Picture this: you’ve been traveling through life, high-fiving your friends left and right, doing whatever you want, whenever you want (within reason).
Then, out of nowhere, it happens:
No, you don’t meet your partner. You already met them.
You meet their kids.
And their kids are your kids.
Because you did that together.
You can imagine how that might change your life. In fact, if you’re reading this, you don’t have to imagine it at all—you’re probably very well aware of how kids change your life.
But misery loves company. So, without further ado, here are 7 things I love about being a dad. And, just because I’m getting old and curmudgeonly, I’m adding in 6 things that I hate about being a dad for good measure.
Strap on your seatbelts.
1. It’s an excuse to ride go-karts
There are some things that you should never give up when you become an adult.
For example, you should never turn down a game of laser tag. Bowling isn’t a sport, but it’s a good excuse to drink beer. And of course, you get to ride in go-karts.
Heck, you’re old enough to drive. Race your kids and beat them before they get their stupid permits. That’ll show them.
2. Video games are bonding time with the kids
There are a ton of family-friendly video games out there for you to get your gaming kick on. You might as well make use of the genre and have some fun.
It’s called “quality time.”
Or, if you really want to, there’s always Mortal Kombat. Show them what a true fatality looks like.
3. Burgers count as a complete meal
No dad has time to make healthy, nutritious, all-organic meals every day. Sometimes you need a dang burger.
Plus, as long as you introduce your kids to the magic of vegetables, your burgers can count as complete meals. I’m talking onions. I’m talking tomatoes. I’m talking lettuce. I’m talking pickles, but on the side.
And cheese. Cheese is a vegetable, right?
4. Adventures forever
Okay, not forever. But for long enough.
But one of the great things about being a dad is that you get to be an enthusiasm vampire.
All the energy and excitement that your kids have for stuff?
You get to feed off that. It’ll make you feel years younger.
And then, later that night, you can feel your old, sad bones creak as you grunt your way into bed.
5. Be the cool one again
Most dads were never particularly cool. Some dads were cool, but that was back in high school. Or college.
When you become a dad, you get to show your kids all the things that you thought were cool. And, because they have basically nobody to compare your tastes against, they’ll believe you when you tell them that the bands you like are “the best.”
That goes for most things. New books, movies, cooking techniques, and more: your kids have never seen them, so you get to—however briefly—introduce them to cool stuff they’ve never seen before. And you get to watch them fall in love with it just the way you did.
6. Scaring them is super fun
If your dad never scared the crap out of you when you were a kid, then were you ever really a kid?
Okay, so it’s not that intense. Nobody needs a dad to truly experience childhood.
However, if you have a kid, and if you don’t scare them—are you truly experiencing fatherhood?
I’d say not.
7. Kids say the darndest things
No, not the show. It’s way better, and it’s always unexpected.
Kids are funny as hell. Example:
Milo: Sofia’s saying weird things!
Me: Go to sleep! Ok, what are you saying Sofia?
Sofia: I’m saying gluteus Maximus!
Me: stop talking about butts and go to sleep!
Never would I have predicted that I’d have to fight my way through fancy ways of talking about butts just to get my kids to go to sleep. But here we are.
6 Things I Hate About Being a Dad
As with most things in life, you gotta take the good with the bad.
Fortunately, when it comes to fatherhood, the good stuff outweighs the bad.
Unfortunately, it outweighs it at a 7:6 ratio. (Apparently.)
1. My shit is never where I left it
I’m sorry I said “shit.”
Don’t tell my kids I used that word. I’ll never hear the end of it.
2. My car smells like ass
Sure, it’s a little messier than I’d like it, and that certainly contributes to the smell.
But when I say it smells like ass, I mean it smells like ass. Always.
Apparently, it’s hilarious to rip a huge fart as soon as you get in the car. I don’t know why they can’t toot just 15 seconds earlier. It would save us all the trouble.
Anyway, pretty soon here, I’m going to start making them walk. It builds character or whatever.
3. They destroy
Kids are walking tornadoes. They affect everything in whatever room they’re in. They are simply forces of nature, and most houses are not built to reckon with their might.
They are uncaring, destructive entities. They do not discriminate. At all.
If something can be thrown, it will be thrown.
And you know what? I’m pretty sure some of the laws of thermodynamics need to be rewritten. An object at rest does not remain at rest when there’s a kid nearby.
4. They’re gross
I swear to the old gods and the new: I didn’t teach them to eat like horrible dinosaurs. Yet somehow, they’re all teeth and carnage.
Chunks of food fly out of their mouths almost constantly. It’s just gross.
Actually, their grossness is part of the inspiration for Manners Cards.
5. They’re messy even when they’re clean
After showers and/or baths it looks like the fire department showed up to put out a 5-alarm blaze in our bathroom. How is the bathroom door wet?
And, actually? I don’t want to know.
6. They hang onto things
Like, my arms? Sure.
My every word? I wish.
Broken toys, trash, and sundry detritus?
If I let them, they would exist in an episode of hoarders. They don’t want to throw anything away.
I keep finding their bits of string, paperclips, and chunks of fur from dead animals they found in their friend’s yard.
I’m not kidding.
That’s All! That’s My Exhaustive List!
Although I’m pretty convinced that I hit every pro and con of being a dad, I’m sure you have your own ideas as well.
Let me know in the comments what you think I missed! I might need to expand this list at some point, but I don’t want to do any of my own research.