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The Days are Long but the Years are Short

Updated: Jan 18

Last month my daughter Esmée turned 2 years old and it got me thinking back on the these last few years of being a parent. The saying that rings more true every year is, "the days are long but the years are short." There's been lots of ups and downs, but over these last few years, I've felt more fulfilled and complete than I have ever before.

When we first found out we were pregnant 3 years ago, I was in college for advertising and marketing. The plan was to graduate and move to a big city, working for an agency. But halfway through my program we found out we were pregnant, and like many other parents - our plans had to change. So instead of packing up and moving our things, we hunkered down and decided to stay close to family and friends.

Now I'm sure my wife and I could have raised our daughter with little support from our families, but I'm so glad that we didn't have to. "It takes a village to raise a child" is another cliché that I've learned to live by. Having support, people who love us, and the ability to just take a break allowed my wife and I to finish school while raising our new born.

During this time, everything started to click for me. Suddenly it wasn't just finishing school, it was starting my career to provide for my family. It wasn't working out to look a certain way, it was exercising so that I can be around as long as possible for my child. It wasn't just stopping at McDonald's because I was tired after a long shift and didn't want to cook, it was about cooking healthy meals for my pregnant wife ensuring she had all nutrients that she needed. It wasn't about, 'having a few drinks to wind down', it was about setting an example for my daughter, being sober, and becoming the kind of person that I want her to emulate.

I'm sure other parents can relate to this, but finding out we were pregnant gave me a sense of purpose that I didn't have before. It allowed me to see outside of myself, and become less egocentric. Suddenly, it wasn't just about me and my needs anymore, it was about my little family that I was making. I was able to work towards something greater than myself, the health and happiness of my family.

I never could have imagined this person that I've become before Esmée, but I'm so proud of how far I've come. My beautiful wife has helped me consistently be the best version of myself, and has given me the greatest gift I could have asked for: a beautiful, healthy, and happy little girl. It might not have been my original plan, but who cares? It worked out better than I could have hoped.

Shout out to all the parents that are busting their ass, staying up late, and doing everything they can and more to give their little ones the best possible life they can. Your hard work might go unnoticed sometimes, but trust me when I say: you're needed and appreciated. It might not feel like it when your child is screaming at the top of their lungs or refuses to eat the third meal you've made for them this evening, BUT nothing in the world compares to an unprompted I love you from your kiddo.

Remember, keep your head up and stay positive! Even if every day life can sometimes feel repetitive and monotonous, keep in mind that this moment right now, is there childhood. They're not always going to be this little and one day when they have their own family, they'll emulate the traditions, meals, and stories that you did with them. I'm guilty of getting caught up in the stress of child rearing, and not being in the moment enough. Put down your phone, turn off the TV, and give your kiddo your full attention, because your family deserves the best version of you, and nothing less.

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