Our daughter was born during the summer between our first and second year of MBA. In the month she was born, people often asked me how I felt being a father. Truth was, I felt immense love towards my daughter right away; but other than that, I wasn’t particularly different from the way I was before.
Just like in many other aspects of life (MBA included), change often happens through a process, not through a single event. It can take a while for us to change, and even longer for us to realize how we have changed. My daughter is now 10 months old, and I can see much more clearly three main ways in which I’ve been transformed.
First, I am more mindful about my actions, as they will likely make an impact on how my daughter will be in the future. This little person now observes all of my actions and uses them as a reference point. As a parent, I feel encouraged to reflect upon every habit I have, and try to constantly improve on them.
Second, as a father, it became more difficult to commit to things that I didn’t want to do. The opportunity cost is to spend time with my daughter and wife – something I really want to do. As a result, choosing from the many available MBA events and activities became much easier.
Finally, my wife and I are now even closer than we were before. As we experience the challenge and excitement of signing up for this lifelong project of bringing up a child, we became more aligned and communicative. Together we celebrate every new step of our daughter, and together we worry and take action whenever there is a bump on the road (such as her first fever).
These are ways in which I feel I have changed over the past 10 months. I am glad that I had the opportunity to dedicate to my growing family during the MBA. Now, in case you’re wondering if the initial immense love that I felt for my daughter changed over time, I can guarantee that it did: there is not a single day that I don’t love her even more than I did the day before.
Happy Father’s Day to all Booth dads and to fathers around the world. Here’s to all the ways becoming a father changes your life and the life of those around you.
Photo: My daughter (Bianca), my wife (Viva), and me during the 2018 Spring Fling last May