How Does Fatherhood Change a Man?

It is remarkable how one kid can change a man’s life. Before, you used to be the last person to reject an invitation for a dinner on weekdays or watch the last full show. You would usually have all the energy to be the last person to stay late in the office and be the first one to get in the following day.

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By: Ryan Elnar

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault

Perhaps when you were single and had all the hard-earned money to yourself, it was difficult to think that one day you will need to sacrifice the pleasures of night outs with friends, those silent moments you spend to read books, or even staying up late to catch up on your favorite HBO series (or is it Netflix nowadays?).

All of these changed as soon as my first born entered this world. Suddenly, you get a different perspective on life and somehow takes on it a bit more serious as you begin a new role. Of course, nothing beats a mom’s all-nighter sacrifice with a newborn where dads pretend to sleep even when they hear the baby crying.

It is remarkable how one kid can change a man’s life. Before, you used to be the last person to reject an invitation for a dinner on weekdays or watch the last full show. You would usually have all the energy to be the last person to stay late in the office and be the first one to get in the following day.

Now, the idea of a work-life balance kicks in wherein you rush to get home early and beat the traffic. All of sudden, you get conscious of your health too because you will need to keep up with all the energy your toddler has. And when he gets sick, you’d wish it was you instead.

Truth be told, many parents nowadays find it hard to play or attend to their kids for a long period of time.

Sometimes, it is easy to fall into the trap of passive parenting for convenience. Letting your kids stare in front of the TV, play on a tablet, or simply having him mess up the entire living room. Doing this somehow gives you personal time and prevents him from bothering you.

However, I choose otherwise or at least I try to.

If I would have the energy to wake up early, at around 6 am, during the weekend, I would take my son for a walk, jog, or even play with his scooter outdoors. The earliest time I wake up back then was around 10 am.

Sometimes, I let him help with the cooking. Or even spend at least a few minutes every night, when I get home from work, to play or ask him how his day was.

I do these things because I know that someday, I can only look back at these memories and never be able to do them again. It is now that I understand the joys and sacrifices my father did to give us all those great childhood memories.

Ryan Elnar is a proud Filipino daddy blogger. He started Dad and More to share the stories of his journey in raising a family. Ryan believes that beyond formal education, discipline and values are far more important heritage a parent can give to his children.

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