Diary of a Dad: Week 30 - Realisationsby Adam Riches
With the oldest of our offspring starting school this week, I’ve been strangely sentimental. Looking back at when he came (screaming) into our lives 4 and a half odd years ago, I have changed beyond recognition, both mentally and physically - the wrinkles, my god, the wrinkles.
In my rabbit hole of sentimentality, I have realised just how much I have learnt about stuff since I have become a dad. I might look and feel 10000 years older, but I’m equally as much wiser. Here are a few of my realisations.
You can’t be a perfect parent
When you first get the job (ha) you strive for perfection. The thing is, there is no such thing. The goalposts are yours and yours alone to set. Trying to conform to what the media tells you or what others tell you online simply adds no end of stress to your life. Babies are incredibly simple creatures. They need love, nutrition and safety...they don’t need you to spend £600000 on a cot that oscillates, sings nursery rhymes and brews coffee (although I’d pay for the final feature, happily!)
Sleep is overrated
I never thought I’d get by on less than 10 hours sleep, unless of course a few beers were involved. Surprisingly, I’ve not slept for 4 and a half years and I’m still sort of functioning like a normal human being - besides of course my eye bags and the involuntary twitches I have during the day…. But seriously, you can adapt so quickly, and I have been pretty impressed with myself. I’m so much better with my time now since I’ve become a dad and I’m way more productive.
You’re so much tougher than you think
Being a parent is hard. I’d say there isn’t a book to getting it right, but of course, there are numerous celeb books that show you exactly how to do it (yuck - see point 1) but nothing takes into account the power and unpredictability of a child. They’re incredible forces of nature who can mess you up in minutes.
Kids just get you different
You say you love things before you have kids, like I used to say, “I love jalapeno cheese bites” but it’s impossible to love like you love your kids. I stand by my love for jalapeno cheese bites, it’s just a different type of love. You’ll do anything for your kids and although it sounds cringe, it’s the truest thing anyone has ever said.
It ain’t no fairytale, but it’s the best job in the world
When you’re changing your 4th shit filled nappy of the day, whilst your doorbell rings and the pasta is boiling over on the stove, after waking up at 4.36 am, you might question how much you enjoy parenting. Alas, at those moments, you probably wish you’d opted for a different hobby...but there are times when you are reminded that it is frigging epic being a parent. The best thing is that those moments come at the most unexpected times - my personal favourite when they are both asleep.