As an expecting dad, everybody you know from friends to coworkers are keen to tell you how it will change your life. While some people will harp on the responsibilities of being a dad, others will smile and tell you how much you will love it. Your close friends will relay horror stories they heard about what happens to new dads. They will leave you doubting your choice to have kids.
If you really want to know what it is like having kids, ask a seasoned vet, someone who has fought the battle for many years. You can start with your own father, but his answers to your questions will be somewhat biased. The best answers are from the collective. That is, a group of men who have raised children and aren’t afraid to be candid about the things you should know. River Valley Pediatric Clinic in New Braunfels presents what every new dad should know before he has his first child.
Yours is Not the First Baby in the World
Many first-time dads get so caught up in raising their little miracle of life that they fool themselves into believing their child has issues unique to them.
They are not. Relax, the problems you are dealing with have been around for a long time and not unique to you.
Don’t overthink things and never feel alone, almost every dad out there has gone through the same as you.
Childbirth is Terrifying
Seriously, it’s like a horror show. You imagine everything is going to go perfectly well, then it all goes south. There will be screaming involved, perhaps even some harsh words blaming you for the current predicament. There will be pain, no, not your wife’s labor pains, the pain you will feel as she grabs your arm during a particularly brutal contraction.
There will also be blood, as well as other bodily fluids. You will discover why most dads have scary stories they tell.
There are No Hollywood Emotions
You will feel a whole rush of emotions when your child is born, even more the first time you hold him or her in your arms. There is always a lot of guff about parental bonding, but don’t fall for it. You will probably just stand there with a confused look on your face wondering why this tiny baby has a funny color and why it looks rather funny. That’s OK, all newborns look like that.
Parenting Advice is Nonsense
The vast majority of must-have baby products are worthless. The baby will be just fine if you don’t buy the $1,000 bouncy seat with eight mounted toys.
You Will Stop Being So Squeamish
Babies are a riot of unpleasant fluids and if you aren’t dealing with liquid poo, you are most certainly wiping vomit from your shirt. You get used to it.
You Go to the Gym Twice as Much as Before the Baby
Not to workout of course, to get some peace and quiet and take a nap.
You Suffer Abuse
Babies are little Ninjas and are always waving around their limbs at unexpected times. Junior will kick you, hit you and poke you in the eye; all accidentally of course, but it still hurts.
You Never Say You are Tired
You will never tell your spouse how tired you are, not if you want to live another day. Because as tired as you are, she is even more tired.
Accept All Offers to Babysit
You should never turn down an offer to watch the baby, even if it is by your in-laws. Even though you are now a family of three, you need to spend some quality time with your spouse. Besides, things look much better after a few hours of freedom, tasty food at your favorite restaurant and a good movie that you can watch uninterrupted.
No Such Thing as Too Many Wipes
Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. If you use 32 wipes for a diaper change, then the situation called for 32 wipes. It isn’t easy getting the smell of baby poo off your hands, so use as many of those handy wet wipes as necessary.