Becoming a new father is both a scary and satisfying adventure. And yes, ton of my friends, random cashiers at the grocery store and at target, my neighbors, the old ladies at church and work and relatives have all tried to prepare me for the momentous fatherhood adventure by giving me well-intentioned and meaningful advice. They’ve told me that raising kids can be very expensive and very difficult, they’ve advised me to take some time off work so I can spend quality time with my kid and they’ve even hinted that I’m in for a lot of late nights during the first few weeks of my child’s life. But they all ensured me it will all be worth it in the long run and my life will never be the same.
They were completely right. Their advice was legit. Becoming a dad is the best feeling in the world but there’s so much more they could be telling me. So I thought hey, I am going to be another random guy on the Internet blogging about what new dads need to REALLY know. So I have compiled a list of the top 5 new realities that nobody warned me about before becoming a new father. My goal is to somewhat inform you while entertaining and horrifying you, simultaneously, as I give you a preview into the next two years of your new dad life.
5. Change a lot of diapers.
Poop and pee are your new best friends. As a new dad, the only useful thing you can do is change diapers. There’s really no other way for me to put it. Get use to changing a really liquidity poopy diaper at 2am and right when you are putting on the new diaper your new beloved baby pees all over you and the diaper changing station. If you don’t know how to change a diaper, click here to learn now!
4. Time and tolerance.
The most important thing you can do is simply spend time with your newborn. Some serious research indicates that new dads aren’t spending an adequate amount of time with their baby. New dads think mommy is the only one who needs to spend time with baby. Wrong!
Along with time, you need to have some serious tolerance for you and your new baby. I understand why so many new parents just want to shake their baby. I hate crying!! I know this sounds bad. But I would rather be pooped on then have to tolerate long, extended periods of crying. But it is essential you be patient with your new creation. Be kind and gentle. No shaking or swearing at your baby. In fact, studies have shown that parents who are responsive to their baby’s cries and needs help them develop better communication and language skills. This is your first time being a father and your son or daughter’s first time being a human being.
There’s no “I” in team. You remember your football coach telling you that? Well this same principle can be translated into being a new dad. You and your bride are a tag-team. Figure out who’s on and off. Be attentive to your wife’s needs and where you can help with the baby. This may take some time and require a few late night fights, but clarify what roles you as the new dad can do.
2. Make a lot of mistakes.
We are dads. The best way for us to learn is by trying out what works and doesn’t work. And yes our wives or mother-in-laws will tell us what to exactly do but we will forget something or do it wrong and this is okay. This is how us guys learn. We just got to get in there and figure it out for ourselves. For example, my wife went away for the weekend and it was just me and my new daughter. Yes I was so anxious I would not doing something right, but being alone with her for a few days taught me that I can be a great dad and meet her basic needs while still making a few mistakes along the way.
Did my daughter get enough to eat and sleep good while mommy was away? Yes. Did I change my daughter’s clothes daily? Um…no comment. Bottom line, having this weekend alone with my daughter boosted my confidence even though I made a few mistakes. Mistakes are good because you learn at a new level on how to take care of your baby.
1. My wife is amazing.
Seriously I don’t know how my wife does it? How do they have this special superpower to comfort, understand and love their new baby? My wife is always right and knows exactly what to do at any given moment. I just cannot comprehend it. My prideful, new dad self wants to put up this front that I don’t need help from mom when my daughter is crying her lungs out as I try to hold her. But the reality is, mom knows best so just embrace that reality.
Trust me, this will make things so much easier. Shut your mouth. There’s no need to justify why you left the baby wipes open and that you put the dirty pacifier in the mouth of your baby. Just acknowledge that your wife is amazing and tell her that daily and make sure to provide specific examples as to why she is amazing.
Anyways, hopefully this post about being a new dad was helpful. What new realities would you add to the list? What did I miss?
Sorry. I got to go. My daughter just woke up because she spit out her pacifier and she is starting to cry pretty intensively and I am 90% sure she has a poopy diaper……that needs changing by her DAD.
New dads…anything else you would add to this list?