The hardest thing about being a dad, at least so far, has more to do with me than with the boy.
He is a little bundle of joy. He is the one who finally makes my life complete. He is the one in the Johnson & Johnson commercials who brings a tear to your eye when you see it. Or that is who he is supposed to be.
Not for me, not in those first few months. For I am, you see, an extremely selfish man. I never knew how selfish I was until Tory came along. I actually pictured myself as somewhat caring, and giving. But when you awake at 3am to a baby who needs milk, and your first thought is, No, no, just go back to sleep… I need sleep… What about ME?… When that’s your first thought, you know you are a selfish, selfish human being. And the worst part is, I resented him for it. As much as I loved him, I resented the time he took away from doing things I really enjoyed in life. The time he took away from Kari and I. Which brings me to the hardest thing:
The hardest part is knowing that this child should fill your heart with such utter joy, and when he doesn’t, feeling like there is something wrong with you, that you are a loathsome human, that there is no empathy in your heart… that you are an utterly selfish human. This is the hardest part. Not changing a poopy diaper (not great), not getting up at 2am, and not having any time to yourself.
Ok, but the good news is that it gets better. For any of you new dads out there, believe me. It gets better. I was told that it sometimes takes a while to make that true bond with your child, especially for dads. I loved him all along, but it wasn’t until he was about 11 months did something switch. One morning I found myself lying awake at 6am, waiting for him to get up, wanting him to get up so I could hug and play and giggle with him. And that was that. Something clicked, and I was a normal human again, with love and empathy.
If you think I’m a bad person, I guess I can understand… but I have a feeling I’m not alone. Is it normal to go through this? I don’t know. But I’m sure as hell glad its over. He does make my life more complete.