What Five Years of Fatherhood Has Taught Me

Abbie in Spring 2012
(Photo by: Nick Key Photography)

Our oldest daughter, Abbie, turned five last week. Like many parents, I wonder where time has gone.  We’ve since added Chloe Grace to the mix- and I am now outnumbered 3-1 by females (you can pray for me!).  At any milestone, it is a good time to reflect about lessons learned.  Here are a few thoughts on five years of parenthood.

1. Fatherhood/Parenthood is not easy! Why do people rush into this? I realize some people dream of having kids, but seriously- it’s tough!  I know when I do pre-marital counseling, I encourage couples to set goals for their marriage before kids enter the picture- and to pursue those goals.  Kids are a game-changer, more couples need to have awareness of this.  I’m grateful that Andrea and I were able to pursue some goals that prepared us for children.
2. My capacity to love has increased. Abbie was an only child for 3 1/2 years.  I think Andrea and I both have/had overflowing love for her.  I personally wondered how I could love a second child the way I love Abbie. When Chloe came along, love did an interesting thing.  Instead of dividing our love between Abbie and Chloe- our love grew so that we could love each child with a full, abundant love.
3. Conversations about bodily functions never end (and I have girls!). Parents, you know this- that when your child is young- bodily functions help to tell you that your child is healthy.  They become part of everyday conversation- even at the dinner table (especially at the dinner table!).  Abbie is now five and the conversations haven’t ended! She is amused by them- and so is her sister! You’d think we have a couple of middle school boys!
4. I’m ok with pink, princesses, or tea parties. I have two girls who I love- so I will play princesses, tea parties, or have plenty of pink on hand in the house.

Andrea and Abbie
(Photo by: Nick Key Photography)

5. My wife is more amazing each day.  My wife, Andrea, is amazing. It’s why I married her. Seeing Andrea work with the girls and care for our family, I realize how blessed I am to call her my wife.  We get to share this journey of life together with our children- and there is no one I’d want to share it with!
6. I have a better understanding of God- our heavenly Father.  In Luke 9:13-16, Jesus is talking about praying to God- asking him for anything-God will give it- because even earthly fathers give good gifts to their children- how much more does God want to bless us?

When I see my children, I want nothing but the best for them. It pains me to see them cry or be hurt.  How much more does God love us? That’s the kind of love that I can get excited about- God doesn’t want to withhold His love for us- just as I don’t want to withhold my love from our girls.

There are many other lessons that I’ve learned- but those are the six things that seem more prominent.  I know that the longer I am a parent- the more I will learn from our children.

About Steve LaMotte

Husband of Andrea and father of four amazing children. Pastor at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, Delaware.
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