Putting everything into perspective is difficult for anyone when life moves a bit faster than you would like. For me, my life did a 360 in a matter of two months, and I’m still picking the pieces back up in November.
When life starts to make a drastic change no one is ready. If you think you are, you really aren’t.
Being a father has been the most amazing experience of my life, but I’d be lying if I said I had it all figured out.
Now, I’ve been a guy who has been in college for the past four years, where the biggest issue was getting myself to class on a daily basis. The only person you have to account for is yourself. When you get stripped of that, it takes longer than you would expect to get yourself out of that habit. I’d be lying if I said I had it figured out.
When I heard the news for the first time that I was going to be a father, my immediate reaction was a smile. I can remember looking at my girlfriend and knowing that she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Not many people can sit there and say that about their significant other, but for me, it was like a walk in the park. So when she told me she was pregnant, I wasn’t really nervous, and I wasn’t really worried. Being 23; a year away from graduating college I tried to blind myself from all the responsibility that came with having a child.
The next nine months everything was right back to where it was after hearing the news. Went to class, continued with clubs, kept my head in my books, and more importantly made sure I was there for my girlfriend.
I’m not going to lie, going to my last year of college was a struggle. Having to deal with people who didn’t understand the situation; at face value became more of an obstacle than anything. When a serious life change is about to happen, you need your family and those closest to support you. For me, it felt like I was alone. I would sit up until three in the morning every night in my dorm thinking why can’t anyone accept the fact that I’m having a kid. I soon realized that not everyone is going to have the same mindset that I do. So what did I do? I didn’t talk to my dad for three months, argued with my family, dropped all the clubs I was associated with, and moved out of my dorm for the last semester of my senior year.
The word sacrifice is an understatement. You have to be willing to give up a lot, and that’s been the hardest lesson that I’m still learning today. One thing I knew for sure was that I was going to be the best father that I could be once my daughter was born. Nothing and no one would stand in the way of that.
I lost friends, started becoming distant from everyone, and for a few months lost my identity. Not talking to your family will do that to you.
I was set to graduate May 11th and my daughter’s due date was May 6th. Grayson Ella Macey Was born May 16 at 1:29 in the morning; five days after I graduated. I can remember that whole week felt like years. Little did I know that feeling of being tired and exhausted would last a lifetime.
You don’t really plan for moments like this you just kind of roll with the punches.
Let’s get back to that word sacrifice for a minute. I’m in a career that I don’t want to be in, out the door by 4am, and ending my night at midnight. Being a father is a full time job and I’ll be damned if anyone tried to tell me different. Let’s get this stereotype: that the dad’s job is to go to work and put food on the table out of our vocabulary. As some of that is true, I refuse to listen to all the excess of bullshit that comes along with that stereotype. If I’m not exhausted everyday I’m not doing my job.
Having time for yourself shouldn’t be your first priority because if it is you need to re-evaluate. Learning to accept that is difficult but you just do it. Why? Because I want to give my daughter the best life possible.
I’d be lying if I said I had it all figured it out.