What I Wish I had Known Before I had Kids (That I Know Now)…

Man, what a tough question : “What I wish I had known before I had kids (that I know now)…” (click link for first post in this series)

“How would Batman answer this question? He would say that hindsight is a gift when you have a Batcamera on the back of your car so that you can shoot cannons at bad guys. Otherwise, don’t look backwards. Because I am right there. Stalking you. And Batman would say that he likes to talk in the 3rd person. (My precious…).”

• • •

Before I had kids, wow. I can’t remember what it was like.

I wish I could tell my kids something profound like follow your heart – but then I remember all of the times that I followed my heart and did stupid things. So instead, I followed my responsibilities. And I became a better dad and husband.

“What I wish I had known…?” The question was probably created by one of those perfectionists. You know the type – the ones who like to think about how their life could be so much better if they knew cool stuff. The rest of us just use Google. These perfectionist people look inside themselves a lot. They don’t want to tell their kids that they were just making things up as they went. Because being a parent can be really hard. And it’s way easier to fake it.

“What I wish I had known…?” I will have to think deep for a while about how to answer… Because if you are a man, one of the best things you can do is get together with a woman who is smart. Then tell your kids to listen to their mother. That’s what I’d probably say. Or maybe I would tell my kids to invest: Invest in their mental health, in being kind to themselves because life can beat you down. I wish I could tell my kids something profound like follow your heart – but then I remember all of the times that I followed my heart and did stupid things. So, instead I followed my responsibilities. And I became a better dad and husband.

“What I wish I had known…?” I’d know that knowing a lot more things can be dangerous. Especially in today’s world, try knowing less. That will make you different than all of the others, I promise you. Because it’s dangerous to know a lot and think you know everything. In my view, that’s called STUPID. Don’t be that person. Stay away from knowing too much. Instead, do one or more of the following: travel, do hard physical work – outside – not in the gym (you perspire in the gym but outside you sweat… if you don’t get the difference, I’ll pray for you), put the book away and call your mother, breathe more often, stop trying to be someone and be yourself, hug your kids and your wife every day. And hug yourself every day too, but do it in the bathroom because if you do it at work, it’s just weird.

Being a parent can be really hard. And it’s way easier to fake it.

“What I wish I had known…?” I wish I had a good answer to this question. A serious, meaningful answer. But right now, I’m all out of answers. What I have is a lot of questions, a little bit of humor, some donuts, and the willingness to work hard at a few things… the important things. And beer.

I write serious posts too. But everything here is about mental health and addiction. I appreciate that you took time to read what I have to say. If I can capitalize on your attention for a few more minutes, I invite you to read a recent post “Donuts are More Fun the Older You Get: Random Thoughts on Aging and the Mind.”

Maybe you are single, or an old guy like me, or a young pup-parent. I want to hear you on this question because if you are alive, you know some stuff about family. Be serious, be short, be funny, be thoughtful, be philosophical. Post your comments in the comment section and I will approve them. Or if you don’t want to post them, I will post them for you and let you be anonymous… and then pretend that the really answers are mine.

I invite you to sign up for my blog by clicking “Follow Getting High on Recovery.” When you enter your email, you will be able to access the articles in my blog at no cost. I do not send spam or share your email with anyone.

What I ask in return is that you comment on articles that connect with you and please share my work. And please take a moment to vote for my page on Psych Central’s list of mental health blogs.

Keep it Real


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