By the time I turned 40, most of my friends had kids. And I was ok with that. I enjoyed my potluck existence of dive bars, random dates, and spontaneous getaways. Vegas? Sure. Tequila shots? Line ‘em up. What more could a guy want.
Cue 41 year old crying into an empty margarita glass.
Truth is, I’ve always wanted a family of my own, but figured I’d just bop along until I met the right person and everything fell into place. But finding a soul mate doesn’t always unfold like a John Cusak film. You have to know what you need from a partner and make a real effort to build the life you want.
Today I’m 50 with a 2 year old son. And like many parents say, it’s both the greatest and hardest thing ever. A few thoughts on being an “old dad”:
- I now understand the importance of core strength. After the first twenty diaper changes, my lower back seized up. That motivated me to exercise more.
- I’m far more patient than I used to be. A trait that really helps when parenting a toddler. Particularly when the sleep deprivation kicks in.
- Whether you’re 30 or 50, hearing “Wheels on the Bus” forty times in a row can really mess with your head.
- I’m suddenly more in touch with my mortality. Motorcycle sold. Bacon intake reduced. I want to be alive as long as humanly possible.
- I’ve spent five decades being selfish. Nothing wrong with that, though it feels good to shift my love, time, and attention to someone else.
- Shout-out to chicken nuggets.
- Having spent 20+ years focused on my career, I find it easier to leave work at work. As a result, my child gets my full attention and focus when we’re together.
- Stop worrying about things you can’t control. Like your age. Just enjoy the time with your kids and don’t take a minute for granted.
- Everything is relative. I recently met a 73 year old man with a newborn. Made me feel like a young dad with a nice head start.
There’s certainly more to say, but in the interest of keeping this blog post readable, I’ll stop here. Please write to me any time should you have questions or parenting insights to share.
All the best,