The Joy of Being an All-In Dad

When you’re an all-in dad, you get to experience the most amazing, adorable, painful and frustrating things. You feel the great joy of a beaming smile and a big hug when you come home after a long day of work. You laugh hysterically (while trying to be serious) when your child makes up their own adorable phrase that they’ve clearly tried to copy from something they’ve heard from you. Your heart aches and breaks when you see them experience any type of pain or sadness. You boil with disappointment and impatience as you catch them in a lie or find out they deliberately disobeyed you.

You realize as an all-in dad that it can feel like the frustrating, disappointing and just-plain awful moments that come with parenting never end. And then within a split second you’re reminded of the overwhelming cuteness, generosity and unbreakable love these little ones are capable of…and somehow the frustration just melts away.

You also discover that at some point along the way the things that you thought were really important seem to have become…less so. Memories of career and sports achievements…while still cool…seem less relevant. Activities, hobbies and your “favorite things” seem to be happening less and less. Yet…somehow…it doesn’t seem to matter as much. You enjoy your precious moments of alone time or freedom to do “what you want to do”…but after a short time…you find yourself wishing your kids were there and that you were getting to play or wrestle or cuddle or just talk with them.

When you’re an all-in dad you realize that sleep becomes a precious commodity, and while it can be difficult to deal with the deprivation…the trade-off of more one-on- one time with those adorable smiling faces is worth a few extra yawns. You understand that the days are long but the years are short and phrases like “kindergarten preparedness” and “baby-proofing the house for a toddler” are scary enough to jolt you right out of bed and ensure you get to enjoy a few extra snuggles and cuddles while you can.

When you’re an all-in dad you get to experience the joy of loving unconditionally…"fiercely" as we like to say in our house. There is nothing that can make you stop caring, nurturing, praying for, disciplining and guiding these little people as they grow and discover more about their world. They have a hold of every inch of your heart and there is not one thing in the world that can separate you from being their
dad.

This is fatherhood…

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