It was an exciting week for me and my wife, Solenn, both first-time parents. You see, our daughter, Thylane just turned one (1), and just like any excited parents, we went through the whole planning thing to celebrate her birthday. My wife did most of the preparation but being the hands-on dad that I am, I got pretty busy too. For one, I did a lot of documentation – videos, and photos, that was all me (ok I will not take all the credit because it’s Solenn's specialty). So now I thought I’d share some lessons we learned firsthand as parents.
The first lesson that we learned this year with our daughter is a different level of unconditional love. It is a feeling that we have never experienced before because this is our first child. The love my wife and I share is different from the love that we as parents feel for our Thylane. It’s a love that’s almost indescribable – pure, unadulterated, and unconditional. It’s the most beautiful feeling that we as parents share now.
Do you know how we, as couples, sometimes become worrywarts? This is the second lesson we learned. When Thylane came into this world, she showed us that a lot of situations we were worried about before are completely secondary. She showed us what is important and how our time should be spent. We became more attuned to creating moments and putting front and center our priorities as a family -- not the material things but the experiences.
In as much as I love my mother and the mother of my child, I honestly feel that I now have a higher appreciation for motherhood. The third lesson is realizing the crucial role that a mother plays in the life of a child. I witnessed how much difficulty a mother goes through during pregnancy and even after weeks of giving birth. Given also what my mother went through because she had more than one childbirth experience, I see it now from Solenn's perspective.
Parenting makes me realize now why my parents were so worried when I was young. They used to worry so much every time I was going out and think I was doing few crazy things. I would tell my parents that they were worried over nothing and they are overthinking. Then today, I think about Thylane. She's only a year old, but when I think about the future – when she starts going out or leaving the house with friends, I don't think I would be able to sleep. That’s the fourth lesson learned. Parents are wired to become worried about their children once they are out of sight. I guess it’s all about the innate desire to protect them at all times.
Our daughter taught us to be unselfish. Yeah, that’s the fifth lesson. Now, everything that we do and all our plans for the future will always revolve around Thylane. We put ourselves in second place. Every plan we have for the future is based on how it will benefit or affect her.
This next lesson is somehow connected to the fifth one. Thylane showed us how important it is for parents to be strong together and to have time for our relationship, because the way we are with each other will reflect on Thylane. Now more than ever, the quality of our relationship as a couple plays a bigger role. The bond that we create together becomes more relevant because it’s not just the two of us, but there’s a third person who will benefit or get affected.
There are many lessons I can still share with you. I can go on and on because it seems like there is always something new to learn. And this reality is the very reason that makes me even more excited to look forward to years of parenthood. As they say --As long as you keep learning, you also keep growing as a person.
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