What I’ve Learned About Being a Dad at 46
I never thought I’d be a dad at 46. It’s not something that I ever really planned for or expected (anymore)
But, here I am — a father to a beautiful little boy.
And, I absolutely love it!
It’s been a bit of an adjustment, to say the least, and oh boy, am I not the boss of my life anymore!
My son comes first — always, even if I don’t want to, ah! but that might not be a bad thing after all. It’s taught me to be more patient and resilient and trust me on that one, I’m not the most patient person in life.
Every day is a new adventure. I never know what he is going to do or say next. And, that’s part of the fun. I’m just along for the ride, hanging on tight and enjoying every minute.
If you’re thinking about becoming a father later in life, here are some little facts for you as you will embark on the bumpiest roller coaster ride of your life.
The Main Challenge.
Fatherhood at this age can be a challenge, as you are likely juggling work, family, and other responsibilities. But it’s also gratifying and full of surprises.
The main challenge to being a dad at 46 is I don’t have as much energy as a younger father.
I live in a nice little town South of Montréal, Canada, with a lot of young families with newborns and older children. It sounds very lovely, right?
I’m actually a bit jealous of that.
Let me explain.
Young families, generally, have somewhat healthy parents, uncles, and friends to help them cook food, do laundry, buy groceries, clean the house, and drop the kids at school/daycare.
The best example is my neighbour: The guy is 10 years younger than me, and his wife is about the same age. They travel three (3) to four (4) times per year, and they go to the gym whenever they want or go play golf right before dinner time because Granny is there cooking their meals.
They are lucky and I don’t hate them for that, obviously, but I truly hope they know the chance they have.
Well, I do not have that luxurious chance.
My mom has just passed away at 82 this year and my dad is going to be 86 in 2023. He also lives far away from my house. My uncles and aunts are practically all dead or about to be, and my friends have families of their own and-or have already raised their kids and they are enjoying their life with no kids.
So, I always have to entertain my son, no matter if I’m sick, tired, exhausted, sore, in pain, etc. You get the drift!
The little free time I have resumes to this:
-Taking care of the house
-Mow the grass
-Figure out the next meal
-What do I need to buy at the grocery?
-Which payment do I have to do?
-and so on.
…and when it comes time to relax and do some personal stuff, I just want to crawl into my bed and sleep for two (2) days!
Sounds familiar to those who read this?
But Where Is The Mom?
My wife is 44 and works in the healthcare system. If you don’t know about the healthcare system in Québec, let me resume it in (4) words:
IT BLOWS DIRTY COJONES!
So she works 10–12 hours per day, Monday to Friday and is often on-call on weekends and holidays. She is in the same boat as me. We split all the tasks together but I tend to do much more than her due to her work conditions.
Note that I’m not complaining about this situation.
I work from home so I guess it is “easier” for me to do all the main tasks.
I’m Exhausted but I love it
This wasn’t an “accident”, the baby was desired.
Why so late, you’d ask?
Simple answers: It just didn’t happen before, the time wasn’t right and other boring factors I will spare you today!
Am I a good dad? (the $100 question)
P.A.T.I.E.N.C.E.: ( I need a truck-load please)
My son finds me saying often things like “Zach don’t do this!” and “Hurry up, this is taking too much time ”. The trouble is, the more I do this, the worse he does, and as my frustrations rise, we both get grumpier and grumpier.
I think we get much more irritable the older we get. This doesn’t help. I feel so guilty when I lose my patience. Does it make me a bad dad?
I have no doubts I’m in good shape for my age, compared to others, I believe I’m well above the average, if not on the top. HOWEVER (ah!), it hurts when I wake up! I feel like an old engine in wintertime and need to be warmed up before you pull out of the parking lot.
In the morning, my son springs into bed and shouts, “Get up Dad! I don’t want to sleep anymore!” even though I’m trying to get my old joints moving, the party has already begun for him.
In a nutshell
I’m so glad to be a dad, but boy I feel old sometimes. Trying to remain active and young at heart might be the best thing for my son. Trying to be a Superman every day can be challenging but it is so rewarding at the end of the day.
It can be tough being a dad. You’ve got all the responsibilities of taking care of a child, while also trying to maintain your youth and energy. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the end.
So far, what I’ve learned about being a dad at 46?:
1. You’re never too old to be a dad. Age is just a number! But be prepared to “oil” that old engine! ah.
2. It’s ok to not know everything — you will learn as you go. This is the most stressful challenge. Will I know what to do?
3. Be prepared for the unexpected and go with the flow. Trust me, every little second with my son is unexpected.
4. Embrace the chaos and enjoy the ride! (sometimes!)
5. Fatherhood is an amazing experience that you will cherish forever.
Let me know if you have a similar experience as me. I would love to know about you.
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