On television, I see celebrities and random stories of men talking about how exciting it was to become a father. Well, that was their story.
Mine was a story of relief and I have written a little about that on here before. Now, a year later, It’s a story of relief as well. Relief of just making it through the first year.
Before parenthood, you don’t understand that every illness your kid gets, you will get them too. I had no idea what Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease was until two weeks ago, where my son got it. Next thing you know, I have it too. Put it this way, my time with COVID was a more enjoyable experience.
Since becoming a father, my ability to keep track of time has been useless. Minutes and hours flow by without me knowing it. It takes me longer to recover from tasks and work projects as well.
My expectations for my son have been simple. To just keep him alive. For training, I remember just days after my son was born where my wife and I watched a video where young parents talked about the challenges of a crying baby. Some were examples of fathers going off the deep end and making a fatal mistake with their child. Ever since then my main goal has been to not be one of those fathers.
Balancing work with family has been extremely challenging in year one. I have never been one to schedule time with family or with friends far out in advance. I have always been more impromptu when it comes to meeting up with friends and family. Now with a child, it’s a mess to go with that strategy of doing things day-to-day or even week-to-week.
One thing I did a year ago was take email notifications off my phone. Instead of being worried about not responding fast enough to emails, I simply check my email a couple times a day now on my laptop. It’s been a good adjustment for balancing work and home.
My best success is not being afraid of my son. What I mean is when he was born, I was afraid to hold him. Seeing his fragile body and head made me terrified of the prospect of him falling. It is easier to manage him as he became stronger.
Now that he is stronger and almost even walking, he can climb up on stuff and be a major distraction. My only coping mechanism is to distract him with something else.
Welp, I’ve been a father for one year now. Year two will be a big adventure as well.
Nathan Pace is the Sports Editor of the Greene County Daily World and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.