No one prepares men or women for the reality of parenthood. We may find numerous books talking about it, giving advice and guiding our path step by step, but reality differs. Parenthood is a life changing that starts from the birth of our child and ends with us. It involves the transition from being selfish to being selfless with all the cry and laughter that comes with it, add to it that it teaches us how to survive with less sleep now that they are still babies and later on when they are older, last but not least parenthood involves being responsible and giving the good example for our kids.
To start with, it is true that life does change, but it is the power of the new born baby that removes our shields of selfishness and provides us with stronger ones called parenthood. When Nancy, my wife, was giving birth to Natasha our elder daughter, I was standing besides her, holding her hand, amazed by the way she is accepting the pain of fourteen hours of labor, and when Natasha was born, Nancy forgot her pain and held her with all the power left in her body, speechless, I couldn’t help myself from crying and holding both of them. On the other hand, Cecilia, our younger daughter, was born three weeks ahead of the delivery due date while I was abroad. I have cancelled my trip and came back to see my little daughter in the intensive care since she couldn’t breathe when she was born; four days passed, my wife who was recovering from the delivery and myself stood at the hospital helpless, broken down until we heard from the doctor that she will survive. Nowadays, when I come back home after 11 hours at the office, I find my daughters waiting for me to dance and to play with the dolls; I do it with them happily.
On the other hand, one of the fundamental truths about parenthood is the lack of a full night sleep. From the day my elder daughter was born, five years ago, I can’t recall that I have slept more than 5 hours except for when I am travelling alone. To begin with, my wife couldn’t breastfeed our kids so at their early age, we had to shift all night in order to feed them otherwise they will keep crying and yelling all night long; one day, my mom told me that if I can resist Natasha’s crying a couple of night without giving her the milk bottle she might end up sleeping all night, so the next day I took my mom’s advice and took Natasha to the guest bedroom and stood next to her while she is crying and she kept crying and screaming all night long for three nights until I gave up and offered her gladly the milk; the same thing happened with Cecilia. Afterwards, at the age of two years old, it is the time to remove the diapers, therefore, one of us has to wake up and take the baby to the toilet and wait until she is done, otherwise, we will have to wake up both of us, in order to remove the cover and the mattress in order to clean up the mess at such late hour. Nowadays, Natasha is refusing to sleep in her room so every night she wakes up around five in the morning, comes to our room, wakes me up in order to move and give her enough space next to me.
A man once said that “one generation plants the trees, while the next gets the shade”. Therefore being a parent is not to be taken for granted, while being a hero to someone we have to respect the power that the hero entails; First, being a good role model is hard to do 24/7 but for me I got used to it; I start by not saying any bad word in front of my daughters because kids are like a sponge they learn fast and memorize faster, for instance, my best friend’s son was repeating last day a bad word that he just memorized from TV, that is why parental control over the TV station is mandatory . Second, I control my temper and try to be patient all the time because no matter how many times you say “just this once” it will have no bearing whatsoever, so a good punishment is better than a slap; I recall this summer, Cecilia, didn’t want to leave the pool even though it was getting late and we were expecting people for dinner, so we spent another half an hour waiting for her to leave, the next week she was punished and she wasn’t allowed to go to any kids entertainment place for the whole weekend. Third I personally had to stop some bad habits like smoking in order to have a smoke free environment and to give them a good example
In conclusion, being a parent causes me to accept the fact that it’s really no longer about me anymore, it involves being able to walk a kilometer in tiny sized shoes. A wise man said “remember that we have not inherited this planet from our ancestors, rather we are only borrowing it from our children”. Men and women must be prepared for such transition where they become selfless, ready for long nights and more responsible. Parenthood is the greatest gift among all.