Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Being a father is one of the most rewarding things that's ever happened to me. If you don't have kids, you just won't get it. People will tell you that having kids will change your life, but until you have your own, those are nothing more than words.
Once you're holding your own infant in your arms, this incredible feeling of love overwhelms you. It really is pretty magical. Give it a few more weeks and your heart somehow finds loads more room to grow.
As the years go by, your kids go through so many different stages. There's a tremendous amount of fun in there, but also a fair amount of tears, frustration, and sleepless nights. I've been a "professional dad" for nine years now, so I thought I'd share some insights with you. Here's a look at the 8 Toughest Things About Being a Parent:
1. Potty Training - This has to be near the tops of every parent's list. No matter how ready you are to train your kid, it doesn't mean squat. It's all about when your kid is ready to learn. Expect some accidents. Lots of accidents.
2. Just Say No - When it's someone else's kid, it's pretty easy. At least for me. But when my little guy wants just one more cookie or to watch just one more episode of The Avengers even thought it's already an hour past his bedtime, it's downright impossible to say no to those adorable little puppy eyes.
3. Feed the Animals - When my kids were real young, they were both amazing eaters. Avocados. Eggs. Tofu. Salmon. They devoured it all! As they got older, dinner time became a daily battle. If only chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese were as healthy as broccoli.
4. Sleep When You're Dead - Parenting would be infinitely easier if only we got a good night's sleep. But when kids are infants, they like to buck the system and keep us on our toes. So for their first few years, we get woken up all night with little sleep, causing the next day to be painfully exhausting.
5. Playing Candyland - I hate playing Candyland. It is easily the most boring game. Ever. Yet my kids love playing it. Over. And over. And over. Again.
6. Let them Learn - Kids make mistakes. They need to spill milk. They need to break things. They need to fall off their bikes. Otherwise, without even trying, they'll never get a fair chance to learn. But man is it tough sitting back and patiently letting them do things at their own pace sometimes.
7. It Really Hurts - The longest night of my life was when my oldest son Jason was in the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. My wife and I sat in the hospital lobby for hours all night, frantically waiting to hear the news. Thankfully he did great, but seeing your own child suffer (heck, even with a basic sore throat), really does hurt.
8. Nut shots - As a dad, my biggest word of advice to other soon-to-be dads: Wear a cup. Always. I can't tell you how many times my kids have kicked me in the hoohahs.
Andrew Kardon is a daddy blogger who writes about his family, video games, comic books, Legos, and more over at Mommy's Busy... Go Ask Daddy. He's also a freelance writer and the president of JoeShopping.com, the friendliest coupons and deals site on the web.