The joys of fatherhood

Published On: August 3, 2018 09:23 AM NPT By: Kalu Maila

I became a father three months ago. Since then, my life has completely changed. Many years ago, when in college, I used to tell my professors that my goal in life was to be a good houseman, whatever that meant. One day, I would get married then after that I would be a stay-at-home dad, read newspapers and novels all day and work on my novel and screenplays while taking care of my children.  

Well, I’m now a houseman but I haven't had any time to read newspapers or novels or work on my 'masterpiece' that’s going to top all bestseller lists around the world. Now, my daily routine begins at 4 am in the morning. During high school, one is forced to wake up early but since my college days, I had been more of a night owl, going to bed at 4 am and waking up after 10 am. 

But since I became a father, I’m now following what is believed to be Benjamin Franklin's formula for success that if you go to bed early and rise early then you become healthy, wealthy and wise. 

Well, it's been three months now and I think it's too early to tell if my health will improve or if my wallet will be heavier or if my IQ will increase by thirty percent. Waking up at 4 am is not an easy task. I went through lots of articles online and watched many videos. It seems that only rich and successful people wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning. Either you have to be an entrepreneur or a Navy SEAL. Well, I’m kind of a failed entrepreneur who has so far managed not to taste success in many of the ventures that I have started and Nepal doesn't have a Navy and I can't be a SEAL at this age and with my level of fitness (or lack thereof).

Anyways, waking up at 4 am is not something I chose to do because I wanted to but it became a necessity because my wife needed some rest as she is the one who is busy with baby-rearing tasks during the day. I go to bed at midnight now and wake up at 4 am to begin my day of boiling water, cleaning the bottles, and making new formula for my baby. 

Waking up early certainly has its advantages. Now, I have a few more hours of head start compared to my previous life when I woke up at 10 am and had to rush through the day to get things done. Now, by 7 am, I’m ready to begin my workday. My head is clear and, except for my nasal polyps, my health is much better. As for my polyps, doctors have advised surgery but I want to try some Ayurvedic stuff first.

As for my wealth, of course, you need to buy diapers, baby formula, wipes and many other stuff for the baby but my wife tells me that I have been a little bit responsible when going out shopping. I don't buy useless stuff anymore. Now, I check out many departmental stores for the best prices for baby stuff. If I get deals like a little more discount on baby formula and diapers then I visit that store. I may not have made any money in three months but I have learned to save a few rupees and I think that adds up and I think that's what Benjamin Franklin meant when he said that thing about early risers being wealthy. It's not only about making money that helps but also learning to save a few bucks as well. My father used to tell me that it doesn't matter if you earn a hundred thousand rupees a month or a meager ten thousand rupees. If you can save a little, it adds up and one day you will have enough to either invest or buy stuff that you wanted to but couldn't do so at one go. 

And let's come to the wise part. Have I become wiser since fatherhood? I don't know but now I think about my child more than I think about myself. I tell my wife that she should not feel sorry that she missed the new Salman Khan flick recently. Salman will be back with a new movie again and we can go later but now the time is for the child. We will work together to raise the child to be a person who loves everyone regardless of his/her ethnicity, gender, and religion. Our child will not be a short-tempered egghead like me or a silent one who doesn't speak to the world for a few days when angry, like my wife. Our child will not get to use the smartphone anytime soon but we both agree that we might need to get the child an iPad because there are many good apps and videos to help the child learn reading, writing, and math skills once they are in the first grade. 

I’m now an early riser because I am a father. I’m now a frugal spender because I’m a father. I now think twice before coming to a decision rather than act on my impulses and regret later so you can say I have certainly become a little bit wiser as well. Also, my wife tells me that and my wife is always right. But then I went down to the laundry room and turned on the washing machine and then banged my forehead on my way out. I hope my child will be less accident-prone than I am. Taking after the mother or the father isn’t always a good thing.

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