Posted: Dec 15, 2014
If you haven't heard the news by now, Ashton Kutcher is a brand new dad to a baby girl, Wyatt, born back in October. Was this a smart move for the man? Hmmm...good question. First of all, he has plenty of good reasons NOT to be a dad--
One--a child really slows you down. A child doesn't just demand part of your life. It takes every last little bit of it. Even when you're not with your child, you're still thinking about your child. It consumes you. Your life suddenly takes a 180, and you find yourself on a brand new path, littered with diapers and wet wipes all along the way. Gone are the days when you can just take off on a whim and do what you want to do, when you want to do it. Ashton loves the Hollywood life. Is he really ready to slow down?
Two--being a parent is a full-time job. Ashton is at the top of his game. His career has taken off and just keeps gaining speed. I know most people's view of actors is that they live a posh lifestyle where everything is done for them and they don't really have to work. Not so. They live in the real world just like everyone else. They pull some tough hours, need to get regular training, and have to shower, shave, and show up just like you and me. Parenting could not only put a dent in his career, it could crush it.
Three--Having a baby changes everything. Suddenly, you're more interested in inhaling that "new baby smell" (if you're a parent you know what I'm talking about) than a fine cigar or costly perfume. You judge your home in regards to safety issues rather than interior design. When you're away from home, all you can think about is your baby. When you're at home, all you still think about is your baby. Ashton has the world in the palm of his hand--is he really going to let that go?
Ashton Kutcher, in the prime of his career, has plenty of good reasons not to be a dad, but it looks like he may have a better reason to take on this new career. In a recent interview on Ellen (12/12/14), he had this to say about raising his new baby:
"We just want to know our kid. We want to be the people that know what to do when the baby's crying to make the baby not cry anymore. We want to know when she makes a little face or something. We want to be emotionally in touch with her, and I think the only way to do that is by being the one who's there."
It looks like Ashton is giving the nanny her pink slips and taking on the job himself. Personally, I think that's the best choice he could ever make. Too many people push off parenting until a time when it will be more convenient. Well, the truth is that parenting is NEVER convenient. It's not something you fit into your schedule. It's something you become.
Yes, parenting really slows you down. But, maybe that's not a bad thing. Maybe in our über-busy society, we need to learn how to stop, breathe, and just take it all in for a moment. Being a parent makes you sit and be quiet for a while. It makes you realize you don't need to do everything, and be everyone in order to make it to the end of the day. And, "to do" becomes a lot less important than "to be." Parenting warps time. Minutes and hours suddenly feel like days. And months and years speed by unnoticed. You can't understand it, but you can embrace it.
Yes, being a parent is a full-time job. But it pays way better. Maybe it can't cover your mortgage, but it can give you more immense joy and love than you ever thought you were capable of experiencing. You can't partition it like you can a board meeting or a business dinner, and just when you think you have a grasp of it, it wiggles right out of your hands. Parenting is elusive and funny like that. It takes every bit of you--your time, energy, everything. But even when you haven't showered for days, your house is a wreck, and you're so tired you could pass out on the floor, you still wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
Yes, having a baby changes everything. And I mean, everything. You get years down the road and you laugh at the foolishness that you once thought life was all about. It grows you in ways you never thought you would grow. Everything you once thought was important is shoved to the side and you realize nothing matters more than this life you are holding right now. You are instantly demoted, and you're perfectly okay with that.
Ashton seems to realize that parenting is more than just fathering a child, it's being there for them. Sure, he has plenty of reasons to NOT be a dad, good reasons, too. They are reasons that the majority of our society would endorse in a heartbeat. But he has one bigger reason to be a dad--his child. And it looks like he's making the right choice.
What do YOU think? Has Ashton made the right choice? How has parenting changed you? Leave a comment and share what you think, and make sure you also take advantage of all the free resources to make parenting easier, right here on www.hannahhelpme.com.