But what about the good?

As some of you may know, I became a dad back in 2020 and then again in early 2022. I would go into the normal tirade of how being a dad is the best thing that ever happened to me, and that I didn’t know love until I had these kids, but that’s just not true for me.

To be honest, becoming a father at the age of 22 was not something that was on my vision board at any point in my life. At the time, I was completely lost when it came to my identity as a human being, and what it even was I wanted to do with my life. Add to that the financial challenges and I was not at all in the position to be bringing another human being into the world. Like, what am I supposed to do with this thing that’s gonna want me to give it wisdom and guidance—although, mostly just food if we’re being honest…

So with that being said, you’d think that this would be a major source of regret for me and honestly, I think it should be too. I’ve long been aware of a kind of anti-natalist feeling inside myself. The world we’re inhabiting is rife with problems—climate change, wealth inequality—will my kids even be able to own their own homes by the time they’re grown up?

And yet, somehow I don’t really regret becoming a father.

Part of this is no doubt because they’re just so damn cute, but I think a lot of it also has to do with a lingering sense of optimism and also a sense of duty. If I’m being honest, I don’t want humanity to end. I certainly don’t want the only people replenishing the next generations population to be crazy conspiracy theorists and religious extremists who believe that having a million babies is the only way to bring about Zion.

That’s something I feel we often miss when we’re talking about these kinds of issues. It’s incredibly easy for me to get sucked down a wormhole of listing every terrible thing that humans have done for the past five hundred years, but we’ve also done some pretty amazing things. Think of all the art that has come out, the minds that have been connected through literature, and the advancement of science, democracy, and equality in our world—progress is often slow I agree. However, there’s still a beauty to humanity which, in spite of my increasing cynicism, still continues to amaze and inspire me today.

Since starting school, I very often get stuck in a vortex of hopelessness. The day-to-day challenges of keeping up with my studies and taking care of my kids are a lot to live up to. Not a day goes by that I don’t think how much easier all this would’ve been back when I was 17 and unburdened by the yoke of familial bonds.

But on the flip side, I don’t think I’d be the same person without my kids. Becoming a dad set me down a path of self-betterment which I don’t think I would’ve started on without them. Of course, I still worry about my kids—there’s no denying the surmounting obstacles they will face. I hope in the future they have the opportunity to choose what they want to do in life without having to worry about whether or not they can afford the education or the financial risk that pursuing their individual dreams might entail.

I’m a big believer in being honest about the bad things in life. There are problems we face in society and in our world which are too big for any single one of us to handle. But as important as it is to continue educating people about these problems, it’s also important that we don’t forget to take a step back and do an inventory of all the good that still exists.

I don’t know for sure what my life or my kids’ lives will be like—but I do know that no matter what happens there will still be a lot more good things to come and something tells me if you don’t forget to keep an eye out for it, you’ll find a lot of good in your future as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s