I'm taking a year out of work to be my son's principal carer
It's an awesome experience and I'm learning a lot. Not just about caring for an 18 month-old but about myself too.
I'm trying to set a good example for my son
It's made me think about what I do and say and how I am perceived. For example, I take more care with the words I use and check my cellphone much less than I used to.
I feel I'm much more patient than I was before
After all, you can't rush a small child. I find that I have to adapt my pace to his but instead of being frustrated by this I'm finding it helps me to focus.
My attention to detail has improved
As I have to take things slower for my son, I have more time to look at and experience things - such as small details of the world around me that before I would have ignored.
I'm better at planning now
Taking my son out of the home is a major logistical challenge so I have had to get better at planning. Forget a favourite toy or an essential baby item and I'm in big trouble!
Then there's budgeting
As I 've given up full time employment for a year I am much more conscious of all things financial. I've got better at setting a budget (and sticking to it).
I think I've got better at communicating
Having a small child has made me much more careful about what I say and how I say it. I think about my audience much more than before.
And, I've been forced to get out of my comfort zone
Just being around a small child is something that I never thought I'd be doing or wanted to do before I became a full-time dad. I'm surprisingly comfortable with it now.
Will I go back to work a different person?
Yes - definitely. Not just because I have become a dad but because being a dad has changed me - for the better I hope.