Most of the time Olya shares all of the insight and tips about raising our children, but occasionally I get to share a few words. A Little while back when Nikola turned 13, it made me reflect on all that has happened these last 14 years and all that I am looking forward to come. As a father, sometimes it feels like I get to be involved and to observe as I see all the wonderful things that Olya is doing with the kids on a regular basis, and I am so grateful that I can be an active part of raising our little crew. Each day is a new adventure and I look forward to all that it will bring.
When our first child was born I had a very small concept of what being a parent and a Father really meant, and Olya and I learned and grew together in how we wanted to raise our kids. I knew early on that I wanted a large family, but Olya was very happy with one or two, especially after how difficult the first pregnancy was, and seeing her go through those challenges made me rethink my thoughts. However, after having the children and discovering how much we loved having them it helped us to continue being open to more. Each child was a choice, and each pregnancy was never easy for Olya, but with each one the choice became easier. With each child that came it was as if a new part of me would open up that I didn’t know was there, and each new child fit in that space as if they were always supposed to be there. Sometimes I find myself looking back and having a hard time remembering life without all the children we have now.
As a father I always look at the children and know that they will be looking up to me as an example to know how to be good people in this world, and it can be a daunting prospect, but it is also very rewarding to see them grow and reach those milestones in their lives.
When people ask me if I have any advice about raising children now that we have six, I will often tell them that while it can be challenging to juggle 6 different personalities, the rewards are always worth it. Patience is probably the best characteristic that a father can have, and to keep calm, and always be ready to step up and take over to give those much needed breaks to your spouse. Raising a family is a team event after all. I learn new things each day, and it can be challenging to learn how to address the needs of each child equally, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t change it for the world. Any fathers out there? Can you relate?