has taught us so much about ourselves.
1. You will never be ready.
Let’s me set this straight, our son was not a lovely surprise, we’ve been waiting for him for many years. That said, despite all our waiting, planning, shopping and preparation leading up to his arrival, we’ve still found ourself with an endless list of things to do and overwhelmed by the experience. Isn’t that akin to life, despite all the planning, you’ll always feel like you are not fully ready for the big adventures in life? Surprisingly, once you start the journey, you discover so much strength that you never thought you had. What’s the one big adventure in your life you need to embark on?
2. Redefining what’s important
I’ve spent a considerable amount of my life chasing career, money and what I think is important in life. The arrival of my son has made me question everything I think about my goals and the definition of success. For example, my school of thought has always been: Work hard and build generational wealth so your future generations can have wealth for years to come.
Now I’m thinking, If I’m going to teach him to be a happy, responsible, confident, hard-working human being that can build his own wealth, then what’s the point of me working extremely hard to build a big empire so that one day I can leave him an inheritance? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still work coz that my nature and I still need to teach him the value of hard work.
One of the best gifts that my mom has given me is not material wealth but plenty of quality time, education and raising me to be a responsible free thinking adult. My late stepdad taught me about the value of passion and hard work. My late dad taught the value of determination and persistence even when all odds are against you. To always bet on yourself.
3. The true meaning of time management
I used to struggle with focus, productivity and time management in general until I became a dad. See, being a parent demands soo much of your time but it does not mean that your job and the rest of your life stops. Our son is growing faster than we can keep and I want to give him the one gift I never had growing up: a present dad who is always there for him. This has meant learning to be more selective on the things I commit myself to and how I use my time. I’ve soo much in the productivity space. You’ll see me post more on this topic in the coming months.
4. You’ve got more reserves than you think
I was in the delivery when our son was born. I watched more wife go through one of the most painful and gruesome physical experience of her life. What’s more inspiring is to watch how she’s embracing motherhood with all the fatigue and sleeplessness. I worried about how we would transition into parenthood. How do we keep our fire burning as a couple? How would we cope with the new demands? While it’s taken a lot intentionality, we’ve found that the more we’ve been stretched the more we’ve realised how much we can take.
The adventure continues
it’s still early days and there is still a lot of lessons to learn. Whatever happens, I am open-minded and ready to change and adapt.