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On Fatherhood

Posted February 21, 2024

Sean Ring

By Sean Ring

On Fatherhood

Our generation was told a lie.

Stay single. Live it up. And then have a family.

It’s pure silliness. Sure, you may have a bit more money in your late 30s than your late 20s, but the wait isn’t worth it.

I turned 49 only two months ago. My son, Micah, turns seven today. Forty-two years is a big gap in terms of time and energy.

What have I learned?

Fatherhood is a journey that extends far beyond the act of bringing a child into the world. It's a role that, when embraced fully, leads to profound personal growth, enrichment, and intelligence.

In fact, I have more wealth as a married man and parent than I ever did as a single man.

This Rude piece explores how fatherhood enhances a man's life, making him better, richer, and smarter, by weaving together insights from psychology, economics, and personal anecdotes.

Better: The Moral and Emotional Growth

My high school history teacher, Mr. Conway, once told me I’d never get married because I’d never love anyone more than I loved myself.

He was right for another 18 years before I married Pam. But even then, I had trouble sharing. As an only child, I never really had to share.

But then Micah came along. Suddenly, I was sharing my popcorn and my ice cream. I always bought my girlfriends (and wife) separate ones. But not Micah. He could have mine.

Small beer, you think? Not for me. It was a seismic shift that tickled my funny bone.

Fatherhood inherently demands a shift from self-centeredness to selflessness. Caring for a child introduces a new dimension of moral and emotional development. Fathers learn patience, empathy, and unconditional love, all fundamental to personal improvement.

Psychologists have found that fatherhood is associated with increased emotional maturity. Men report feeling more grounded and connected to what truly matters in life.

This is not just about the daily parenting tasks but a more profound understanding of the human experience.

Fathers learn to navigate the complexities of emotions—not just their own but their child's—fostering a nurturing environment essential for their child's development. This emotional intelligence is a cornerstone of becoming a better person, as it enhances one's ability to relate to others, resolve conflicts, and make thoughtful decisions.

Richer: The Expansion of Wealth Beyond the Monetary

While fatherhood often comes with financial pressures, it also redefines the concept of wealth. Richness is no longer solely measured in monetary terms but in the wealth of experiences, relationships, and the legacy a father builds.

Economically, fathers are motivated to achieve greater financial stability, but the richness of fatherhood also comes from the joy and fulfillment that money can’t buy. The first steps, the unsolicited hugs, the heartfelt "I love yous" — these moments are priceless treasures that enrich a father's life immeasurably.

Moreover, fatherhood encourages men to think long-term, not just about their future but that of their offspring. This forward-thinking perspective often leads to more intelligent financial planning, investments in education, and a focus on sustainable living practices. These actions contribute to a richer life experience, emphasizing the quality of life over the quantity of possessions.

The motivation of never letting the kid down is the greatest I’ve ever known.

Smarter: The Cognitive and Social Learning

Fatherhood challenges men to learn and adapt constantly. From the practical skills of childcare to the nuanced understanding of educational systems, fathers acquire a vast range of knowledge. This learning process stimulates cognitive growth, making men brighter in various aspects.

Engaged fathers often seek information on child development, parenting techniques, and educational strategies. This pursuit of knowledge does not only apply to child-rearing but extends to personal interests and professional development. Fathers are inspired to stay informed and relevant, not just for their own sake but to set an example for their children.

Socially, fatherhood expands a man's network. Through their children, fathers meet other parents, teachers, and professionals, broadening their social circle and diversifying their perspectives. This exposure to different viewpoints and experiences enhances a father's understanding of the world, making him more knowledgeable and well-rounded.

This is true for me, as Micah is responsible for most of my social circle here in Asti.

Furthermore, teaching and explaining the world to a child forces a father to simplify complex ideas, a skill that is invaluable both professionally and personally. This ability to distill and communicate concepts is a hallmark of intelligence, demonstrating that fatherhood doesn't just make a man smarter in accumulating knowledge and applying it effectively.

The Synergy of Fatherhood

The beauty of fatherhood lies in its synergy. The emotional growth feeds into the richness of experiences, stimulating intellectual curiosity and cognitive development. This holistic enhancement benefits not just the father but his family and community.

Fathers who are emotionally intelligent foster a safe and loving environment for their children, leading to healthier, happier families. The richness that comes from a life focused on meaningful experiences rather than material accumulation creates a legacy of values that lasts generations.

The intellectual growth that arises from the challenges and learning opportunities of fatherhood ensures a father adapts, innovates, and contributes meaningfully to the community.

Wrap Up

Fatherhood is a journey that molds men in profound ways.

It teaches patience, empathy, and resilience; it redefines wealth and success and demands constant learning and adaptation.

These transformations make a father better, richer, and smarter—not just in the eyes of his child but in all facets of life.

With all its challenges and rewards, the fatherhood journey is one of the most potent catalysts for personal growth, enriching a man's life in ways he could never have imagined.

So, if you’ve found your life partner, be impatient. Get married, stay married, and have kids.

It’ll make you better, richer, and smarter.

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