Thoughts From The First Two Months of Being a Dad
Well that little lady above is now two months old and pretty much runs the house and everyone inside of it. It has been quite the experience so far and I realize this is just the beginning. A lot of the cliches are true some of them not so much.
Being a Parent is Tough
Alas if only someone would have told me!!!! I’m just kidding everyone tells you about how tough it is going to be and how you aren’t going to get any sleep and how you will never have money again. This might be one of the only times where you tell someone something exciting (“I’m having a baby!!!”) and 99% of the population starts telling you all the bad things. You never say “I just bought a new house!” and have someone say “well get ready because owning a house is tough work, super expensive, things always break at the worst time, neighbors will drive you crazy, you can never move, the market is down, taxes suck, etc.” instead they just say “OMG that is awesome! Congratulations!”
Anyway it really is tough. Even though it is kind of hard to explain why sometimes. There have been a few days where Theresa and I are both exhausted and needing a beer and the only thing we really accomplished is that we kept everyone alive. Every baby is different and they all have different patterns but ours is not a fan of taking naps or really being sat down at all during the day. That makes it tough to even get a shower when it usually means someone is going to scream at you the whole time. Even newborns that will nap still usually need to be fed every 3 hours or so. My point is that I have just been amazed how hard it is to get even one task done during a day with the crying, feeding and changing.
And the always scary not getting sleep thing definitely wears on you. The thing that for some reason surprised me was there is no catching up on your sleep over the weekends. For some reason I felt like well I might be lose a lot of sleep Monday – Friday but I will be able to catch up on some over the weekend. Well too bad baby doesn’t know it is Saturday and we should all be taking it easy and sleeping in late. That constant mild state of sleep deprivation really wears on you.
Other Parents Suck
Okay maybe not all other parents but some parents really suck. Especially complete and totally random strangers. It is absolutely amazing to me how perfect strangers feel the need to “help” you in raising your child. We have already got unsolicited advice on clothing our child, putting them in their car seat, taking pictures of them, using a baby carrier, feeding them, medication, diapers, sleeping and on and on and on. I suppose people feel like it is okay to criticize parents on absolutely anything that they think is wrong because they justify it by telling themselves it is about helping the kid. I don’t really know. Now look if you see me doing something that is actually dangerous by all means but please don’t give me your opinion unless I ask for it.
And might I also add that just because you have one or two kids does not making you a parenting expert. So just because something worked or didn’t work for your kid doesn’t mean that is how ALL kids are. Please parents, stop talking in absolutes about all kids just because that is what your one child did. “If you want kids to do X then all you have to do is Y”. No that is what worked for your one kid. Theresa is one of six kids and her mom will gladly tell you that just because it works for one doesn’t mean it will work for all.
A lot of the Cheesy Cliches are True
You know all those really corny things that you here people with kids say about “can’t imagine their life without them”, “would do anything in the world for them”? Well you really do develop a bond and love with your little baby that is just a little hard to explain. It is something about how cute and helpless they are that makes them so endearing. I am always rushing to get home from work in the evening just to see that little face for a little bit before bedtime. I know once Theresa goes back to work we are going to be competing with each other every night for her.
The second you have kids all of your priorities, thoughts and concerns almost instantly shift. It doesn’t take long before you almost forget what life was like before as you are now a 24/7 on call personal assistant. Having kids definitely disproves the whole notion that people can’t change. People can change instantly with the right motivation just watch how people’s lives change once they have kids. You are a different person.
People Need to Consider NOT Having Kids
What are you talking about, I thought you just got done saying they were the light of your world and all that crap? I know but I am just saying to talk about and discuss the option of not having kids. I think society puts too much pressure on couples that they must have kids or else they are doing something wrong. If you have a happy fulfilled life and neither you or your partner have much interest in kids it really isn’t something to do just for the heck of it. You can’t exactly just stick your toe in the water when it comes to parenting.
And please for the love of God don’t have a kid to “save the marriage.” If you and your spouse have any kind of significant issues you should not have kids until you address those problems. If you feel like you don’t get along now try being sleep deprived, with a screaming baby in your ear and see if things get better or worse. It will put the magnifying glass on any issues you might have. I’m not saying you must have a perfect relationship (as no such thing exists) but you must at least have an unshakeable love, friendship, respect and since of commitment to be your foundation when things get stressful.
We are just 2 months in but it really has been a fun an awesome ride. She keeps growing and changing everyday and it is so much fun to watch. She is a daily reminder that miracles happen and that children really are the most precious gift.