Iâ??m not young but Iâ??m definitely not old either. Iâ??m just grazing somewhere in the middle. But I am thankful we decided to have our son later in life; I was 35 when he was born and I think in many ways it was for the best. I know life is rough and it can throw some very difficult challenges our way but there is absolutely nothing quite like being a Dad.
Parenthood pushes you in ways nothing else does, similar to how certain sports or workouts make muscles sore that you never even knew you had. Thereâ??s the obvious stuff like love, anxiety, fear, and/ or nervousness when having a baby but thereâ??s more.
Turns Out Being a Dad is Enlightening
Turns out you canâ??t kennel them or tie them up in the backyard while you go run errands.
Turns out they are literally a 24 hour a day business.
Turns out that every orifice produces things and they canâ??t clean it up themselves.
Turns out sleeping, pooping, and burping can be difficult and they happen a lot.
Turns out that regardless of how much patience you have you will need even more.
Turns out that anything you want to do doesnâ??t mean shit anymore.
Turns out people are weird when you have a baby. They either call more, call less, question what youâ??re doing, or somehow think they know better.
Turns out they get bored every 10 to 15 minutes (our boy is 9 months old, bored easily). Maybe he has A.D.D. like me.
Turns out you learn how to do everything with one hand while holding them in the otherâ?¦laundry, dishes, making bottles, cleaning bottles, working on the computer, writing, drinking alcohol (thatâ??s not hard with one hand I just wanted to include it), and pretty much any other household chore you can think of.
Turns out little boys can screech at very high pitches too, thought weâ??d be safe from that.
The point is that you will NEVER know what all happens until you are thrust into it. There is nothing that prepares you for it and contrary to popular belief, there are no books or websites that can prepare you either. Itâ??s mental, until you go through it there is no way to understand it. A few takeaways from me on this first 9.5 months of fatherhood:
– Do everything in your power to avoid second guessing yourself or your spouse. You will screw up or at least feel like you did and thereâ??s nothing you can do but pick up and move on.
– Go easy on yourself. This ties in with the above takeaway but you really need to do all you can to avoid the anxiety, stress, fear, nerves, and especially the bashing of yourself. Again, mistakes will be made so learn and move on.
– If youâ??re raising the child with your spouse, be VERY sure to share baby duties, household duties, and to communicate often. Guys, speak up and be present. A baby in the house changes everything and loneliness is magnified in this situation. Be helpful, talk, listen, be open minded, and donâ??t forget to laugh.
– Babysitters are better than unicorns. Really, no kidding. You need to have a date night once a week as soon as possible after the baby arrives. We do a minimum of one date night per week for 2 to 3 hours.
– Drink alcohol. Iâ??m being somewhat facetious but not really. I mean this in two waysâ?¦when the baby goes to sleep (or when theyâ??re awake) a nice light buzz makes the world happy. The other interpretation on this is to open a nice bottle of wine from time to time with your spouse and relax. Donâ??t watch TV, forget about the laundry, and simply sit out back and chat over a nice glass of wine.
– Be aware and always learn. Be aware of your spouse and how they are doing. Be aware of what you can do to help out more. You will encounter new things everyday during this journeyâ?¦learn from it. I would encourage sharing your lessons learned and tips with others, even write about it. My opinion is that as we gain knowledge, tips, or tricks it is our responsibility to share them and pay it forward.
– My last tip is to take lots of deep breaths. I mean this. Deep breaths help with stress, slowing down, enjoying the moments even when pee and feces are flying. Just relax. One big thing I have learned is that babies have their phases and to be truthful, the phases donâ??t really seem to last all that long so enjoy the good parts and make the best out of the stressful ones.
We need to remember that everything we do is having an impact. Remember that and act accordingly. Iâ??m not saying donâ??t cuss or drink beerâ?¦Iâ??m just saying that if you are parenting or even living life filled with stress, anxiety, and a lack of patience the outcome sucks. So as I said above, take some deep breaths and find perspective.