There are lots of things that change after bringing that baby home. Finances, free time, sleep patterns. No amount of warning or preparation can make the real degree of change and transition any less surprising.
It’s been five years since my daughter was born, and ten since my step-daughter entered my life. The biggest surprise, the one I was least expecting, was something I didn’t even realize at first. All that time spent stumbling around bleary eyed, washing, feeding, and changing this little person that is now completely dependent on you. These early days obscure the biggest change of all.
The change to you.
That change is being celebrated by Pampers, this Fathers’s Day and every day. That feeling of unconditional love that turns a man into much more than he was before. That turns him into a Father. Honoring dads for the amazing things, big and small, that they do to help our little ones have a better, loving, more fulfilling life.
The campaign is called #ThanksBaby, and it’s all about that incredible feeling that our children bring into our lives. Thanking our kids for making us feel exceptionally special and empowering us to discover new roles in life through fatherhood.
It’s not just that they make us better people, although that’s certainly a part of it. I’m acutely aware of the tremendous responsibility I have to be a good role model, the example I need to set regarding how I want them to be. My words, my deeds, my reactions to both disappointment and success, the way I interact with those around me; all these are being watched and processed. It should be a difficult burden, overwhelming even, but somehow it’s not.
Harder to articulate is the way they make me want to be a better person for ME. The thirst for knowledge, endless enthusiasm, and naturally optimistic nature. The empathy and compassion that I see in young children that causes me to look around and wonder “what happens to us?” I want these things back, and to some small extent they have helped me succeed.
Being a father has also completely changed the way I view the world around me, no longer simply something that I inhabit and adapt to. I now need this world to be safer, cleaner, more tolerant and understanding. I need it to be better and I need to be invested in making that happen for them.
I’d like to think that I was a pretty good guy to start with. I’m better now. I’m better and it’s not even close.
Come share your stories with us. Tweet a picture or short story about how having children has changed you. Tell us about how Father’s Day makes you thankful for the ones that keep changing us long after we are done changing those diapers using #ThanksBaby. Take a minute for yourself this Sunday and remember the guy that you were before. Embrace those feelings of pride for the Dad you’ve become. Thank those that made that happen.