Yes life turns upside down a little with children, and things are not what they used to be. But it’s not all bad.

Here are the Top Ten Lifestyle Changes I’ve Noticed Since Becoming a Father

  1. Decline in Adult Conversation – Real conversation morphs into fragmented chats. Quick quips that seem to revolve around schedules and who needs to do what. No more dialogs on current events or experiences. More reminders to start the dishwasher before bed and do a load of whites.
  2. Children’s Songs Pop Into Your Head Too Often – Nursery rhymes and Raffi. Sharon Lois and Bram or those terribly kid-friendly remixes of pop songs you get from fast food restaurant kid meals. Even when you whistle.
  3. Universal Empathy – You find yourself understanding those situations that drove you mad before. Screaming kids on an airplane. The snot-crusted nose peering over the parent’s shoulder in front of you at the check-out. Other peoples’ messy houses.
  4. Athlete in Mind Only – Remember when workouts were part of a daily routine? The early morning swim or run, the boot camp class at the gym down the street? Now it almost feels miraculous to enter any fitness facility more than once a week. Even better when it’s not to check the lost and found.
  5. The Importance of Walks – I’ve always been a fan of going for walks, but with a kid they become crucial. And I’ve never appreciated them more. Head to Crescent Beach and walk the path between the houses and the ocean. I swear every time we do it, a profound sense of pleasure abounds.
  6. An Appreciation For Family – Often helpful, sometimes irritating. Or is it the other way ’round? I marvel at my parents ability to raise four kids. I find one difficult enough.
  7. Who Owns the Television? It’s a trick question. You own it and you pay for it, but it’s controlled by this strange alien creature on your couch who only seems appeased by the gods of Curious George and Thomas the Train. I’ve heard rumors of fetching the old-tube TV from storage and setting it up in the basement.
  8. Language Please – Little kids cussing is kind of cute, right up until they hit that threshold word (different for everyone). My daughter dropped the F-bomb while we were caught waiting for a train to pass. Didn’t sound right to me at all. My own argument for genuine response has now been tempered.
  9. Answering the Unanswerable – The amount of questions you field on a daily basis can be numbing. Not only a matter of what, but also why and how. And they can be tricky sometimes too. I defer to the old Calvin and Hobbes comics, where the father makes up completely absurd responses to Calvin’s questions. It’ll work for awhile.
  10. Sex – Don’t believe your friends who say it’s never been better since they’ve had their three boys who wait patiently outside the door until they’re finished. No sir! Sex becomes a game of collision. A frantic moment where everything lines up and you’ve got a brief window of opportunity. Foreplay? Getting your spouse’s bra undone with one hand.