What being a father gives you

I realise this post might sound a bit schmaltzy or lovey dovey, or soppy, but I’m allowed at least one of these right? I’ll keep it short and you might even agree with me.

I realise that this is a fairly common thing to most who become a parent, but if you are not, you might not have looked at it like this.

I realise I could post about being a dad meaning this or that, or doing this, or doing that, but I won’t. There are plenty of good posts around already doing that.

My one point is that as you become a parent, I don’t think you are prepared for the emotional aspect of it. Of course most people tend to expect that they will love their children, but knowing that, and experiencing it are two different things. It is like having an idea about what love is about between two people. It might be a good idea, but it is never quite the same as experiencing it, having your insides spun or turned upside down, or even torn apart.

What this translates as, is many of the things that you imagine would be annoying, or are with others children, such as changing a diaper (nappy in the UK), or getting drooled on, are no big deal. A diaper can be messy (and at various stages I’ve had some bad ones), but sort it out and five or ten minutes later, it is mostly forgotten about.

What this means is that when you get the little smiles, and in the first few years there are limited social skills, so these are genuine, that they are underwritten with the emotional feelings. When you play a little game and your child makes you laugh, it isn’t just a laugh, it has the loving emotion attached with it.

When I play little games with my 16 month old son, I like to try teach him something, but at the least, make him laugh. I like it when he looks back at me with his little knowing smile, when he has discovered something new, and is showing off, using body language to say “look at me”. I try to get some of these moments everyday because they help make my day. It’s the most fun thing.

Most of the other s**t in life doesn’t matter too much. It’s important, but not that important. Doing something for, building something for, achieving something for, or just doing something your child can be proud of, that’s what seems important. Well it does to me. Even if it’s not immediately apparent.

Being a father gives you perspective.

Lexicon word of the day: ephemera.


11 comments on “What being a father gives you

  1. Dan says:

    Until I became a dad, I don’t think I really knew the meaning of the word “sacrifice.” My wife and I say that the love we have for each other really is trumped by the love we have for our daughter – which isn’t to diminish what she and I have.

    I am one of the most grossly sentimental dads out there – partially due to the fact that I have only one child – so no apologies for sentimental posts! That’s the real stuff.

    • Elliot says:

      Thanks Dan. It’s amazing how unprepared for the emotional side I was. I knew there would be something but I wasn’t sure exactly how it would be, and how strong. Not that I’m complaining.

  2. crubin says:

    Absolutely! And although it is sad how fast time flies, you will love every stage with your child, even those teenage years. It’s great to see their personalities emerge. My kids constantly amaze me. 🙂

    • Elliot says:

      Time seems to be flying now! I think we would like to have a second at some point so that will be something for us to think about soon.

      I’m looking forward to him getting to 3+ so “we” can get some cooler toys.

  3. Well said. I have two, 30ish now, In their teens I their names to Suspect #1 and Suspect #2. I’ll allow you to speculate what that means (give yourself 400 pages to write).

  4. rtd14 says:

    My almost 2-year-old teaches me more about being a mother everyday, so I understand what you mean. A beautiful post! Children change all perspectives, and I’ve enjoyed writing more about the relationships between parents and children in my work than anything else. It is the heart of my book. There is something to it more than romance, because the reality is that it is more important than any romance; at least to me.

    Thank you for sharing!!!

    • Elliot says:

      Thanks Rebecca, I think the surprising thing is it is just “there”, so I know what you mean when you say it is different from Romantic love / emotions. That is not to take anything away from what I have with my wife, and I’m sure she agrees, it is just a little different.

  5. Ahh…how sweet. Those are the best times. I work in a boys’ school… with 1400 of them… ages 7-17…. you have until he hits 13…. then it’s… well, hormones kick in and all bets are off….lol. But it is still the best ride of your life!

  6. Ann Marquez says:


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