Fatherhood as a Millennial
Fatherhood: The Beginning
I have always known I was going to have children. The biggest thing for me was I didn’t know when I would have children. This lead to me and my wife waiting six years after we married before we had our first kid. Those were six years I wouldn’t change for anything! I absolutely adore my children, but having the opportunity to be footloose and fancy free for six years with Kristina was amazing. Fatherhood is just that much sweeter since I’m not wishing I were doing something else, but rather I chose to be here and to be present.
Kristina and I married at the ripe old age of 20. We had been dating for four years and we were ready to continue progressing our lives. We didn’t know what we wanted out of our careers so during our early 20’s we took advantage of the freedom to explore our careers while we didn’t have many major responsibilities.
This gave me time to try working construction, get my EMT, volunteer as a firefighter, get my CNA, work in the hospital, and go to college. My early 20’s were focused on learning who I am and what my talents are. I now know that I enjoy working with my hands, being my own boss, and having strict but achievable deadlines.
I have entered into fatherhood with the desire to be present, caring, and involved. Being a great dad can sometimes be exhausting, but it is so rewarding. I have found a comfortable groove in these first two years as a dad. Transitioning into being a dad of two has been good and I cannot wait to see what the future brings.
Since Akiiva is still nursing, Kristina is usually getting her ready for the day. While that is going on, I have the privilege of wrestling the little man out of bed for the day.
Typically when I get up for the day I am getting Elikai up for the day as well. Our daily routine goes something like this: first I get up when the boy calls. He then usually says that he is a “hungry boy” so we feed him, clean him up and set him loose on the world. He promptly destroys half the state before settling in to a vigorous game of “how many toys can I leave underfoot”. There is then usually a calm moment before he is ready for his morning nap.
These mornings are fun, but often it feels as though my toddler is a first-class narcissist and he doesn’t care how exhausted I am. Elikai will wake up when he wants, and the fact that it may be a weekend means nothing to him. I love my sleep, and this has been a big adjustment for me but it has also made me more of a morning person.
Many times being a parent is a selfless act. We must think of our self, less. A tough lesson to learn but an extremely important one for every father.
As a parent, what are some of the lessons you have? How do you feel that these lessons have helped or changed you?