Dad Life almost 2 years in.
Being a father is probably the most rewarding, thankless jobs on the planet. Being a black dad because of stereotypes, makes me something like a unicorn. I say something like a Unicorn because unicorns aren’t real and black dads definitely are. When we see each other in public doing our thing with our children we acknowledge each other with a nod or a wave, or sometimes even a fist. Because we know that the struggle is definitely real. Without going into heavy detail about the relentless assault on black masculinity and the systematic destruction of black families through the target removal of black males from the household, I will keep this article as light as possible and focus on lessons that I’ve learned almost 2 years in.
No matter what you think your efforts will never be seen as the same as the mother of your children. She carried your child for 9 months, transformed her mind and her body and was willing to sacrifice her life to birth your child. So yeah … get over yourself. The faster you do the better you’ll feel. It is definitely not a competition.
The Dad Bod is actually a real thing. During the pregnancy you’ll be eating and sleeping almost just as much as your child’s mother and afterwards you’ll probably keep up the same eating habits because that’s what your accustomed to. You’re also going to be spending more time at home once your little bundle of joy arrives which translates into less time at the gym. I found out that waking up early, I mean like extra early. Like 430am allows you to have time to yourself, hit the gym, and get in a healthy meal all before the day starts. You can’t take care of your family unless you take care of yourself.
Time is your most valuable commodity. Personal time is one thing but family time is another. Making sure you’re able to spend quality time with your family has been one of the keys to happiness thus far. You can always acquire more money, but you cannot reverse time and revel in life’s precious moments. So take a day off, extend your weekend, have fun!
Kids don’t need much to be entertained. As father’s we tend to over think things when it comes to playing with our kids. All they really want is some one on one attention. It could be anything. Building a club house with 2 chairs and a fitted sheet, or scribbling with chalk in the drive way. They just want you to be present with them. Children under 2 don’t have a concept of the illusion of the past or the future. They live in the only moment that matters the NOW. I think that’s one of the greatest gifts these little master teachers show us. Right now is all that matters. Enjoy it.
Being a father is definitely a challenge. Everyday offers a new experience that should be accepted with gratitude. I humbly stand before this great mystery we call life and I accept all the beautiful craziness to come. Thank you to my father’s and mother’s who once stood as guardians of the gateway of in which I know stand.
Namaste My Ninjas