Celebrating Dads Everywhere – ‘I Became A Single Dad At 24, And Here’s How It’s Changed My Life

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

In celebration of Dads everywhere

In celebration of Dads everywhere

Read this wonderful story of a young Dad whose life changed as he stepped up to be a great father to his young son.

Happy Father’s Day ! 

‘In October 2013, a few months after my 22nd birthday and during my final (fifth) year of college, I became a father to a beautiful, but unplanned, baby boy. And over the past year, for reasons that aren’t quite relevant here, I’ve become my now-toddler’s primary caregiver. I’d always imagined living out my twenties holding onto my youth and very slowly embracing adulthood. Instead, let’s just say there’s been a steep learning curve.

I think that curve is something every parent experiences; it just comes as more of a shock when your wardrobe is mostly sweatpants and your diet mainly consists of George Foreman–grilled chicken, Taco Bell, and Keystone Light. Pre-fatherhood, every priority in my life was fairly short-term: Show up in class enough to continue to charm/beg my way to my marketing degree. Try to improve my ability on the baseball mound from Division 2 scrub to Division 2 adequate player. Find a way to get drunk on $4.57 this weekend.

But from the moment my son was born, my top priority became as long-term as one can be: to make sure that this little bundle in my arms had the best life possible, and that the college kid holding him would become a grown man and father that his son could be proud of.

Nothing gave me a kick in the ass to morph into a full-blown adult like having my son — and eventually becoming a devoted father and caregiver.

Here are a few of the most significant ways this experience has changed things for me.

1. My daily routine has done a complete 180.

Three years ago, my average weekday and weeknight consisted of roughly the same routine. Around 7 p.m., after class or baseball practice for my small-college team, I’d lounge around my house enjoying my lack of responsibility. My roommates and I would discuss if and when we would be going out for the night; more times than not, we went out. The only thing we had to be worried about was being in respectable shape by the time afternoon practice rolled around the next day.

Fast-forward to the present day, and things look very, very different. Tonight around 7 p.m., I’ll start my son’s bedtime routine: maybe a bath, lots of reading (Pete the Cat again? OK, buddy, whatever you want), and then brush teeth and bed. Once he’s down, I’ll make his lunch for preschool tomorrow and start laundry, as both of us seem to be in constant demand of clean clothes. This is just the new normal.

Read the full story here

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