On Being A Grateful Dad

April 17, 2023

In this post, you will find out Papa Jomsi's take on being a grateful dad.

Life is full of happy moments, but no one could anticipate the joy I got when my son was born. For months leading up to his birth, I tried to imagine how it would feel to hold him for the first time and look into his eyes. Even with all the usual problems with the pregnancy phase where I and my beautiful wife were in a constant love-hate relationship, we still both managed to arrive at the finish line when I held my son in my arms.

On Being A Grateful Dad by Papa Jomsi

On Being A Grateful Dad

At that moment when I picked up my kid for the first time, I was expecting a wave of emotions as I often saw in movies - where the room spins and then a smile breaks out from the dad's face. However, all I felt at that moment was total relief, that my wife and son were healthy and safe. The next thought that came across my mind were the hospital bills that I had to pay. I was still hoping for some sort of "redefining moment" when my newborn pooped and cried -- I immediately gave the gross thing back to its mother.

As the years passed, it turned out, there were many things that surprised me about being a dad, some of these things were the ability to go without sleep for 72 hours or I have the talent to eat every kind of leftover food— but none more surprising than this: fatherhood has made me grateful for the small things in life.

I was your typical average middle-class Filipino married man, I had a good job, a loving wife, and was able to go through the hustle and bustle of MRTs, traffic, vacations, and the like. Married life was awesome, but it was all still so typical.

The thing that really created a big transformation for me was being a dad. Since every child is unique, the experiences that you will go through will always be different from other parents. The joy, tears, frustrations, and heartaches – were all custom fit that enriched my life greatly. I realized that my life already had color in it, but I had no idea that having my own kid will bring these awesome colors to life.

I mentioned earlier that I became more grateful when I became a dad, and the main reason for this is that with a child who needed me, everything had more value. Marriage is different from parenting since you are both adults and can fend for yourselves. 

Parenting is new territory -- the job I had meant provision for my son. Me being healthy means security for my son. The daily necessities became more important. I then became more appreciative and thankful for every good thing and good luck that came my way – simply because I was not living for myself but I live to sustain another life.

Me being a dad was the reason why I wanted to improve as a person. I wanted to be more, I wanted to do more, I wanted to be the best I can be – all for my child who thinks the world of me. This is something that only parents can relate to and must be grateful for -- that living life to the fullest can only be achieved when you have someone who totally relies on you.

I also have to add that benefits of gratitude are innumerable: you'll feel happier, healthier, and more optimistic; those around you will respond more positively towards you; your life will improve in every way imaginable; you will also have fewer wrinkles and will look sizzling hot even with a 50-year-old dad bod.

However, I also know that it can be hard to feel grateful for everything that you have. You might not have the perfect health or job, or have the means to provide everything – that is why we need to remember that it’s not about being perfect, but all about appreciation. The more we learn to appreciate the small things, the more joyful and fulfilled life will be.

I have taught my son to be grateful, and we often play a game every weekend where he tells a thing that he was thankful for. One time as my son and I were playing, he told me that he was so thankful to God, the stars, and the universe that I was his dad. That moment filled me with pride, but I had to shake my head. I smiled and told him that he had it all wrong, that it was I who was thanking God, the stars, and the whole universe, that he was my son.


This is a guest post from my fellow parenting and lifestyle blogger and one of the top daddy bloggers in the Philippines, Joma Vicencio, more popularly known in the social media world as Papa Jomsi.

You can follow his blog and social media accounts to view his amusing yet knowledge-filled parenting stories:

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