Prior to having children, I never imagined my self as a dad…especially a young dad with multiple children including triplets and a toddler. If you had asked me about kids, I would have said that I wasn’t ready and I wanted to wait. Now I hear that phrase and I think to myself, are we ever really “ready” to have children?
For us there was no plan. My wife and I had been together for 6 years before we had our first child, Emily. I am not saying it was out of the blue – as we had many conversations about having a baby – but it became one of those things where we said that if it happened, it happened…and then it did.
Finding out I was going to be a dad was terrifying! I had just graduated school, I still lived at home with my parents, and I was only 3 years in to working my full time job as a bank teller. Hell, I had never even changed a diaper in my life! Looking back, I had no idea what I was in for. I think what worried me the most probably from portrayals of parenting in movies and on TV was the thought that suddenly your life and freedom come to an end when you have kids (theoretically speaking, of course). I was more worried about all of the judgement from friends and family about our living situation, financial situation, and that fact that we were young parents. I could have not been more wrong.
My family, my wife’s family and our friends were extremely excited and supportive. I remember telling my mom and watching her break down in tears of joy in celebration of our news. I am not saying my dad and stepmom weren’t excited or supportive, because they were. But after breaking the news to them did not go the way I had expected it to (details aside), they eventually expressed their happiness.
One thing I learned about expecting a baby was that it “manned” me right up! I knew I had to get my priorities in order, including, among other things, getting prepared for buying my first home with extreme excitement and focus around setting up our nursery.
Despite everything I was worried or concerned about prior to having children, I could not have been more wrong. Fatherhood changed my life in the best possible way and to this day it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My kids are my greatest accomplishment. I know it sounds cliché, but it is 100% my truth!
Growing up, my brothers and I had been through many unfortunate events that no child or children should ever go through. My mom was a single mother of 4 who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and my dad was an alcoholic. I suffered abuse and neglect. I have been through foster care where I was separated from my twin brother and my other siblings for over a year. I remember a very dark past. I never had any real guidance on what life had to offer, or ways to get ahead. My first bank account was opened at the age of 8, and I had no education savings like an RESP. When it came to finances and bills, I often learned things the hard way. In hindsight, it really helped me become more responsible, resourceful, and appreciative of everything I had and everything I worked for.
I have shared very little details about difficulties in my past, but with everything I have been through and the struggles and battles people like my mom have experienced, I always vowed that my life and my family’s life would be different. I promised myself that they would never experience difficulty or struggle like the hardship I knew from my childhood. I have used the memory and experience of those struggles as motivation to be the best provider I could be so that my kids would not go through anything close to what I had been through. Despite all of the struggles, my mom and dad are wonderful people. I can remember so many amazing things growing up with my family that would truly warm your heart. We all have our battles, and we all have our way of dealing with things. After being addicted to drugs most of my life, my mom has been clean and sober for over 7 years. She is very present in my life and my kids’ lives as well. She is an amazing grandma!
One of the truest sayings I have every come across says, “When a baby is born, a dad is born.” I never imagined my life as a father to one baby, let alone to four. Being a father of triplets has me in awe every day. It has been two years since their birth and I am still blown away that my wife and I conceived these 3 babies naturally. The last 3 years as a dad have been the best and most rewarding years of my life so far, and I expect that to continue in leaps and bounds as my kids learn and grow.
Fatherhood for me created such a huge spark in my life and has kept me so motivated! I want to be the best influence and as involved as I can possibly be in my children’s lives. My kids represent everything great about me and they are my greatest accomplishment. When I became a dad, I became a million things. I became a doctor, a comedian and even became a superhero! Dads are there to make things better. To heal wounds, to cause laughter and ultimately give advice. I just love learning about my kids and cannot even begin to express how blessed and happy I am to be a father to my children. They have changed my life.
To conclude this blog post, I want to express that fatherhood is amazing! We have such a vital role in our children’s lives and we need to be aware of how important we are and how much we truly mean to our kids. I want to express great wishes and send an honorable fatherly salute to all of you amazing dads out there!
Happy Father’s Day!