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Parents Are People Too

by Joe Lawrence | December 1st, 2010 | Infants/Toddlers
Being a father is the greatest challenge of my life and the greatest pleasure.  I have always been told this about parenting.  I never quite understood, though.
As I look back on the Joe of the old days, I reflect on how I thought parenting would be like having a dog.  Really.  If you think about it, you care for the dog and love it like a child.  When I deployed for months on end, I missed spending time with her.  If she ever became ill, I would go into debt to pay for the bills.  Certainly, these were the same emotions and feelings a father would have.
What I never could have grasped was that instant bond you share the moment you see the flicker of a heartbeat on the first ultrasound.  I have learned there is no single other comparison in the world to being a father.  I have 11 nieces and nephews (total) and I would do anything for any one of them.  Still, nowhere near the feeling.
It is easy to say and think we know what it will be like becoming a parent; however, there is nothing you can do to prepare for the love and feelings you’ll experience.  This is a great thing and also a scary thing to consider.  It is is possible and common for parents, especially mommies, to ignore their spouse.
Being a parent means we are charged with caring for our offspring, but still have to nurture our marriage.  Doing this is much easier said, than done.  One way to obtain this goal is a date night.
Plan out a few hours, at least, each week where it is mommy and daddy only.  A great time for us is after the little monkey is asleep for the night.  We then watch a movie, play a game, or even just talk.  No baby stuff, just us.
The love for our children is automatic, the relationships with our spouses often take some effort after we hear the pitter patter of little feet.
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