Several years ago I reached a milestone. I turned the big 4-0. It’s been a little weird, and I have to admit I never imagined being 40 years old. It never crossed my mind as far as what life would be like at this age; however, it seems to me that things are not much different than they’ve always been. However, there is one thing that I could have never imagined: that is becoming a father of three.
Of all the things I’ve experienced in the 40 years of my life that have changed me, being a father has changed me the most. I “look” totally different than I did before marriage and fatherhood. Friends that knew me before will be the first to say, “You are not the same guy.” But it’s not a bad thing. Fatherhood has made me better, much better. I thought I would take a moment to acknowledge it.Of all the things I've experienced in the 40 years of my life that have changed me, being a father has changed me the most. Click To Tweet
Here are 40 ways fatherhood has made me better:
- My perspective has gone from a “me” perspective to a “we” perspective.
- I’m more patient. This is a daily battle, but way more patient.
- I’m not as risky. A failed risk has bigger consequences after fatherhood.
- I don’t give up. You have no choice but to overcome challenges for your family.
- I honor my mother and father more. My appreciation for my parents has grown tremendously.
- I watch less TV. ESPN or time with my kids? There is one obvious choice.
- I think about my health more. I need to be as healthy as I can for my kids’ sake.
- I pray more than ever. This is no longer a last resort — but a priority.
- I plan for the future. Measure twice, cut once is my new mantra here.
- I’ve learned to respond, instead of reacting. In summary, I think more before speaking.
- I slow down and enjoy the moment. All parents ask, “Where did the time go?”
- I make a big deal out of my kids’ birthdays. Celebrating their lives is something to make a big to do about.
- I make a big deal out of little things. Celebrating the “clean plate club” is also a big to do.
- I act like a kid. Interacting and engaging with my kids on their level is fun for me too!
- I’m tougher. We learn to be strong(er) when our kids are at their weakest.
- I eat less junk food. We learn to practice what we preach for their benefit.
- I talk less junk. More is caught than that which is taught.
- I read more. Dads are family leaders. And great leaders are readers.
- I listen better. Still a work in progress, but…what did you say?
- I look at life differently. The privilege and responsibility of fatherhood will do that to you.
- I’m cleaner. Having a sick kid is no fun, therefore hand washing and sanitizing is important.
- I’ve become more affectionate. I’m the hugging, kissing, high-fiving, wrestling, and fist bumping dad!
- I spend money more wisely. Finances can devastate or bless a family.
- I’ve learned to accept losing. Somehow my kids are able to pin me and beat me in basketball regularly.
- I’ve learned lessons that I’ve forgotten. The show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” is really humbling. Enough said.
- I’m more humble. Having things happen that are out of my control or influence will humble the best of us.
- I’m more sensitive. You learn to see and feel what your kids are going through.
- I’m more family oriented. Most of what I do is now viewed and considered through the lens of family.
- I have a greater love for kids. I love to teach, coach, and act silly with all kids.
- I am more driven. My success impacts their lives in a major way and that drives me.
- I am more intentional. I no longer do things haphazardly, but intentionally.
- I am more committed to marriage. If our marriage fails, the impact on our kids could be catastrophic.
- I am more thankful. To be a father is a blessing to be cherished.
- I’m more sure of my purpose. A big part of my purpose is to be the best dad I can be for my three kids.
- I value sleep more. Do I need to say anything more than that? New dads can relate.
- I value friendship more. It’s great to share my fatherhood experiences with other dads.
- I’m better at fixing things. Fixing things has never been my strength, but you learn.
- I’m a better driver. I have very important “cargo” with me.
- I’m a better communicator. I speak 5-year-old, 9-year-old, and 14-year-old as well as wife.
- I’m a better man. Overall, the daily experience of fatherhood has made me a better man. And this year, my 40th, I am truly grateful to be called “Dad.”
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is one way you think I can improve as a dad?”