One Word 365: Parenthood

A bunch of my student affairs friends posted about this Oneword365 idea. Oneword365 is a concept where you decide on a single word that will dictate your choices and plans for an entire year. This was an intriguing idea, no resolutions, just a word. This word, used as a test for all actions throughout the year; a measure to which your life can be judged. While I am involved in a variety of interests, over this next year there is one thing that must direct my choices. That one thing is my Oneword365: Parenthood.

About midway through this year, Virginia and I will be blessed to welcome our first child into our family. In a twelve month period of huge change, becoming a father will undoubtedly be the biggest. Not just this year but in my entire thirty years. Knowing that in a few months I will be responsible for the wellbeing of another human being is both exciting and terrifying. It is on my mind all the time so it seemed only natural to get out in front of the fear and embrace what will become my most important role in my life. Learning to be a good parent and make decisions outside of myself is critical yet I must make sure that I am a man my children respect and want to emulate.

The following are a few examples in the next year that my One Word, Parenthood, will impact:

1. Health: A parent’s health is essential in the development of healthy children. I want to make sure that my children see a father who is excited about fitness and can achieve goals that they could strive towards. Yes, I love to race in mud runs, and yes I want to prove that I can run marathons and triathlons but now it is something more. I want to be fit so I can run with my kids without getting tired. I want to coach their sports teams. I want them to run, bike, swim, and compete with me. I want them to be at the finish line when I complete an Ironman Triathlon and be proud of their dad. Now it is more than just me and I have a real reason to succeed and stay fit: Parenthood

2. Finances: With our jobs at the UC we are lucky to be able to live comfortable lives. We have been able to travel, fly around, visit family, and by fun presents for each other. We have no will, real financial plan, proper beneficiary set-up, or large levels of cash savings. While I am “cheap” as Virginia will tell you, we do spend a surprising amount of money on non-essential things. This year we need to get smarter about what we do, where we go, and how we spend. We need to meet with a financial planner, get our investments in order, write a will, and reevaluate how we spend our money. Now we even need to start saving for college, yes 18 years in advance. We also need to make sure that we continue to donate to the things we care about to eventually demonstrate to our kids that giving back in time and money is very important.

3. Home Ownership: Should we rent or should we by a house? What is most important for our family in the next 5-10 years? How long will we stay in Merced? Will we be able to sell if we move? These are all questions that can be evaluated against the idea of Parenthood. This will be a huge decision that will come up in the next few months so stay tuned.

4. Parenting Choices: Virginia need to sit down and decide major things about how we want to raise our kids. From observation of others we have seen things that we want to do and things we don’t. in the next few months of this year we really need to talk and thing about major choices when it comes to our kids. Childcare, education, faith, family, discipline…ect. These are all things we need to agree upon before and after the baby arrives. No biggie, right?

These are just a few things that will come up this year and some of the major life choices we need to make. The word, Parenthood, will be first an foremost in any decision that I make and will hopefully allow me to begin this new journey in a positive and impactful way. So here we go with my Oneword365.

Parenthood

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