#FATHERHOOD FRIDAYS 001
Hello, there first-time dad! This is my first guest post on my wife’s blog. Although she’s definitely the one who wears the pants around the house, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about fatherhood that she doesn’t! 🙂 Welcome to my #FatherhoodFridays series. You’re gonna love it here!
I will never forget the first time I held my son in my arms – the moment I finally realized I was a first-time dad. He was so tiny and beautiful and really sleepy. Seeing him for the first time made emotions I never imagined I had in me come gushing out, and I remember being speechless for hours.
I don’t think fatherhood truly sinks in until that first time you hold your baby. When we were pregnant, I knew massive changes were headed my way, but it just didn’t feel “real”, you know? I think that’s why the emotions hit you like a train when your kid is born and your brain goes, “Oh shit! This is really happening!”
That being said, though, if you are a first-time dad, you must know by now that those first few months can be a rollercoaster of emotions. You’ll be happy and tired and severely sleep-deprived, and every time your baby makes a sound you will worry and get insanely anxious. It’s all part of the package, I guess.
One thing’s for sure though, no one ever gets it right the first time. Which is why I think these words of advice could help make things a little easier for you.
1. You are the hero’s sidekick in this story
Your partner will have her hands full from day one. She’s the real hero here because your baby relies on her entirely to stay alive. You do need to help with the diapers and rocking the baby to sleep regularly, though, because this is actually really great for your relationship with your child.
However, your main role is the sidekick role. You make the hero look good and perform her best. This means cooking, cleaning, shopping, and making up excuses to keep unwanted guests away so your partner can get some rest.
2. Know what emergency options you have
You need to have a list of important numbers on your phone, just in case. Save these numbers in your computer, too, just in case.
Sometimes you’ll need an expert’s opinion or advice on something, so you need to know exactly who to turn to. Find out what your local options are and take advantage of them.
3. Learn your baby’s cries
Most dads tend to tune out when babies cry. I know I’m guilty of that. It’s just that they are so tiny yet so frickin’ loud! And they can cry for literally no reason at all!
When babies are new, they tend to cry a lot. Here is a little secret, though; if you listen carefully, you can learn their different cries. And it will be easier to sooth them the next time they cry. Study your baby and you’ll be an expert in no time!
4. The four Ps: Patience, Patience, Patience, and Proactivity.
As a new dad, you will be expected to wake up several times a night. Expect to look like someone who wakes up several times a night.
Having to wake up every two hours sucks for everyone. Remember how you are a sidekick in this story? Well, instead of lying in bed and cursing, offer to help. If your partner is expressing or you guys opted to formula-feed, they’ll be lots for you to do.
Patience is one of the most important traits you need to exercise as a new dad. At the same time, when you are proactive, in an odd way, it actually energizes you and gets you feeling less tired the next day.
5. Figure things out as you go
That’s what everyone does. There is no such thing as a perfect dad. We are all learning on the job. If you screw up, that’s ok, you can always try for baby number two! That was a joke. I love my kid and my wife very very much.
Seriously, though. Fatherhood is all about trusting your own intuition. Generations of fathers have relied on it, and humanity is doing just fine. So trust your instincts.
You should also be very grateful for the Internet and the wonderful things it has made possible today. Information is so accessible, so whenever you are in doubt, Google it. Or better yet, whip out your emergency contact list.
In the end, no one knows your kid better than you do. You’ll get all sorts of advice as a first-time dad, but you have the final say on your own fatherhood. So trust yourself and do right by your child. You’ve got this! Good luck!
Are you a dad? What’s the best advice you can give to first-time dads?