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 and father of three amazing children. Campus Minister of Wesley College in Dover, Delaware. Pastor at Hope United Methodist Church in Dover, Delaware. Elder in the Pen-Del Conference. Fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers. Lover of music that makes hipsters cringe.
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