It all started somewhere back in September 2015 when I decided to take a little break from drinking. I wasn’t out of control, chugging beers every moment of the day mind you.
Like millions of parents around the world, I also enjoyed a drink or two in the evenings after work. That one day that I decided to stop drinking for a bit, it actually turned into week –> and a week turned into a month; a whole month went by and I hadn’t had a beer. All of a sudden, I realised that it was 250 days that passed and still, I hadn’t had a drink! Here is what I learned along the way.
- Parenting is hard sometimes and I admit at times I used alcohol to take the edge off . Attempting to play with and bath 2 kids , then trying to wrestle them to bed is pretty full on after a 12 hour day at work
- I always knew my wife was awesome . However seeing how she manages two kids all day through clear eyes really made me appreciate her even more
- I used to think alcohol made me do stuff better and quicker in the evening. I’ve now discovered that’s not really the case. I have so much more energy and I’m way less likely to cut corners.
- Sobriety becomes that little voice on your shoulder telling you to do it better and better again
- I’ve had to resign my self to the fact that I’m a lot quieter and more introverted when I don’t drink The first few my months were hard and I felt in some ways like I had to learn how to speak again. It’s so much easier to talk socially or to your partner when beer greases the wheel. It’s getting a lot better though but I think this was one of the hardest hurdles to overcome.
- I wasn’t quite the awesome dad I thought I was – this was a tough realisation! Alcohol papers over the cracks and never really gives you the full clarity of self awareness.
- I’m way better a dad than I was before. I’m more energetic more patient and more resourceful
Despite all of these realisations, I have to tell you that there there won’t be a day 251 without beer. And remember I was, and remain, in no way out of control but I do enjoy an alcoholic beverage. No, this what this little experiment has taught me is that every now and then it’s good to give life a bit of a shake up. Changing routines and habits opens up a whole new world of perspective and experience. Every now and then stop and look in the mirror. If you don’t like the parent you see looking back at you, then change and become the one that’s better!
Life while your kids are still little is so finite and should be appreciated as such. Once it’s gone it’s never coming back and you will miss it …..