Last updated on May 20th, 2021 at 01:26 am
Once upon a time, I tried to write a post on why more of my fellow thirty-somethings should want to have kids and join the ever-bustling ranks of parenthood just like me. Recently becoming a father myself, it changed my world entirely, giving me someone demanding more of my attention than anything else in my life, yet also insisting that I love him while he did it. But I’ve said it a thousand times before and I’ll say it a thousand more—I’m a much better man for having my kids in my life, and I want the people around me to experience that, too.
And so I wrote. I wrote the intro several times over. And after two lines and multiple attempts, I ultimately decided to scrap it.
What I realised was this—you can’t fully explain parenthood to anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves, and at a few years in to parenting—heck, even right now if I’m honest—it’s still too early for me to fully understand why I became a parent.
Who Wants to be a Dad? Figuring Out What Makes Fatherhood Appealing, If ANYTHING.
I mean, sure, there’s humanity’s biological imperative to produce the best possible offspring for the next generation. The societal expectation that having kids is just what you’re supposed to do. Fatherhood’s so often characterized by all the negative associations surrounding it—a loss of freedom; financial burdens; and in some cases, building a permanent connection to someone you only planned to see for a night—that you’d wonder why anyone would want to do this in the first place.
But what I can tell you is this—there’s a reason why we don’t remember much of the lives we led before we had our kids.
It’s because so little of it really mattered.
The Case Against Fatherhood: Fatherhood is Really HARD.
There are some of us who figure out our purpose and make the most of our lives, but I’d argue that we waste a lot of time before we have kids.
What kids do is challenge your priorities, forcing you to do away with the things that don’t really matter, and cling fiercely to the ones that still do. Parenthood makes you tired. It makes you so stressed. You start measuring time in minutes instead of months, leaving your home less and less often except for the most crucial events.
In short, whatever you’re left with once you’re forced to tear apart the trappings of your former life? That’s the stuff that really matters.
And I don’t think I would’ve realised what that means for me if I didn’t have my kids to show me how valuable the little time I can find is.
Why Become a Father? It May Just be the Very Thing You NEED.
So the question isn’t really “who wants to be a dad”, but “what makes them want to do it?”
Fatherhood’s easily the hardest vocation I’ve taken in my life, but it’s also the most rewarding. I can’t imagine who I’d be if I hadn’t brought parenting into my life, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be with the same sense of purpose that drives me today.
I’m Casey Palmer, I’m a Canadian dad, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We’ll see you at the next post.
Posts in my “Forty Days to Father’s Day” Series
- Forty Days to Father’s Day: The Intro
- What IS a Father? The Definition of a Dad.
- The Importance of Sharing Fatherhood Stories
- Who Wants to be a Dad, ANYWAY?
- Getting Ready for a BABY: First Steps to Fatherhood!
- First Steps to Fatherhood: A Year Makes a Difference!
- 13 Things Dads Need to Know When Having Kids
- It’s Not Babysitting if it’s Your Kid.