5 things I've learned after becoming a father suddenly

My journey into fatherhood happened extremely unexpectedly. 


I was 28-years-old when my then girlfriend had Whatsapped me with an image of the

pregnancy test. The two bright red lines indicating that she was expecting a baby

ushered that memorable morning. 


Naturally I was afraid, nervous and a little anxious. But I have made my mind to

spend the rest of my life with Ista long before the arrival of this news.


After sitting down and discussing if we wanted the baby, we stuck through with our

decision and it has been worth it. 


Here are five things I've learned after becoming a father to a shotgun baby.


1. My parents were right. 



Cartoon by Brian Gordon

When I was a kid, I used to feel that the approach my parents had used on me were

questionable. 


I was a mischievous kid and used to be pretty demanding when it came to toys. My

parents were not wealthy so there were times when they would have to decline my

requests. 


I used to wail and protest. I also used to feel terrible for being raised in a financially

poor family. 


"You just wait until you have children of your own," my mother used to say, before

explaining the need to save the money instead of spending it. 


Thinking back about those times, they were spot on. My respect for them has only

grown now that I am a parent myself. 


2. I became financially literate. 


Image credit: shedoesthecity.com

More like I was forced to. 


Having zero knowledge when it came to financial matters, I used to believe that

money was the root of all evil. Yes, I was pretty silly back then. 


Now that I'm a father and a husband, I see how important money is and how crucial it

is to have goals in life. 


The first two years of fatherhood was difficult for us financially as I was lost in terms

of what to do with my life. But I'm glad my daughter's presence kicked my ass to

getting things done.


I now see the value and importance in saving and investing not only money, but time

and effort for the future of my lineage. 


3. Adapted to think creatively. 


Image credit: The New York Times

Being a parent is not a walk in the park. 


How would you handle a kid who throws a tantrum in the middle of a public space?


Or worst, how do you deal with a toddler who does not want to go to sleep? 


Yes, there are terrible parents out there but there are also some genuinely awesome

ones. 


Being a father has only made me develope and enhance my creative thinking skills

and surprise, surprise. They're pretty useful at work too. 


4. I quit smoking. 


Image credit: blog.bulletproof.com

Of all the things I've learned, I'm a little apprehensive to celebrate this achievement

though this is no doubt a milestone in my life. 


I have been a smoker for the past nine years and after becoming a father, I decided

to omit this habit for good from my life. 


It all happened after I got home from a smoke break when my daughter said, "Papa, if you smoke, your heart will turn black."

It has not been easy but I've been smoke free for close to two months now. 


5. Taught me patience.


Image credit: tinybuddha.com

I think many parents can attest to this. 


Sometimes I fail and do get angry (my daughter is as mischievous as I was), but I

have been much more mindful when it comes to dealing with difficult scenarios and

people. 


Being a parent has certainly made me appreciate the importance of taking a step

back, not being prejudicial but objective when it comes to handling issues. 


I am constantly reminded that we are all prone to mistakes and that it is alright to

commit them. 


What are some lessons you've learned after becoming a parent?

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