On May 21st of last year, Sarah and I welcomed our daughter, Ellie Jayne, to the party. It has been a fantastic year. As I told anyone who asked, and a few people who didn't, at the time of EJ's birth, "my world has never felt so big, and I have never felt so small." That feeling hasn't changed.
I expected parenthood to grow and challenge me (it has). I expected it to grow and challenge our marriage (it has). I expected it to change my priorities (IT HAS). I did not expect it to teach me as much as it has about business...
- Babies don't know what they don't know, so their reactions are visceral and instant. They are often irrational, because they don't know what rational is. In short, fatherhood is making me more patient. - There are few professional situations that compare to a 3 AM scream fiesta.
- Poop is gross, until it's "your poop." EJ's 10th day on Earth, she pooped right into my right hand (it has since been washed). I just laughed. Fatherhood is making me realize that a sense of joy can make any job/task tolerable. - There's lots of un-sexy work in every job. It's usually the first thing that suffers when you're overloaded, and it's the stuff that'll sink you, if it doesn't get done. Metaphorical poop is almost always not as bad as real poop, so grin, bear it and knock it out.
- A baby is the grim reaper of your best-laid plans. We are militant about "The Schedule." Sometimes, Ellie Jayne has another agenda. Fatherhood is making me far more adaptable. - Two weeks ago, I started into a presentation that I had spent the better part of a month preparing for. Within 90 seconds, it was clear it was going another direction. It was the professional version of planning an outing only to be met with a sleeping baby (which must never be woken).
- A baby can sap the strength of the strongest soul. Sometimes, you feel like you are losing at every turn of the day. Seeing this emotion in my wife, was the most especially painful part of the early weeks. Fatherhood is making me a better encourager. People everywhere in my life need to hear, "you're doing great." I'm more conscious of that.
I don't have a single thing "figured out," but the learning part of the process has been the best surprise. This is going to be a fun post/list to revisit periodically.
What'd I miss? What're your kids teaching you?