Any DAD, let alone person, who claims that life doesn't change after having a child, is lying. What I've come to terms with is knowing that this is the new normal. I guess what I ask is: where has this been all my life? I'm not going to state that parenthood, specifically, DADDYHOOD, is easy, but, it is an incredible ride, that if strapped in the right way, will be the most enjoyable ride of your life.
The new age DAD learns quickly that his traditional, "make money and let the wife take care of the kid(s)" mentality is no more. The reality now is that that we as DADS have more duties than what we get paid for. We aren't just about making money and putting food on the table, in fact, many of us have partners who make more money than us and work more demanding hours. So, the archaic perspective of being able to come home, have food on the table and then kiss the kids good night, is a thing of the past.
Sure, we all work hard at our typical 9-5, but the real work, at least from my perspective, starts when you get home. Now, with 2 kids, both under 3, I've realized that coming home means checking in for my second shift. To me, it means grabbing my toddler from daycare, getting in the house door, picking up my 6 month old while my wife now tends to my toddler, getting spit up on my suit because the wife didn't have a chance to tell me she just fed the infant, and then attempting to get upstairs to change my clothes, which rarely happens until it's time to sleep. All coupled with trying to get the 4 of us at the dinner table for dinner around 630pm so we can spend at least 45 minutes with my toddler before I have to take her up for her bath, story time and tuck-in, while my wife handles the 6 month old.
It's now 9pm and I'm thinking about using the washroom. The wife and I finally get a chance to kiss each other hello and sit ourselves on the sofa, only to have the 6 month old wake up (on the 3rd floor I may add) and we find ourselves playing rock, paper, scissors to see who has to run up and put the pacifier back in her mouth.
After a couple of trips up and down the stairs and a great leg workout, we look up and see it's now 1130pm and probably a good time to head to bed. This isn't the everyday, but it's the "usual" scenario.
The morning routine, is a whole other ballgame, one that, with an infant, means that DADDY has to get up and get ready, then wake up the toddler to get her ready: wake up, tantrum, take her to the potty, tantrum, brush her teeth, tantrum, change her clothes: "no, I want those pants", attempt to feed her breakfast: "I'll only eat if you put on Shrek", and then get her out the door, only to realize that it's 915am and the kids are on the playground and I have to get her ready for that. Oh yes, by the time I leave daycare it's already 930am and I have an hour commute to the office.
These marathon days must sound. to the non-parent as, "hell no, never, I hate kids...", but the reality of it is, when you get a moment to think about who you've created and get a chance to hear them address you as DADDY and then sing them to sleep, while wiping their drool off your sleeve, tells you that this moment, these moments, are what life is all about.
Life As A DAD gives men meaning beyond materialistic things and superficial desires; it grounds men and enables them to work hard to leave a legacy and inspire their creation.