Welcome back readers!
My little guy just turned 15 months old and as you have read in previous entries, his discoveries and milestones have come nearly on a daily basis. Being able to stay at home and watch him learn these new things has been an amazing experience. To go along with all my son’s great revelations, I have had a few revelations about myself within this whole journey of being a parent. So follow me on this post to take a very raw and real look at my own discoveries.
Patience is a virtue. Isn’t that how the proverb goes? Well, whoever came up with that saying forgot the rest of it and I believe it goes something like this: Patience is a virtue. And for those who have children, patience and a good alibi will keep you out of prison. Now don’t get me wrong. My kid is the most important little person in my life right now, as I am his full-time life coach. Doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when he can drive me absolutely crazy, especially when he attempts his freshly learned skill: throwing tantrums. Those are the times when I think, “Why do you hate me when I do so much for you, like clean your ass? Believe me, you will miss it when you are potty training!!” But then, my continually growing patience, a deep breath, and calm disposition work just fine to defuse the situation. After his head stops spinning around and vomit quits spewing out, little man will give me the most adorable grin, as if to say “I’m just kidding…love you Papa!” This always makes me smile from a safe distance and think, “I love you too, you little jerk.”
Time for yourself?! Bwahahaha!! I know it might seem obvious, but I really had to learn this. And I don’t mean the just-drop-everything-and-go moments. Of course those special occurrences for you and your spouse go missing, never to be found again, just like OJ’s other glove or Jimmy Hoffa. I’m talking about when your kid goes to sleep and you feel like gliding across the floor in your socks and underwear like a bad Risky Business parody. You are finally free to do anythi…..oh shit there are dishes in the sink! And bills to pay! So, you put your pants back on and get to work. Because you are a fucking parent. By the end of it all, you have a little slice of time if you are lucky. This has been a hard adjustment and is a very fluid situation, as my little guy can have some days of playing on his own and others where he honestly feels like my Siamese twin. But I must say, he has gotten better as we slowly work on it together.
Go ahead, be selfish! Confusing, eh? This might be, in my opinion, one of the most important things I have learned as a parent. It seems as though being a parent was going to be my only objective in life, according to many. Well, I’ll go ahead and call bullshit on that. Don’t get me wrong, it is the LARGEST role in my life right now, taking up a majority of my time. But was I supposed to stop being a husband or a friend? I think not. Sure, it is hard like I said before, but everything worth doing is difficult. It has taken a lot of effort and balancing of things in life, but I don’t consider myself just a father. And for me, I do not think it is healthy for parents to get consumed by that single role, as it negatively affects everything else. Which then goes back to hurting your child.
So, what is the main point of this entry? To show that my personal evolution encompasses this understanding: parenting is both a difficult and rewarding job, and like any other job, you need to be able to clock-out when the shift is over. I have slowly been able to find the time to be not just be a parent but to also welcome back old roles. And as taxing as it can be, I am so thrilled to be a stay-at-home dad and could not have asked for a better child. For those of you who are parents/not parents/future parents/why-the-fuck-would-I-want-to-be-parents reading this, hopefully there are things from this entry that are relatable. Whether that item is the tantrums or the horrible realization that you can’t dance in your underwear anymore, just remember this: personal growth can be challenging but is always worth it. And now, I leave you with this…
-Until next time.