Hello James at 22 years old,
You won’t recognise me now, probably because you are slightly fatter, a bit more grey haired and a lot more tired all of the time. You don’t do late nights as much anymore, and gone are the days of the boy racer type cars, and driving round town until the little hours in the morning.
In fact, what you enjoy now is a stark contrast to that, you enjoy the peace and quiet of the evening with a good TV show and a cup of tea followed by an early night. It’s true, at the ripe old age of 31, you have become your father!
But don’t worry, it’s not all bad, because this is part of parenting. Yep that’s right, you will be a dad sooner than you think, and it’s not all bad! Get used to running about doing what you want whenever you want. Spending your money on silly things that you don’t need and literally pissing petrol out the back of the car, because that will change. Believe it or not, you will have to step up and be responsible.
The pool table you have in your dining table now will be replaced by a dining table with a loving family around it. The cold leather sofas you have for lounging on in the living room, will be replaced a warm comfortable corner sofa where you and your kids play and laugh together. The loneliness and quiet you experience living on your own, will be replaced by the hive of activity that is family life.
Look don’t worry about it, as I look back and see that you wanted to be married with kids, you will. I know how much you watched How I Met Your Mother and felt like the main character Ted in wanting to find ”The One” and have children, and you do! In fact as I write this, you have 2 wonderful boys and a gorgeous little girl, and another little baby on the way!
In fact, your life will become fulfilled so much more than those shallow things you used to enjoy in your teens and twenties. To be honest, everything you think you have ever wanted or achieved will be so far surpassed when you become a parent. You will exchange all those things you enjoy now for something so much more fulfilling and rewarding.
Things will change but it doesn’t matter, when you open Youtube on your phone, no longer will you find all your favourite videos, but you will find your kids favourite cartoon videos like Blippi. The same with Spotify, don’t expect to open it and find Coldplay anymore, you will find Blippis greatest Hits. And remember sitting down and enjoying watching the football on a Saturday and Sunday? Yeah that will become a heck of a lot harder, even sitting up to watch Match of The Day will be difficult because the thought of sitting up that late is knackering!
But look, don’t worry about it now. Enjoy life as it is, you will adapt to parenting. It will be difficult, exhausting, hard, frustrating and infuriating sometimes, but when you hear your kids laugh, learn, grow and play outside it makes it all the other stuff fade into nothing!
But you don’t go through it alone. You have a wonderful wife who stands with you and you work as a team through parenting so don’t feel like you’re on your own! That’s what parenting is, putting your kids first and everything else second!
So to my pre parent self, enjoy the carefree lifestyle and floating through life. What’s ahead of you is all you have ever wanted and more, except the grey hair and slight fatness, that can piss off.
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