parenting is life.

The thing about parenting is it can be lonely. Depressingly lonely. As a first time parent you get a tough reality check of who your friends really are. Once the little, or littles in my case (twins), enter this world, a lot of people fall off the face of the earth. Even the friends that don’t fall to the wayside have a hard time understanding the true commitment parenting takes if they don’t have children of their own. There is no spontaneous drives far away to grab special beer or food. There is no late night drink up followed by sobering pizza. Your life is just not the same after kids.

So what do you do? You become friends with other parents and learn to hate the late night party goers that live next door who always make a racket when coming home. You adapt to a completely new lifestyle and accept that the nights of bar hopping and clubbing are in the past. It is okay though. You have a whiny new person in your house who has the ability to melt your heart with a gummy smile, even after a long day of dirty diapers. You get over it, and the people who used to be important enough to be in your profile pic are pushed towards the back of the album as pictures of smiles, baths, and parent life begin to fill your Facebook.

As a young parent maybe the transition is harder? I became a father at the ripe age of twenty-one. When the bars welcome you in and most my age have spilled beer on their shirts I was at home rocking and cooing twin boys while wondering how quickly I needed to clean the spit up off my shirt before it caused a stain. Even when my wife was pregnant I hadn’t adjusted. She carried the burden of not being able to toss a few back. My feet weren’t sore after a long day of waddling around. That’s not to say I didn’t have a part-time job in the matter. During pregnancy the father is a glorified errand boy. We rush to get the food cravings or rub the coconut oil on to prevent stretch marks. We massage feet. We swear on the bible that our wives still look amazing even when they look like they swallowed a beach ball. And they do look beautiful. My wife is a gorgeous woman, but she will never top how beautiful she looked when she was pregnant with my children. My changes came later, signaled by the sweet cry of a child; heralding in the next phase of my life.

Parenting is certainly a lifestyle change. The things like partying and spontaneity are replaced immediately. It is okay though. That gummy smile I mentioned earlier, you see that and your heart melts. You forget about beer bongs and start helping Dora get away from Swiper. The new friends, fellow parents, chat you up about nap time fiascos and bath time disasters. You form bonds with people over your mutual hatred of Caillou. The childless friends that do stick around, though few in number, become honorary aunts and uncles to your children. You are born anew, as a parent.

Yes parenting can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. You accept the change and find yourself with something you never knew you were missing. Life gets an added level of meaning to it. Love happens; In its purest, most perfect form. Even now as I type, my son melts my heart from his rocker where he flashes me smiles while fighting drooping eyelids. With parenting comes a level of growth I didn’t expect and didn’t even know I needed. It is, after all is said and done, beautiful. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, would you?

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9 comments on “parenting is life.
  1. Briton, this is what so many new parents feel, weather young or older. I was the first of al my friends to have a bay, so much the first I drove my drunk ass friends to the bar after my baby shower, then went home to, well be super pregnant, thank Staci. Loved this

    • Thank you so much for reading, I love the transformation we undergo as people. there is so much growth in parenting and its beautiful.

  2. You have got the best attitude, Papa! That is exactly how I felt. If you go through parenting wishing you could be doing other things you will be miserable. I remember just accepting the fact that this was my life then and I did not expect different. Those rare times away from the kids were bonuses and were enjoyed but not expected. The quicker a parent faces this, the happier they will be with their new lives. It’s such an important job. I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I feel proud of my parenting. Just know that a time WILL come when you will be able to focus on your needs and wants again and if you can make it through the tough years with kids, your relationship will be even stronger when it’s just the two of you. 🙂
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    • Oh man, when the twins were born, we didn’t get any us time. we had a very weak support system and when we could score a babysitter we were always too afraid they might get overwhelmed so we stayed super close and ran errands. Parenting, like anything, is tough if you approach it with a bad attitude. I am so happy we think alike, because you are awesome!!!

  3. A good man you are. The loneliness is a struggle for me daily, weekly. I still crave to be out in the world and I often get sad, lonely at being stuck inside at night. The urge to go out and be around grown folks is always present, and on the occasional once a year when I do get out… I miss my little.

    This line gave me happy chills “We swear on the bible that our wives still look amazing even when they look like they swallowed a beach ball. And they do look beautiful. My wife is a gorgeous woman, but she will never top how beautiful she looked when she was pregnant with my children.” As a woman our bodies are no longer ours when we are pregnant. And we still strive, hope, try to be and feel beautiful. I hope all men think like you. Women are beautiful during pregnancy. Even when we have beach ball stomachs and gigantic feet. Great job, sir.

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