I’m blessed to have had a son this year. I’m sure it’s cliche, but I think you’re never prepared to have your first kid. I mean, I’ve been around long enough and heard enough stories to feel like I had an idea, but experiencing it is a whole different story. Since it’s standard fare to ask a new parent about the experience of being a new parent, I’ve been asked many times about it and I’ve had a chance to refine my answer down to two parts.
Part 1, I completely understand why some people hate being parents or bail on being a parent. I can only speak to my experience as a father of a newborn, so I have no idea if it actually gets easier, but it’s really hard. Our child consumes so much of our free time and most of our energy. That doesn’t include the perpetual lack of sleep that leads to a perpetual state of being tired. For these reasons, I get it. You suddenly have to make huge sacrifices for someone that can’t appreciate it and who constantly takes from you.
However, Part 2 is where my thinking diverges from those who struggle with parenthood, because I have absolutely no problem with the sacrifice. Seeing my son’s face every day makes every difficult moment completely worth it. Instantly the stress and the tiredness fades away. In that moment, it’s incomprehensible to me how someone could mistreat their child or resent parenthood.
I’m simultaneously trying to appreciate every single moment because I know it’s gone in the blink of an eye, while being excited to experience every new milestone with my son. When he was born, I was almost in shock. It was hard to comprehend that I suddenly had a son; a person who was completely reliant on me and my wife and it’s hard to decipher my emotions in those first few days. That being said, I can confidently say that shock has developed into a deep love that somehow grows with every day. I keep telling my wife that I can’t even watch a show that involves parents and their kids without tearing up. Having now experienced the powerful love a parent has for their child, I can confidently say it’s not possible to understand it until you experience it.
In summary, parenthood is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the absolute best thing I have ever done and I feel incredibly blessed. In reflecting upon these blessings, I can’t help but be grateful for the incredible privilege in my life and that of my son. My wife and I are happily married, we are financially and economically stable, we have a healthy, young boy, and we live in a great area. As compared to many others, our son will have every advantage afforded to him because my wife and I will work tirelessly to make sure that he is prepared for living a successful life. Son, I love you so much and I can’t wait to get to know you.