by Gareth Cartman
You remember that moment you became a parent? Yeah, you remember that precise moment when the pink screaming thing emerged into the world and you suddenly thought “oh my God, I’m an adult”. That moment. So much changed that day, and it would never be the same – at least until they grow up, leave home, and you can have your second childhood and embarrass your offspring. Again.
But something else changed. You became better at certain things. Sure, you became worse at other things, such as staying up past midnight, but all of a sudden, you develop new skills and over time, learn new ones. Flip through to see the 7 things that I’m better at now that I’m a dad.
#1 - Dad Jokes
Baby’s only two years old now so she doesn’t get jokes. But that doesn’t mean I can’t unleash the ‘dad jokes’. It’s not that the jokes are any better or worse than before, but being a Dad means that you’re allowed. It’s like being unleashed into the wild. Bad puns, tired old jokes from your childhood – everything’s possible.
#2 - Bribery
...Or is it negotiation? Either way, your bribery skills go through the roof when you have kids. Child won’t go to bed? There’s a biscuit waiting for you if you go to bed before 8! Child won’t eat her pasta? There’s a biscuit waiting for you… you get the picture.
#3 - Patience
We’re going to sit here until you eat it all. Yes, we’re going to sit here and watch In The Night Garden from start to finish, and you’re not leaving until the plate is clean. It’s funny how, as a parent, you suddenly develop this thing called patience. Beforehand, I wanted everything to happen right now – if not beforehand. Now – I’ll happily wait.
#4 - Time-keeping
One of the main reasons employers should always look to hire mums who are returning to the job market is that they’re way, way better at managing time than anyone else. The same goes for Dads, except we only get a couple of weeks off. Learning to manage time – and manipulate it – is part of being a parent. Want the kids to go to bed earlier? Bring forward bed time by 5 minutes every day until you get to the desired time. Now tell me you’re not a genius at time-keeping.
#5 - Doing Ten Things At Once
Ever tried to feed a toddler while cooking dinner for yourself, watering the plants, dealing with an insurance company and sneakily watching the cricket? Yeah, me too. Multi-tasking used to be wife’s domain, but necessity is the mother of all multi-tasking in my world. I used to be a one-thing-at-a-time kind of guy. Not any more.
#6 - Having Eyes In the Back of My Head
Remember when you used to wonder how your parents could see what you were doing – even when their back was turned? It’s easy. You don’t even have to see, you just know because it’s obvious. You turn around, and baby’s about to throw the milk off the table. And they’re wondering “how did he know?”
#7 - Lying
I used to be so bad at lying that I was convinced my nose was growing every time I told a lie. Now, I’ve developed this ability to convincingly lie without worrying about nasal growth. Yes, the giant cat came today and asked how you were. Yes, the teddies come alive when you’re asleep and play with each other. It’s easy, and a brilliant life skill you can take into the workplace. Yes, I’ve done that report, I’ll send it in… oooh, a couple of hours?
So you see, being a dad helps you develop all kinds of skills that you never thought you had. What’s more, those skills transfer brilliantly into the workplace, which means you’re even more deserving of that pay raise.