‘I may not be a tough guy dad. But my kids have turned my heart to mush.’

Karicare+ Toddler
Thanks to our brand partner, Karicare+ Toddler

Mush.

You make loads of it for kids. Your kids will turn perfectly good meals into mush. The play dough that you’ve bought or made will be smashed into a brown mush. Perhaps save some time and money – buy brown play dough. There’s mush everywhere when you’re parent. You might as well live in “Mushworld”.

Mush is an integral part of the life of a parent. As a dad, I’m cleaning up the mush from baby chairs, floors, baby bowls. There’s a lot of mush in being a parent.

But as my babies transformed into toddlers, they magically turned my (supposedly cynical/boys don’t cry/I’m a tough guy) heart into mush.

Look, I may not be a tough guy dad. More of a nerd if anything. A funny nerd. But my kids have turned my heart to mush. It’s been utterly mushified.

The time I get with my kids is better than pure gold (although I can’t say I’ve ever seen gold that hadn’t been melted into a ring – but you get what I mean). It provides a whole different dimension to being at home: you’re seeing someone else grow, dance and laugh. It’s quite something – and what may be samey, boring or inane to anyone else gives me immense joy.

I’m sure other dads, mums, grandparents, aunts and uncles can sympathise – the kids that are special to you in your life will pull at your heart strings through the simplest things. They’ll thaw the most frozen chambers of your heart.

This thawing process happened a number of times as I was literally watching Frozen with my kids. No joke.

As my kids play with toys, eat new things, and repeat phrases as they watch Sesame Street, I find that my heart melts. An amorphous emotional play dough-like blob has replaced my cynical heart.

My heart has been transformed into the indistinguishable brown blobs of rubbery play dough that I pick up from the kids’ play table on a daily basis – and it’s the best. I wouldn’t trade in my old heart for anything.

It’s the unexpected, innocuous things that lead you to these heart-melting moments. Such as when my kids tell me that they’ll “miss me” when I get ready for work.

My wife! Image: Supplied.

Then there's the look on my daughter’s face when she discovers a “ladybird house" and I’m torn as to whether I should mow the lawn. And my heart again is reduced to mush.

Something as simple as a smile from my son when he wakes up in the middle of the night tells me he's not really a little baby anymore.

Things are changing and these changes go on everyday.

But I’m probably changing even more rapidly. Becoming a father has given me new dimensions for my heart to reach. New forms of mush.

And to be honest, I realise that there a so many moments like these. More than I could write. They happen everyday. Because children are developing at such a rapid rate. As a parent, I want to make sure that they're getting everything that they need.

Things go quickly and I, like all parents, want the best for my kids. My reason for being is to provide whatever I can for them, so that they can turn my heart to mush.

What does your kid do that makes your heart instantly turn into mush? 

If you would like to vote for Australia's Gentlest Dad, go to www.gentlefeelsgood.com thanks to our brand partner Karicare+ Toddler. T&Cs apply.

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Karicare+ Toddler.

Want to show your partner how grateful you are for his gentle side? If you would like to nominate your partner as Australia's Gentlest Dad go to www.gentlefeelsgood.com and you could win a $5,000 family photo shoot thanks to our brand partner Karicare+ Toddler. T&Cs apply.

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