Stop. Look. Listen. Take in the Moments

Time moves fast. One minute, you’re sitting in the hospital doing your first skin-to-skin bonding with your brand-new baby girl, the next you’re taking pictures for the last day of Kindergarten. No, I’m not crying, YOU ARE.

Ever since Sophia was born–and again when Maddie was born–my life has changed. I know, what an obvious thing to say. Kids change your life, everyone knows that. But I’m not talking about the always going, never stopping, plans change at a moment’s notice kind of change.

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The Day My Life Changed Forever: The Dawn of Fatherhood #ThanksBaby

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Me and Sophia in her very early days.

Do you remember the moment? That seminal instant that you were told you were going to be a dad? Maybe you’re a to-be dad and just found out this week, this month, today. It’s a moment that is hard to forget. You know what other moment is impossible to forget? The birth of your child. That.changes.everything.

My life has never been the same since Sophia was born in February 2011. It changed even more once Maddie came along in August 2013. It’s hard to really wrap my head around just how much things have changed. I sit and I ponder what I did before we had the girls. What did I actually do with all that free time?

Me and Maddie in her early days.

Me and Maddie in her early days.

Yes, that free time was great. I could do anything I wanted. And waste hours on end. Now? The vast majority of my time is dedicated to Sophia and Maddie. Whether it’s taking the four hours required to get them to actually eat a meal, telling them to stop fighting over a toy, or convincing them that bedtime is a time for sleep–without Mommy or Daddy, that’s where my time goes. Oh, I really only just mentioned the tough parts didn’t I? While those things really do take up A LOT of time, they’re really the little inconveniences that come along with being a parent.

There is so much awesome that comes with being a dad. A million reasons I can say #ThanksBaby to my little girls. From the moment they were both born, there have been millions of laughs, lots of kissing boo-boos, SO MANY diapers changed. Inside jokes, outside jokes, dad jokes (ALL THE DAD JOKES), tears, kisses, silly games, cuddles, and everything in between.

Sisters meet for the first time.

Sisters meet for the first time.

What I never expected when I became a dad was that it would be how I identify. That’s really hard for me to believe. My life is about being a dad. For better or worse. Through all my mistakes, hiccups, and failures, being a father is who I am.

I will never, and I mean NEVER, forget the day we brought the girls home. I was terrified. We got Sophia in the car and I thought to myself “What now?! I’m in no way qualified to do this! WHAT IF I BREAK HER?!” With Maddie, I felt a little more at-ease than that, but damned if I wasn’t scared I’d break her too. Well, 5 and almost 3 years, respectively each, I haven’t broken them (ok, there was that one time I knocked Maddie down the stairs by accident, LAY OFF ME!)

This video created by Pampers is definitely worth a watch, too. If you want to see the kind of bond and relationship that comes about between baby and father at birth, this will show you. I love it. A lot.

What I do know, more than any other thing, is that no matter what I’m going to be there for these kids. Through all the tampers, frustrations, fights, future “I HATE YOU DAD” taunts, the giggles, the laughs, the love, and the amazing, I’m going to be there. Every step of the way.

If it weren’t for these two beautiful daughters, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this right now. I don’t even know what my identity would be. This is my chance to say #ThanksBaby to them both–for making me a father, for teaching me everything they teach me daily.

Yes, I got in the crib. OFTEN.

Yes, I got in the crib. OFTEN.

Just like I love thanking my daughters, I want to help spread that love to the masses. I’m doing that with Pampers–who honors dads for just being dads and thanks them for all the amazing things, big and small, they do to help little ones have a better, loving, more fulfilling life. 

Please join us by tweeting why you are most thankful for baby with the hashtag #ThanksBaby.

Visit www.pampers.com to learn more about Pampers products, join the Pampers Rewards program, and find ideas and information to help your baby get the most out of love, sleep and play.

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad  and Pampers for this promotion.

The Moments That Make Me Smile

Life as a dad has its share of ups and downs. The ups far outweigh the downs and honestly, the downs make those smile-making, laugh-inducing moments all that much better. There have been so many moments, especially recently that I could categorize as my favorite moments as a father that it’s hard to pick just one to talk about. I mean, honestly, the majority of my posts are about those moments. If you want to read about them, I’ve got three-and-a-half years worth of posts for you to read!

Lately, though, it’s the little moments that have brought a smile to my face. Watching Sophia learn and excel at gymnastics on a weekly basis. Watching her go from not knowing how to do a front roll to rolling ALL OVER THE HOUSE brings me immense joy. Watching Maddie learn how to crawl and now move at the speed of light around the house is amazing. I fear that, soon enough, the gates will not be able to hold her back.

Had a great time at Sophia and maddie's first Phillies game! #powerofdad

A post shared by Nick (@papabrownie22) on

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