Writers often cite and discuss the trend of delayed motherhood, but don’t write about the possible shifts in fatherhood. Now a study confirms what many have already suspected: the average age of first-time fathers is also climbing to an average of 31 in 2015. I was 35 when I had my first child so the study also shows that I am above average!

Presumably, the same factors are at play for men as for women. More people are waiting to have children until they find the right partner, achieve personal goals or dreams, establish their career, and achieve financial or emotional stability. All of these are laudable goals, however, none of them are easily attained, and people may find themselves delaying parenthood for longer than they had planned. While everyone should make the best decision for himself, the danger is to let these hurdles prevent you from experiencing the real joys that parenthood brings. Men, in particular, may worry about what they may be giving up in order to have a child, but there are a multitude of benefits that are often overlooked.

Revisit childhood joys
Fathers are often excited to accompany their kids through the carefree days of youth. Whether it’s watching them ride a bike for the first time, hearing their delighted gasps on Christmas morning, or competing in a water gun fight, dads find themselves fondly remembering their own childhood while enjoying it anew with the next generation. I’ve been seeing that as my boys learn in school and explore scouting.

Gain perspective
It’s easy to get bogged down with things that don’t really matter, but when your life expands to include a child that loves you unconditionally, you might find that you won’t be pining after the most expensive car anymore or obsessing about getting tickets to the next sports game. Some men shy away from fatherhood because of the sacrifices it requires, but putting your child first actually leads to increased happiness for you.

A chance to leave a legacy
Though so much of our time is taken up with the daily tasks of life, we find that our deepest desire is to make a positive difference in the world. When men become fathers, they see their legacy right in front of them. Reading a bedtime story, helping with homework, and attending the school play might seem insignificant, but fathers know that it is all part of the work of nurturing a well-rounded, kind, intelligent child who will go on to do great things.