What makes Parenthood “All Worth It?” [from Dad’s Perspective!]

Hello, hello, how is everyone’s week going? It’s almost Friday again! What are the big weekend plans!?
I’m so excited to be working with Gerber on their #growingupgerber campaign to talk about what makes being a parent all worth it. Gerber products have quickly become some of our favorite go-to’s that Calvin will continue to grow up with, and it’s truly an honor to work with such a classic household brand name.
^Calvin chillin in his favorite white Gerber onesie^ #gerberbaby!
Before I had a baby, I would watch other parents do things and think how unappealing it all looked. I remember seeing a co-worker wash all of her pump parts in the sink at work (multiple times a day) and think, “what a pain in the ass.” I remember hearing how parents typically need to add an hour to their before-work routine and think, “I can barely wake up in enough time to get myself ready,” or how parents are sometimes up literally all night with a sick child and think how I can only function on 7+ hours of sleep a night. My favorite is hearing how most families fork over a 2nd mortgage payment for childcare and I wondered how I would ever afford the 1st.
I saw and heard everything that the parents I knew did for their children and it seemed overwhelming, like such unnecessary hard work. I think that’s why there is so much anxiety tied to pregnancy. You are trying to imagine doing all of these things before the little one is even here. Then they get here, and most of the stuff you worried about doing is irrelevant – you do it because you want to, without thinking twice. Each smile, laugh, and hug we receive, reminds us of our why. The happy, content baby Calvin has become, makes it all worth it.

In celebration of Father’s Day, I’ve asked Craig to share his moments that make it worth it for him. I think we spend a lot of time talking about Motherhood….but Parenthood includes Fatherhood and I think it’s so important to appreciate both sides of the spectrum – because it’s no secret they are very different. No more of me rambling…here’s my boo, Craig:


“When we first found out we were having a baby and announced it to the world, we heard a ton of “Congratulations, so happy for you” and “that’s so exciting.” These positive reactions were soon followed by “kiss your life goodbye” and “prepare to be tired for the rest of your life.” All in good fun of course, and I’m sure our friends and family meant nothing negative in these comments but still, the prospect was slightly daunting.
Fast forward and Calvin William Cantor was born February 18th 2016, so I’ve been a father for about 4 months now. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, being a parent is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Some sleepless nights, crying/fits that don’t stop, lifestyle sacrifices, these are just a few things I’ve experienced so far and you know what, I wouldn’t change it for anything. Because with these negative instances (which with Cal we have been extremely fortunate to have very few) come endless positives including baby laughter and smiles, numerous “firsts”, and pictures that are so cute I want to claw my eyes out.

I love being a Father, so I wanted to write down some of the perks to celebrate & remember on my first special day. Here’s a list that make all those blown out diapers and times being peed on totally worth it:
NEW YEAR, NEW ME
 The phrase New Year, New Me has never been more accurate. Not only do I have a new baby but I have a new life. This means new experiences, new goals, heck new everything! I’ve got new responsibilities, I’ve got a new daily routine, and through Calvin, Kayla and I met new friends. Each day brings something new and to me, this element of parenthood is beyond exciting. Instead of going out on weekends and staying out until 3am planning to sleep the next day away, I’m at home watching Netflix and in bed by 11pm. This is definitely new, but to quote one of my favorite shows and sitcom characters:

Life is what you make it, and I choose this new life every time.
NEW LOVE
I wasn’t aware I could love something as much I love Calvin. When you hear someone say this it sounds totally cliché, but then you look into your new baby’s eyes for the first time and you finally understand that Stevie Wonder song. I watch my Mom snatch him up when we arrive for a long vacation with our families and it makes me unbelievably happy. You can feel the love in the room as my sisters complain about how short of a turn they got holding him and my Dad constantly comments on how cute he is. Kayla’s mom just spent a week with us to help out the first week that Kayla headed back to work (delaying the inevitable daycare drop-off as long as possible.) Watching her play with Calvin or putting him through his bedtime routine, it breaks my heart that we aren’t closer. The fact that she took that time to help us like that makes me love and appreciate Kayla’s family more and more every day. They say “love makes the world go round;” well it sure as hell gets me through the day.

NEW GROWTH
Every little thing Calvin does amazes me. I can’t tell you how many times Kayla has heard “Kayla look, look, OH MY GOD LOOK.” Sure he’s grabbing my finger super tightly for the one hundred and fifty third time or giving me one of his 100 megawatt smiles, but to me these are incredible. Soon he’s going to have teeth, soon he’s going to be walking, and soon he’s going to be beating me at one on one basketball. You can totally tell he’s learning on a daily basis. His newest thing is to rub his hands and face on my beard. He continues to develop and surprise us but I am very thankful for him as he facilitates my growth as a father and as a person. I have physical growth to look forward to from him while I deal with my emotional growth. He was the first baby I had ever held, looking back I’m like “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF ONE OF THESE?!?” And now I have my answer, because I have grown that much in these four short months. I’ll ask my Mom to confirm but I believe I’m a better person now that he is here.

AN EXCITING FUTURE
This is my number one PRO of fatherhood, above the others mentioned, only because this can cover everything in one category. Kayla and I have started our own little family; I am now responsible for a tiny human’s life and well-being. Are we going to eventually move again? Are we going to buy a house then? How many kids do we want?
 I am no longer thinking in the “I or Me” frame of mind, now it’s “Our and We and Us.” It is immensely rewarding going to work every day, being the best I can be, knowing I have people at home who depend on me. I hope I can be half the Father to Calvin that my Dad was to me and same goes for teaching him to be a good person, right from wrong, all that jazz. I tell my parents “I love you” every chance I get and I count the days until I can hear one from Calvin because when I do, I will know I have truly succeeded as Calvin’s father.

It is almost impossible to describe the joy that comes with being a new Father, but I gave it my best shot. Sure it’s not all sunshine and rainbows but that comes with the job, the ups and downs, and I definitely enjoy the ride.
Don’t let these veterans of parenthood scare you with their tales of chaos and shambles, it’s like they can’t help themselves. It almost seems like an initiation into the club that is being a parent, they talk this way because it’s basically assumed that the benefits and rewards of being a parent are beyond any combination of disasters you can possibly imagine.
Every child is different; every parent is different, what works for me might not work for you. This is what I love about being a Father and I wish you well on your journey to figure out what makes it worth it for you.”
-CC


How good of a writer is Craig? He’s seriously the best Dad, too. I think I’ll have him write my heartfelt posts from now on…
With Mother’s Day just passing and Father’s Day approaching, we encourage you to think about what makes it worth it for you. Keep them in mind when the going gets tough….I know we do.
Want to join in on sharing your favorite #growingupgerber moments? Click here to find out how your Instagram picture could be chosen as a Gerber Pic of the Week and also, to unlock some savings. Happy Sharing!
❤ Kayla & Craig

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