Being a father is a wild ride. My name is Christopher & these are my observations, theories & comments on life as the dad of my two boys Ripley & Jayden. I write this to air my thoughts & update my friends & family with photos, videos and such like. For everyone else I offer hints and tips on parenting as I learn them. For legal reasons I make no direct reference to my employer or any of my colleagues.
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Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Single Life Vs Parenthood
A colleague of mine the other day asked about my kid, I enthused about him for a couple of minutes (until the glazing eyes start indicating I should probably stop) and then asked if he was planning to have kids? "Oh No. No way. Not a chance. I like my freedom. Going out with my mates", to which I replied, "But doesn't it get a little dull at our age?" (29).
So I am writing this blog entry while I still have the capacity to remember what it was like to be "Free" and what my life is like with a Wife and Kid.
When I was free to do what I wanted I used to go down the pub, engage in the odd binge drinking session, etc. Then those habits started to get a little dull. I realised that going out in the evening wasn't so great, leading more often that not to a sore head, empty wallet and crap taste in the mouth. So I started having people round, watch a couple of DVDs, have the odd beer and eat too many Pringles. This was much more fun. Company in comfort with crisps.
So now, I am married with a kid in the space of a year, so what has changed? Not much, OK I admit my social life has taken a lower priority at the moment but something taking a lower priority is exactly that, I don't miss it, it just isn't as important to me anymore as looking after the kid. We have plenty of opportunity even during this delicate stage of his development to go out and have a break, but we don't often feel like doing it, and when we do we REALLY have a good time and appreciate our time together.
Last weekend is a good example. We dropped Ripley off at Pen's parents and headed into town. Realising that all the restaurants had people queuing out of the door (including N@ndos for God's Sake!) we had no problem grabbing a KFC (despite their most IRRITATING advertising campaign EVER involving singing fools) and heading back home.
So for those teetering on the edge of parenthood and your only concern is loss of "freedom" then don't worry. You gain so much more. If I am ever feeling down I just think about Penny & Ripley and it always makes me smile. Whereas before I would have just shouted at someone or crashed a car into a wall or something.
And if that doesn't convince you, I will just tell you the same thing that convinced a good mate of mine that Parenthood would be a good idea.
Take your age (29), add the age that most kids leave home (18) add a couple of years just in case your offspring is a lazy arse (2). That is the point where you can start thinking about retiring. That is scary.
29 + 18 + 2 = 49 - not bad.. I can live with that.
But lets say you are 35... it just gets more and more scary the older you get. Most people at my age are resigned (in a non-committal way) to having kids in the future. My little formula often helps people see the financial importance of having kids when you are at probably the most stable point in your career.
That said, don't have kids if you are not 100% sure, they are hard work but if you want them then you will love them and you will never look back. Oh yeah, and your mates down the pub ain't going to buy you a Granny Flat when you are old and gray :)