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10 Reasons Why Being a Father is the Best Job Youíll Ever Have

Whatís up new dads!  In honor of the tenth New Dad show I have compiled a top ten list that I am calling ď10 Reasons why being a father is the best job youíll ever have.Ē  If you think I left some good ones off of the list, feel free to email me your own reasons at keith@malecare.com.

OK, now lets get into the list:

#10 - Your child is cuter than all your co-workers and wonít sue you if you tell her or him so.

We live in a world where compliments may be taken as harassment and where harassment may be perceived as a compliment.  Itís all very confusing and HR departments work double-time sorting through it all.  However, if you tell your future movie star that she is the most adorable kid in the history of the world, Iím can guarantee that you wonít be getting a call from her attorney. 

#9 - Itís a good excuse to sing silly songs and dance around the house, or skip down a busy sidewalk like an idiot.  If your supervisor caught you doing this she may refer you to your EAP for counseling.

I often find myself hopping or skipping or racing down a crowded city street while holding hands with my energy-packed three year old.  If you are smart enough, or in touch enough with your inner nursery schooler to take as many of these opportunities as you can to publicly show how doting a father you are, you wonít be sorry.  There is nothing like the tickled look of surprise on your childís face when he sees that you can hop on one foot with the best of them or skip like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.  Some people will look at you playing with your child and think that it is adorable and that more men should be like you, others will think that you are a big girly man and should stop before you further embarrass yourself.  But you should not concern yourself with the opinions of others - good or bad Ė only worry about the little in you are with and how he thinks you are amazing. 

 #8 - Cleaning up your childís messes  is always easier than cleaning up your bossí or your own of you are the boss.

All you need is a diaper a, pull up, or a clean pair of underwear (for all you lucky ones with potty trained toddlers), and some soapy water.  Problem solved.  On the other hand a work related mess that becomes your responsibility to clean up can mean several apologetic emails, long conference calls, face to face meetings with stakeholders, terminations or all of the above.  It can take weeks to make some of these issues go away, but it will only take a few minutes to make a poopy diaper disappear.      

#7 - Play dates are more fun than staff meetings.

What would you rather be doing Ė sitting in a room with a bunch of adults discussing budgets, sales projections, staff morale, departmental restructuring with all topics presented on spreadsheets created by some brown nosing colleague?  Or watching your child and his best friend shaking their butts to a Laurie Berkner tune?  To me itís as simple as one, two, a one two three hey!

 #6 -The only person that can fire you is you.

This is a big part of the fathering job.  This gig will never be downsized, outsourced, forced into retirement, laid off or in any other way terminated Ė unless you choose to be taken out of the equation.  And if you choose to quit the best job in the world you should be forever unemployed.  Simply put, quitting this job is not an option so you better not consider it, ever.  You are a lifelong new dad, embrace it.

#5 - You can tell your child anything and theyíll believe you, and your boss totally knows when you are lying.

 Daddy, whatís that manís name?  Knowing that youíve never seen the man before in your life you say ďBilly Bob Bishop.Ē  The name just rolled off your tongue and you donít know why.  Daddy, why is the grass green?  You think about it, remember something from elementary school about chlorophyll, canít pull it together into a coherent thought and instead say ďBecause a naughty little kid went nuts with a huge bucket of green paint and is now in time out forever!Ē  The kid is satisfied and is suddenly cleaning up every paint project without being told.  Thatís called a two for one!

 #4 -You donít have to worry about negotiating a salary.

There are few feelings worse than wondering if your boss would have given you a 15% raise instead of the 10% you received if only you had pushed a little harder for it.  On the other hand, you are paid in hugs, smiles, little successes, and milestones when you are a father.  Youíll never find yourself wondering if you had pushed a little harder would your kid have taken three first steps instead of the one.  Youíll always be thrilled with the one and will never forget it.  

 #3 - Fatherís day is at least one day a year when you are worshipped.

Iím not big on holidays, but fatherís day is awesome.  You eat whatever you want, sleep in late, and if you are really lucky you may even get a funky necktie.  Thatís all I have to say about that.

 #2 - You have someone to mentor

I think of all my theories on life, love, work and school and I know I have a little dude to share all of my so-called wisdom with.  I also think about what I did and didnít learn from my estranged father and I realize that I do not have to repeat his mistakes and even have the rare opportunity to actively steer my son away from some of the bigger ones that we can make in life.  Iím talking about now when they are tiny and many years into the future.  I think about it like this:  When my son is 16 Iíll be a new dad all over again, because I will have never been the father of a hormonal teenager before.  And I look forward to working overtime in those teenage years.  My father lived over 1000 miles away during my teenage years and missed some really challenging and really good times.  I wonít because I donít think of this as a position where telecommuting is an option.  Your child may have many mentors in life for the arts, or in his career, but you will be the first.  Take it seriously.

 AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON that being a Dad is the best job in the world is that itís the perfect excuse to leave your other work at 5 oíclock on the dot:  Sorry boss I have to get the kid from daycare before it closes.  OK staff my little ballerina has a recital tonight, Iím sure you can finish up on your own.  Or the nanny is on vacation this week, or we have tickets to the circus for 6pm or any of a zillion other reasons to get the heck out of the office to spend some time with the most important people in your life Ė your family.

 Last revised April 2006

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