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Jumping the gun on parenthood

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“Wait, is that one line or two? I can’t tell.”

“I don’t know; there is definitely one line and maybe a faint second?”

They say you’re supposed to let the pregnancy test sit for a few minutes before reading the results, but we were obviously too anxious to remember that. The first pink line appeared instantaneously, and just as my wife, Hannah, was letting out a sigh of relief that there was only one pink line, I saw the tiniest, faintest appearance of a second. We frantically started searching the pregnancy test box to see what it had to say about “faint” pink lines.

“Any indication of a second pink line is the result of a positive test.”

We continued reading and saw the chances of a false positive were less than 3 percent, and the shock started to set in.

“I think you’re pregnant!”

Through tears of surprise, fear and excitement (I think), Hannah and I hugged in the kitchen of our 400-square-foot basement apartment, not sure how to plan for what was now going to almost inevitably happen in the not-so-distant future: parenthood.

At the time, Hannah was teaching 6th grade, and I was still working on my undergraduate degree. Even though we’d known each other for four years, we’d been married for less than a year and a half, and a positive pregnancy test meant we were jumping the gun on our previous plans for parenthood by at least a year. We were scared to see our life change and felt like we would have to give up many of the things we loved about our current situation.

I soon realized that although things didn’t go exactly as we’d planned, they turned out much better. We got over our fear of being inexperienced, quit thinking about all the things kids might inhibit us from doing, and eventually got excited about having a baby girl. Bringing our daughter into the world at the time we did was far and away better than anything we could have dreamed up for ourselves.

22888119525_fff022747d_oReflecting on the journey from the day we found out we were expecting until now, I can’t imagine a scenario in which things went more smoothly. Our daughter, Lydia, was born nine months later, I graduated from college five months after that, and a month later I started working at a great job for a mid-sized management consulting firm in Utah. Hannah finished the year teaching and now stays at home with Lydia. She has been able to pursue other hobbies, including a part-time photography business and a lifestyle blog. Not only do we absolutely love being parents of our 15-month-old, we are well on our way to having baby No. 2, (a boy) due in early May! We no longer have the “new parent fears” we once did but are, instead, quite sure that we are living in blissful ignorance of our ability to handle two kids as competently as we feel like we handle one.

Being young parents isn’t always easy, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m excited for this opportunity to write about what it’s like to be a loving and involved husband and father while also needing to be a hard-working employee at a 50-60 hour per week job. I hope you’ll follow along as I write about why I love parenthood, how I survive it (hint: one of the best strategies is having an awesome wife!), and any tips and tricks for success I can think of (once I figure some out).

Although we often joke about “jumping the gun” on parenthood, we love being parents, and I absolutely love being a dad. We’re by no means experts, but simply loving fatherhood has to count for something, right?

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