A tale of a proud father - how my baby daughter made my life richer

Exactly one year ago the woman of my life - my wife - gave birth to the second woman of my life - my daughter - and my life as I knew it has come to an end. Today, my daughter celebrates her first birthday and I can't seem to comprehend how the time has passed so quickly... and there is no day I'm thankful enough for this little, sweet baby girl. I never knew this kind of love ever existed...

Daughter-mac

So they say kids are great...

Before I became a father, a few friends of mine said to me kids were great... and I thought - "of course you say kids are great - what else can you say now that you have kids, right?" Don't get me wrong, I wanted to have kids, but it was an abstract feeling for me, I didn't know what it meant to have a kid.

Now I know. "Kids are great" is an understatement.

Kids are amazing. You discover a totally different art/type of love than the one to your spouse or to your parents. Something changes in you. It's such a positive change that I wouldn't ever want to miss that. This new art of unconditional love and devotion is just mind-blowing, it's incredible.

If you don't have kids you don't know what I'm talking about.

Whenever I heard above statement before I thought "yeah, right" but now I know it's totally true. I've used words like amazing, incredible before... but the truth is that until you get a baby child on your own, you really have no clue what I'm talking about. Sorry, but I really know, just a year and one day earlier I didn't have a clue.

Some of my friends in their 30s don't seem to want a child.

I don't blame them. They say they are busy with their careers, the timing's not right, whatever... and the fact of the matter is that they'd probably be just fine and live quite a happy life... and a "kids are great" statement won't convince them. The problem is that, as stated before, "if you don't have kids, you don't know what I'm talking about" - so they don't know what they are missing out on.

Now that I know what it means to be a father, I know that I wouldn't want to miss it for anything. I know what it feels and that this kind of feeling can't be described in words. You just have to have your own kid, see it grow rapidly, be dependable only on yourself, be smiling to you in the middle of the night... to discover this new world of feelings, emotions and love. And it's not something you want to miss. Not in million years. Trust me, I know.

--> me I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of Nozbe.com - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.

Posted on Wednesday, January 13, 2010 (children,family,growth,gtd)

Jordi
Jan 15, 2010 20:17
My partner and I are expecting a baby girl, our first child. We are nervous and excited!
I thought that when you have a child your life changes completely, after reading your post I'm sure!

Thank you.

Michael Sliwinski
Jan 16, 2010 13:41
The best part is that you have no idea HOW your life changes when you have a baby. But finally when it happens, you know you wouldn't want to miss it for the world! It's really incredible... In a few days you'll find out Jordi! Thanks for your comment and good luck! God bless your child (and her parents!)
Mike K
Dec 3, 2010 17:57
As a father of 2, I can say without a doubt that you understated it. 20 years later one of the most vivid memories I have is the moment I first touched my first child. And 18 years later the same is true for my second child. And that was just the beginning for each of them. It is not just that life is never the same. YOU are never the same, and you'd never want to go back.

Happy Birthday to your daughter!

Michael Sliwinski
Aug 22, 2011 15:27
My daughter is 2.5 years old now and when she talks and looks at me I'm totally lost in love with her. You really can't say anything about parenthood or kids until you've had at least one. Mike, I'm sure I'll feel the same way about my children (hope to have more) that you feel about yours. Congrats, man!
matt
Sep 14, 2011 19:14
"so they don't know what they are missing out on."

Stop making assumptions. not everyone wants kids so how can you assume they are missing out on anything?

Michael Sliwinski
Sep 14, 2011 22:07
I know how I was without a kid and how I am with one. I know what kind of feelings I discovered in me that I never knew I had. I'm not making assumptions, I know how I was before and after. I didn't want or need kids per se. Me and my wife decided we should get them as every family does... and later I discovered what it really meant. Matt, I'm not judging the ones who don't want kids - all I'm saying is that when you do have, you discover a part of yourself you never knew existed. This is my impression. You don't have to agree but thanks for commenting nonetheless!
Monica Ricci
Sep 14, 2011 22:21
Whether or not to have kids is a deeply personal choice that too many people take lightly and end up doing poorly. It is also one of the *most* difficult and amazing things a human being can experience. Those of us who choose to remain childfree willingly forgo the joys that parents routinely experience.

Due to my choice, I will never know the sheer heart-bursting joy of holding your own child against your chest and as an adult, I must accept that as a consequence of my decision. I have nieces and nephews that I love fiercely like I never knew I could love a kid -- I'm sure I would love my own child the same way, but I choose not to make that a part of my life. It's just not right for me and I'm thrilled that so many people DO want to have kids.

Where I take issue is your comment, "You can't say anything about parenthood or kids until you've had at least one." That is patently untrue. Any person, parent or not, can certainly be qualified to discern poor parenting from exemplary parenting in others. After all, let's not forget... we all HAD a parent and that alone qualifies a person to form valid opinions on the entire parenting process.

All that being said, Michael, I can tell how crazy in love you are with your daughter and I am grateful for that because society needs parents who care deeply, parent responsibly and rear healthy, loved, secure children who make the world a better place.