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On Becoming a Parent - Who Says New Fathers Have No Fun?
You're a Father Now: The Fun has Just Begun
“Becoming a parent is unlike anything you will ever experience.”
How many times have you heard that from friends, family and coworkers who are parents? 10? 20? 50,000 times?
Well, just add one more to the total.
It is hard to explain why becoming a parent is so wonderful. In some ways, you can’t as it probably feels a little different to everyone. Everyone just has to experience it for themselves.
However, it is very easy to explain how your life changes by becoming a father.
It does change. It changes way more than when you get married or buy a house. Becoming a dad is in a league entirely of its own.
To put it in baseball terms, if getting married is the AAA Durham Bulls, than having a baby is the New York Yankees.
Unfortunately, a lot of people think life gets worse by becoming a parent, but really, it just gets different, especially in terms of having fun.
Out with Old, in with the New
The moment your child is born and the parenting begins, you will never have the fun you once did. It’s an unavoidable fact of becoming a father, or at least an attentive parent.
You won’t be able to go out every night. It will be much, much less often. When you do go out, you won’t want to stay out too late and you certainly won’t want to drink too much alcohol as you will have to get up early in the morning with the baby. New days begin early with a child in the house and the days of sleeping in until the afternoon are long gone.
Think of how you feel when you are hung over now. Now think of how you would feel if you were up again at 5:00 AM. Eeesh!
If you are a regular bar fly, this could sound like a death sentence to you. I understand. I used to go to the bars all the time. But, if you ask me it gets a little repetitive, don’t you think?
$5 beer and a crappy jukebox, over and over again.
Being a Friend and a Father isn't Always Easy
As far as seeing your friends, well, I’m sorry to say, if your friends aren’t parents, you will see them less. As a dad, you will be living on a completely different schedule than them with completely different responsibilities.
Don’t let them give you a hard time about it and don’t give them a hard time if they aren’t flexible to your new schedule; it’s just a part of life. Things will balance out again over time when they start having children.
Books For New Dads
Fend Off Early Fatherhood Frustration
At some point in time early on, maybe once the reality of becoming a parent sets in or a couple of weekends have gone by without seeing your old friends, you will probably throw a parent tantrum, or pantrum.
You will exclaim how you never have any fun anymore or how you are so bored.
You will probably idolize the old times and glorify them to make them seem so much better than they ever really were. “Oh, those were the days,” and whatnot.
Don’t feel too bad. I’m pretty sure it happens to almost every new parent at least once, or at the very least, every new father (it happened to me and others I know well).
But trust me, it gets better.
Right after the tantrum subsides, you will come to realize that you simply have to accept a new kind of fun. There is no point in screaming about old times as they are just that, old times. Becoming a parent opens a new chapter of fun in your life.
You have to let the old ones go.
Toys That Dads Love
Being a Father Means a New Kind of Fun
Once you embrace and come to terms with the fact that you won’t be partying with your friends every night and that your wild oats have all been sewn, you can really start to have a lot of fun as a parent by just staying home with your child and your spouse or partner.
Now, when my daughter smiles or laughs or makes some nonsensical noise, I laugh. I laugh every time.
When she is happy, it is about as fun as anything I can imagine. Certainly more fun than sitting at a bar drinking overpriced beer.
As soon as your child starts crawling and walking and running around, you get to be a kid again.
You can wrestle in the house and throw balls around and scream and shout and make funny noises because you have the perfect excuse.
What’s more fun than that?
I don’t think words do enough justice in describing just how much fun making silly noises is. I mean, when else do you ever get to do that as an adult and not be looked at like a crazy person?
So, do you stop having fun by becoming a parent? No. You just start having a different kind of fun and really a much more rewarding kind as well.
Fathers Have All the Fun
I mean, honestly, how many hundreds of thousands of times do you need to go to a bar or get drunk before you realize it is a little empty and pointless in the end? How often do you come home from going to bar or nightclub and feel like you really had a great time?
In my opinion, not too often. Maybe it just wasn't for me?
The few times I have gone out or stayed out late since becoming a parent, I woke up the next morning wondering what the point of it was. To me, as a parent now, it simply doesn’t seem that important anymore.
Now I have probably terrified you. You are probably thinking that by becoming a father you will never see your friends again or will never enjoy a beer or cocktail again for the rest of your life.
That is not my intention.
As I said before, I can’t tell you what is great about becoming a parent. No one can, and maybe that’s what makes it so special.
All I can tell you is that things do change and that being a dad brings a new kind of fun.
A better kind.