Camila has turned 2! It's such a surreal moment but it's the reality we can't avoid. From the moment we decided to have a baby to today, I have learned many things that I'd like to share with you all. I was 21 when I became a dad and I was seeing life from 2 perspectives: as a son and a dad. So for all the young parents and parents to be, here are some valuable lessons I've learned in these 2 short years. You can check out our birth story on the vlog below!

Here Are Some Valuable Lessons I've Learned

Things Will Most Likely Never Go As Planned

I'm the kind of person that likes to be spontaneous but also plan things out and try to stay on schedule. It's only ever gone that way once or twice (lol). I've learned to always be flexible with our plans and leave some time for random happenings, meet-ups, last minute kid parties, or wrong directions ( happens quite often ). No matter what happens at home, on the road, on the plane, or wherever our journey takes us, I enjoy every moment and remind myself that our daughter will never be this young again.

24/7 Parenting

There is nothing that will truly prepare you for the responsibilities of being a parent. We researched, studied, took classes, and of course, we learned a lot, but once your baby arrives, it's a never-ending learning experience. I loved the laughs, the cries in the middle of the night, the sleepless nights ( even when I had to get up at 5 am). I was there and that's what matters and make a difference in a child's life. I still remember when I would wake up in the middle of the night and rock Camila for over 2 hours, it was tiring but I loved every second of it at the same time. My wife and I initially designated responsibilities each of us would do, but we quickly disregarded that because we felt that as parents, we would be there for our kids at all times, not only when it was our turn to change the diapers or make them a snack, but 24/7.

Learn To Appreciate All The Things In Your Life

I love to go outside and play with my daughter. She sees things I don't see and I learned to appreciate the beauty in all things in this world. She's fascinated by the little bugs, butterflies, rocks (she loves rocks!) and anything she can get her hands on. I first became aware of the beauty, in what would otherwise be seen as trash, when she picked up a small twig and was in awe of the shape, texture and seeing something new up close. I probably would have told her to throw that away or have taken it from her so she wouldn't poke her eye, but I observed, and I too, was amazed by the little things we tend to oversee all the time. Soon after she was done looking and feeling the twig, she threw it back. As adults, we have many things going on that make us forget to enjoy the simplest of things, like twigs, or seeing your child explore the world around them.

Trust Your Instincts

I would need all of your hands to count the times we have received, comments, "constructive" criticism, and tips on how we should parent and raise our daughter. I wonder if we got so many of these because we were young parents and everyone wanted to tell us what to do. Don't get it twisted though, there were many people that gave us great advice and tips that really helped, but we had to go trust our own instincts and use our better judgment with some of the things shared with us. We were always polite, grateful and heard everyone out but at the end of the day, we are the parents and it is our responsibility to raise our own daughter. So yeah, it takes a village to raise a child, but not the whole world. 

men's street style outfit

Do The Things You Love

You shouldn't stop doing the things you love once you become a parent. Making time for those things is you make it happen. It's much different now with a child because priorities are different, but you could manage your time to do it all. This was the hardest thing for me. Coming home from work, going to the gym or go for a run, playing with my daughter, eat dinner, and the day is over. Sometimes you do have to plan ahead, get friends together for an outing or find someone to watch the kids while you go out. Because time flies and kids need our quality time, we often let our passions dissipate into the past. If it's something you've put aside, gradually fit it back into your day or week. You could even try to do what you love with the kids or the family as a whole! Go travel, go for a run, play music, draw or paint!

Kids Watch Everything You Do

Most of us have heard this and kind of dismiss it, but once I became a dad, I saw how much smarter and quick to learn, kids really are! No joke! I can remember a few things from the time I was around 2! My daughter was picking up things she saw from us when she was just 6 months! I'm careful with what I say, how I say things, the things I do, and in turn, work on my bad habits as well. I once got mad at Camila for doing something, only to realize that she picked that up from me. Kids are quick to learn so if there is something we wouldn't want them to pick up, we should be a bit quicker.

More Patience

What happens when we run out of patience? Find a way to be a bit more patient. Apart from finding the time to keep doing the things I love, this was the hardest. It's easy to get frustrated when your kid isn't listening to you (remember the first lesson), but remaining patient for a bit longer could be all it takes. Kids can pick up the things we do quick but they don't always learn the things we try to teach them quickly because every child learns differently. As I mentioned above, time flies and we wouldn't want to make our kids grow up that fast right? So this requires some patience and lots of love. This applies to all the things in our lives. From packing bags before going on a trip to making breakfast/lunch/dinner for the kids, patience will more than likely be on standby for those moments you need it most.

tender nest portraits

champagne grooming

There are so many beautiful moments we have created together and I've learned these things through simply being an involved and loving father. Of course, it's not easy, but these lessons have made it all a bit easier. I hope you have learned a thing or two! Go and be the best parents you could be and feel free to share the things you've learned as a parent or parent-to-be down in the comment section below! Would love to hear from you!

Here is our Birth Story!

What are some things you have learned as a dad or mom?