Chris R. Parish


What’s it like to be a father?


Are we born with the gift or do we learn the process of parenthood? I think that we learn as we grow by observing other parents and their kids.

About 7 years ago I wouldn’t have been able to answer a question about being a father. I didn’t have any kids. My wife and I would take in our nephews and we would treat them as if they were our own. By sadly, we didn’t know how to treat our own kids, because frankly, we didn’t have any at the time. We’ve spent many hours preparing and training ourselves for the inevitable. We tried for years to get pregnant and nothing ever came of it. We gave up. We decided that it was meant for us to take care of other people’s kids.

We gave up and in doing so, we got pregnant. Truth be told, we were pregnant when we gave up and didn’t realize it at the time. My wife, Jennifer, one day says that her “boobs” hurt. She said she felt different. Light bulb! We went and got not one, but two, maybe even three, pregnancy test. She tested positive, then tested positive, again and again. WE ARE PREGNANT! Imagine the excitement. I’m going to be a dad! She is going to be a mother. We are going to be Parents. So long suckeeeeers!

Before you actually become a father or even a mother, you don’t know what you would be like as a parent. Just because you treat other kids a certain way, doesn’t mean you’ll treat your own kids that way. There’s an invisible line in the sand, and that line separates you from the parent and makes you an observer. Being the observer, you only have a limited control as with your own child, you would have total control. Even if the parent of that child gave you “total control”, you still only have a limited control of that child. I say that because, tomorrow, that child will not be your child, unless you adopt him or inherit him. But the majority of the time, that isn’t going to happen.

You do learn something from those moments you do take care of a child that isn’t yours. You build a staircase to parenthood when you “observe parent” a child. You have the opportunity to develop as a parent without actually being a parent. The student will soon become the master, right? Being a father has trained me to be more collectively conscious about my surroundings, especially when my daughter is around. It may just be me, but I seem to not trust anyone, although, that just may be me being overly protective or possibly even paranoid.

What’s it like to be a father to your kids? It’s trying to imagine a time before your kids were born, impossible. It’s wanting “me time” and still having your kids around. It’s being mean when necessary because you love them so much. It’s learning from their mistakes and letting them do the same. It’s giving up the “important” things in your life, because they really aren’t so important, are they? It’s giving them everything they want because you never had it. It’s bragging about everything they do, just because you can. It’s love you never felt but had all along. Being a father is simply being a kid again yourself.


If you would like to read more about parenting, then read if you want something, then go get it!

About Chris Parish

I'm a father, husband and writer. Subscribe to learn more about me.