Fatherhood: The Best Self-Development Course EVER!
Our little boy, Jake, turns 1 today. So, before he wakes up, I wanted to dedicated today’s daily blog post to some learnings from the last 12 months with him in the world.
As a first-time dad, at 41, to say it’s been a learning experience is putting it lightly. However, it has been amazing. I know it is a cliché, but it really is the best job in the world. I’d always hear that before it happened and couldn’t quite appreciate it. And even writing this is very difficult to articulate or sum up the experience so far.
I’ll keep it very brief and lay out some of the major learnings. For those dad’s reading this, you’re probably nodding in agreement. And for those of you that haven’t got there yet, it will make sense when you do.
- Sleep – No matter what you think, nothing will prepare you for the sleep deprivation that comes! I had been warned about it many times. I was having none of it. I thought it was something I’d manage easily. But don’t worry too much. You’ll get through it. And drink coffee.
- Decision making – Becoming a new parent will help you with knowing what really is urgent v important and how best to prioritize. Some of the trivial items on your do to list that before seemed significant no longer are. You’ll develop a new sense of focus and an ability to make decisions faster. This can help in the rest of your life too.
- The Value of Time – I’d have considered myself good with getting the most of out my morning/day/week. Having Jake around has cranked this up a few notches. Now, when I’m with him, I try to enjoy it fully. I’m a constant work in progress with it comes to putting the iPhone away while with him but I’m doing better. When he’s asleep (like now), and I have work to do, my focus is stronger than ever. I appreciate and make the best of the windows of time that come available and get more done in these than ever before.
- Play – nothing makes me more silly and able to play than being around Jake. The off button is well and truly switched. Being able to completely forget about that bad email, negative comment, and other challenges facing you and focus on having a fun time with you kid is a great release.
- Gratitude – Jake was born 6 weeks early. Eager to get into the world. The weeks prior was filled with worry and concern. So, when he arrived on this day last year, tiny but perfect, the feeling of happiness, joy, relief, and gratitude was like nothing else I’ve experienced. Over the last 12 months, anytime there is a cough, a sneeze, or the like, I constantly remind myself how grateful I am for how things turned out. This keeps everything in perspective. Practicing gratitude is something I talk about a bit and, in truth, it’s really only since Jake arrived that it’s become a habit!
Honestly, I had no real clue what would come out this morning. And I’ve probably left out many more learnings that could be relatable or useful.
I never had a dad of my own. I had an amazing grandfather as the male figure in my life growing up. The last year has been the most wonderful experience. Every day gets better and better. Watching Jake grow, change and laugh is what’s it’s all about. If you ever get the chance to be in this position, take it. Trust me. It’s the best job you’ll ever have.