4 Ways Fatherhood Teaches You to Let Go of Control

With Christmas only a few weeks away, we weren’t in any hurry to get ready. She wasn’t due until January. Having been through childbirth twice before, we hadn’t pulled out any of the baby’s clothes, I hadn’t built the crib, and childcare for her older brother and sister could be sorted out in the new year. We had it all under control until the evening of December 8, when my wife went into labor—a month before her due date. Then, all our plans went out the window.

From the moment a child is born, becoming a father requires us to give up control of our lives. It goes far beyond sleep deprivation or sharing the best spot on the couch. It requires real, honest surrender. Here are 4 ways fatherhood teaches you to let go of control.

1. Things can get a bit more crowded.

Whether you’ve decided to co-sleep with your infant, or your kids have joined you in the bed because of a nightmare, it’s a strange feeling when you reach out to cuddle your wife, and you find there’s someone else in the bed. But your crowded sleeping arrangements offer you an opportunity to see your kids in their most peaceful moments—asleep—and the hugs and cuddles they’ll give you first thing in the morning are priceless.

2. Sometimes sports get in the way of sports.

No matter the sport you cheer for, gameday can be an important day around the house. Many men schedule meals and appointments to avoid missing the game. When your daughter starts playing sports, you’ll find yourself doing the same thing: arranging your life so you can get to all her games. The amazing thing is that you might find more joy in celebrating your kids’ successes than in watching a professional team emerge as world champions.

3. Where did I leave that again?

Men who like to tinker and fix things often find that their kids also like to tinker and fix things. Your son might follow you around, watching and wanting to help you out with projects around the house. Sometimes he might try to fix something even if you’re not there to supervise him. You’ll go back to your workbench to find your tools all disorganized and messed up. Every tradesman started off as a kid who didn’t know what he was doing, and the son who “helped” you with projects may someday surpass your skills.

4. There’s someone in my seat.

Many men would rather drive than ride shotgun. When the time comes to teach your daughter to drive, it can be hard to turn over the car keys. When she goes from learner to driver, watching her drive your car away without you can be unsettling. Where is she going? Who is she going with? Will she scratch the car? At the same time, when you allow your daughter to drive or to go places in your car, you show her you trust her and empower her to grow into adulthood.

Sound off: What are some other ways being a dad teaches you to let go of control?

Source: All Pro Dad here

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