At 25 years old, I get mixed reactions from people when I tell them I’m a Dad. It can be quite comical, watching the cogs turn in that moment of silence between the impulsive response: “cool!” and the inevitable “…wait, how old did you say you were again?” In reality, I don’t think 7 months is enough time to appreciate all the ways that being a young dad is awesome, so consider this list my ‘favourite things I expect to enjoy about being a young dad.’
Sharing more experiences/memories with your kids
The romantic image of two young backpackers facing the world with nothing but the bag they carry is somewhat less glamorous when you replace that backpack with a baby carrier. Travel and exploring takes on a new dimension when you throw kids in the mix, that is for sure. Nonetheless, it will be enormously rewarding to be able to share those experiences with the few other people you will spend your lifetime with, and to be able to joke and laugh as you enjoy the shared memories they created.
More scope to learn new things with kids
I get excited about being a novice at things with my kids, and learning new skills alongside them. Obviously it will be cool being able to teach them stuff I know, but I think it will also be quite special being at the same level as we learn how to surf together, climb mountains together and so on. Being young means there’s a whole range of things I’d still love to learn, and the prospect of doing so alongside the family is actually quite exciting. Sure, Cohen will probably wind up being way better than me, but that’s just another part of the fun.
Learning to raise kids on a budget
When you find out you’re having a baby a year after finishing uni, the last thing on your mind is lavishing them with the biggest lego sets and the shiniest bikes. I was only just getting used to meals more elaborate than rice and fish cakes when I had to start saving cots and highchairs to the trademe watchlist. It will certainly be challenging raising children while starting out in my career, but its a challenge that excites me. I think it will be good to learn that the best toys often aren’t bought, and the most memorable experiences can be free. Being a young dad will force me to be creative in many ways, which can only be a good thing.
Being young(ish) when they leave home
Lets be honest, I am missing out on a bunch of things by having kids young. Mostly, the things I’m missing out on don’t worry me too much, but I do get excited about being young enough and energetic enough when the kids gain independence to have our own adventures. In fact, if I put in the effort in these early years, hopefully I will be able to enjoy that new found freedom with the satisfaction of having children who are, in their own way, making this world a better place.
This is just a quick list of the first things that came into my head, so is nothing particularly profound. But what do you think? Do you think there’s an ideal age to have kids?