I just had a major revelation that there are several things I do now that I’m a dad that I would not have ever thought of before. Let me explain…
Recently I hired four students from my university to help me run a summer program. In addition to money, we give them t-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee cups, water bottles and whatever other tchotchkes we can find in our office basement. The other day without even thinking about it, I washed their water bottles before giving them away. Like really washed them, with soap and water and everything! I did this without even thinking.
When I thought about it after the fact, I realized I would have never done this before my daughter was born. This got me thinking about all of the other things I do now that I am a dad that I never would have done before.
Here is a rough list:
1. I wash things more vigorously. Before if my dishwasher did not get something 100% spotless, I would not worry about it. Now, I want everything to be clean if there is a chance my daughter will use it.
2. I think about sunscreen. I’ll be honest- I NEVER thought about the stuff before. Now, before I go out with my daughter I lather her up from head to toe. I think about it now when it comes to both myself and others.
3. I get worried about people if they do not eat. Before I didn’t think twice if somebody I know skipped a meal. Now it makes me concerned about them just like I would worry about my daughter if she didn’t eat.
4. Speaking of food, I am more conscious about what I put into my body. Suddenly, organic produce is becoming extremely important to me. I learned not long ago, that all of the junk in food today can cause early puberty in girls. I don’t want this to happen to my daughter.
5. I am not a dick to people when their children cry in public. This used to annoy me big time, especially at a restaurant. Now I could not care less. The exception, however, is if the parent is an idiot and is ignoring the child’s needs completely. Sometimes it happens and the kid could be tired or want something as simple as a drink. Even an Oscar winner dealt with this recently; it happens.
I’m sure there are more I could add to this. The point is that being a parent changes everything about you; or at least it should. Not only do I rethink things I do for myself, but I also reevaluate how I treat others.
What else should I add to this list? What things have you done differently since becoming a parent?