So I’m only 3 months into the biggest change of my life and I’ve already learned more than enough to compile a list of things that may help other dads to-be.
Our Son is now 3 months old and the ride has been one crazy, fun, emotional, stressful and loving experience. I’m sure the learning has only just begun and it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. For now though here’s the things that hit home the hardest:
1. The unexpected love
It’s experiencing a different type of love. I wrote an entire post about this here. The love you will have for your child is so powerful it’s intoxicating. I’m not comparing this with the love you have for your spouse, there’s no comparison is needed. Be prepared to fall so immeasurably deep in love with another human being that it changes your thoughts and behavior.
2. Mothers are amazing
There is no event bigger with more of an impact on one human than a woman giving through birth and becoming a mother. Every woman goes through one heck of a change and they come out on the other side stronger, more powerful and a force to be reckoned with. It’s such a powerful sight. I quickly learned to trust my wife 100% when it comes to our Son. Mothers know. They don’t call it mothers intuition for nothing. It’s real and its trustworthy. Fall in line and support the mother 100%.
3. Sleep is overrated
Its amazing how quickly you adjust to a different sleeping pattern. While I took strain initially in waking up every hour, 2 hours, 3 hours and so on I quickly adjusted to the broken sleep pattern. After a while being awake to feed or do a diaper change every 3 hours becomes a “good” night. I’m making this sound horrible but it does get better as every day goes by. The lesson here is to not worry to much about getting little sleep. Life works out somehow and knowing that it will normalize makes it more manageable as well. It also helps being a team with your wife. This means you can let each other off every now and then by taking the entire night’s duties while the other one gets the spare-room for some much needed sleep.
4. Know the trifecta
A friend of ours who recently also had a baby told us that when it comes to babies it’s really only ever 1 of three things that you need to always deal with. Hungry, Diaper or cold/sick/tired or something else. Yeah I know it sounds so blaze when reading, but it really is this simple. My go to reasoning whenever baby is crying is 1) Is baby hungry? If not then go to point 2) Does baby have a diaper? If not then go to point 3) Is baby tired, hot, cold or perhaps something more serious like fever, sick, etc. 99% of the time its either point 1 and/or 2.
5. Dealing with a baby in pain
Hopefully as a parent you never have to deal with this. But chances are you will. A baby in pain is a horribly emotional event. I really struggle to deal with it and this has been my biggest challenge as a dad: Not to freak out when our son is crying/in pain. I had to learn how to cope with this emotion that swells up inside me. The sadness I feel when he’s crying and nothing you do is helping. It is such a powerless situation. I can fully understand how parents who deal with serious illnesses or situation of health with their children go through a crisis of faith.
6. Just love Him/Her
Although a new born may seem very little human in the beginning, they really are little human beings that become more “human” as they grow up. They start to laugh, show emotion, communicate and generally make it easier to take care of. Seeing as they are human like the rest of humanity they just want to be loved. Remember this and spare no expense in loving your child by any means possible. Hold them, touch them, kiss them, talk to them, pamper them. Be a never ending storm of love pouring down on your baby.
I hope this helps any new or to-be dad reading this. I’m still new to this as well but I hope from my limited time and experience of being a Dad I can help someone else.
Originally published at namelessone.co.za on January 31, 2017.