Becoming a dad is probably the single greatest thing I've ever done in my life. It's a wonderfully enriching experience that's made me a better person overall. But, look, I'd be lying if I said parenting was nothing but picture-perfect moments.
Like most things in life, fatherhood has its drawbacks. Yes, the good far outweighs the bad, but I can gripe at least a little, can't I? In that spirit, check out the best and worst things about being a dad below.
You'll Feel Young Again. Because I get to live vicariously through them, my kids make me feel as if I've taken a healthy drink from the legendary Fountain of Youth. They've allowed me to re-experience a child-like sense of wonder and imagination, which is ironic, because raising them sometimes makes me feel like the oldest man alive.
Kids Think You Know Everything. My kids do wonders for my self-esteem because they honestly expect me to have answers for everything. Of course, it's a lot of pressure being a veritable font of information, but I plan on enjoying this time as much as possible while it lasts. Eventually they'll discover that Daddy's flying by the seat of his pants.
Kids are a Great Excuse to Go Places. Kids provide a great excuse to visit places I probably wouldn't as an adult, like amusement parks, toy stores, playgrounds, etc. In some ways, I think I enjoy these places more than they do.
Father's Day. At one point, Father's Day seemed like just another holiday, but now it has a whole new special meaning. I look forward to it as the one day a year when I can slack off and get my due. Way I figure, I earned it. Plus, I'm slowly amassing an impressive collection of handmade cards. Can't beat that.
How Long It Takes to Get Out of the House. After having a child, you'll start to miss the days when you could drop everything and bolt from the house for whatever reason you wanted. Once a little one arrives, you'll need to bring along all manner of food, diapers, wipes and assorted toys even for what seems like a relatively short trip.
Kids are Expensive. After having kids, I was amazed at how quickly money seemed to disappear. Between the cost of diapers, clothes, furniture and the like, my bank account took a bit of a hit.
Illness. It's a grim fact of life that kids, especially if they're in daycare like mine, get sick a lot. And it's not just run-of-the-mill sniffles I'm talking about. Kids (and by extension parents) get exposed to a range of illnesses you've probably never heard of before, like fifth disease, impetigo and Coxsackie. My piece of advice? Stock up on tissues.
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. Kids love repetition because it helps them learn cause and effect, builds memory skills and even gives them a sense of security because they can anticipate what comes next. But after reading the same book or watching the same movie for the hundredth time, you might feel like you're going a little bit insane.
Donald S. Deane is the proud papa of three little boys who provide endless amounts of joy and sleep deprivation. He has held a variety of jobs, including college English teacher, newspaper reporter/editor, internet project manager, dishwasher and dogcatcher. Don has written for AOL TV, Moviefone, TheFW, ScreenCrush, GuySpeed, and Arcade Sushi, among others.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.