The Love of My Life Turns One: 12 Things I’ve Learned as a New Dad

I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.
-Robert Munsch, Love You Forever

My whole world has changed since my daughter Addie was born one year ago. Before I became a father I wasn’t sure if I wanted children of my own. It was a scary thought – I didn’t know if I had it in me to be a good dad. It hasn’t always been easy, but the past 365 days have been the most fulfilling year of my life. This is what I have learned so far as a newbie parent.

1. The Word Love Carries More Meaning
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As much as I love my wife and my family, l never knew how much I could love until I laid my eyes upon my daughter. Every time I’m with her I just want to hold her and never let go.

2. Everything My Daughter Does is Awesome
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The way she smiles, the way she crawls, and the happiness she brings me and my wife when she laughs. I now understand all those parents on Facebook that post every single thing their child does because I am now one of them.

3. My Life Revolves Around My Daughter’s Poop
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Until you are a parent, you won’t understand the sheer joy my wife and I get when she poops for the first time in two days.

4. There is Never Enough Time for My Daughter
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After a long day of work my wife and I only get about 2 to 3 hours with our daughter before she goes to bed. While we do make the best of the time we have with her, it’s definitely a struggle trying to find the balance with providing for your family and actually BEING with your family.

5. My Relationship with My Wife Has Grown
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Things haven’t always been easy for our marriage this past year. There’s the lack of sleep, the irritability, and the frustrations that happen when you’re learning how to become a parent. The amazing thing is how we have worked together through these moments to become better parents for Addie.

6. I’m More Productive
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I only have about 2 hours each day to myself after my daughter goes to sleep. I feel that I have been more productive in these two hours for the past year than the last five years when I had all the time in the world. When you have a child that counts on you, you tend to focus most of your energy to making sure that she will always be provided for.

7. My Priorities Have Changed
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Happy hours, going to the movies, playing video games for hours, and staying out late with friends were some of the things I used to do regularly in my free time. When my wife was pregnant, those were things I thought I would miss when we had Addie. Now, there’s nothing I would rather do then spend time playing with my daughter at home.

8. I Am Thankful for Our Family and Friends
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I realized that my wife and I don’t always have to do everything ourselves when it comes to caring for Addie. Our family and friends been extremely supportive helping us raise our daughter. From providing daycare to dropping off meals, my wife and I are so lucky to have such a wonderful support system.

9. I Appreciate My Parents More
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For all the times that my parents put my well being ahead of their own, I am forever grateful.

10. I Look Forward to the Future
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I can’t wait to see her walk, hear her talk, and watch her grow into a woman. And I’ll be that annoying father documenting every single moment of it.

11. Money Isn’t Everything
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Says the guy who named his blog Dad is Cheap. Life is more about experiences with the ones you love than always working to chase the almighty dollar. A wise woman once said, “People first, then money, then things.”

12. One Day She’ll Grow Old, but to Me She Will Always be My Little Girl.
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“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always
As long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”

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