You know that thing parents say about how they love their children more and more each day? It’s absolutely true. That other one about how being a parent is one of the best jobs in the world? It is. How about, being a parent is so fulfilling? Again, it is. They’re all cliché and they’re all true.
So, why are they true? Maybe that’s the more interesting thing to think about and approach. Let’s look at the statements (caveat: the following are all based on my experience and my opinions unless supported otherwise).
1. I love my child more and more everyday.
It’s totally true. I’ve heard parents say this plenty of times to me when they knew my wife and I were expecting. “You’ll love that kid so much!” “Every single day you will fall more in love with him or her!” So on and so on. My parents said they felt that way with me. My wife’s parents said the same about her.
Then last July 2nd, I became a father and sure enough – found myself loving my son more and more each day. As Lucas becomes more responsive and reactive to us, it’s just natural that it happens. From a biological and evolutionary standpoint it makes perfect sense. You love your offspring and will do anything to ensure that your lineage continues. From a modern perspective, the reactions I get (smiles, laughs, snuggles) all just absolutely warm my heart. It feels like I can physically sense my heart expand 5 sizes like the Grinch in Dr. Seuss’ classic.
Since our group of friends with babies has been rapidly expanding this past year, including the new couples that we have met via the baby connection, it seems that they are all in the same boat. Your pride, happiness and enthusiasm watching your child learn and grow just fuels the love you feel for them.
It’s cliché and probably annoying for adults who aren’t parents, but there’s a lot of truth in the statement.
2. Parenting is the best job in the world!
This can be a dangerous and isolating statement to make, so one must tread carefully. Of all parenting statement clichés, this is probably the worst. It feels arrogant, boastful and tends to make it seem like parents are better adults than adults without children. I don’t feel that way at all. It’s just a difference.
That being said, parenting is the best job in the world – but “job” is not a great word to describe it. Yes, it is work, but it’s work I enjoy. There are inherent challenges, plenty more to come, and of course it is also awesome. Parenting isn’t the best job in the world – it’s the best job in the world for whoever says it and feels that it’s the best job in the world for them, not everyone.
It is fulfilling! It’s fulfilling as any other job, hobby or project is – you’re putting a lot of work into creating something. In this case, my wife and I are working to create an awesome human being. We’ve already “created” him, but now we are working to perfect and shape him into an exemplary human being. That is the challenge, and that’s where the fulfillment comes from. When we teach our son something, then see him apply it, it’s such a rewarding experience.
4. I work to live so I can spend more time with my family.
I very much adhere to the work to live philosophy, but having a son has changed my perspective even further. What skills do I already have that could be utilized to alter my career path to allow more flexibility? How can I help others do something they’re unfamiliar with? Teach new skills? These are all questions I ask myself and then push myself to answer in order to create a life in the near future that offers me flexibility to be an awesome dad that can support my family financially and by physically being there.