Top 5 Things New Dads Should Know

“If you’ve got the balls to make a baby,
then have the balls to raise a child.”

Finding out that you’re going to be a dad is such a big, important deal that you run head long into it and
inevitably miss a bunch of stuff, so here’s my top things you should know…

1. Don’t be an arsehole

If your wife or girlfriend has just found out that she’s pregnant, don’t be one of those guys who thinks that you’ve done your bit and can leave her to get on with it.
Men who tell you that that’s ok are the ones who are scared of being a dad, so they think that if they can perpetuate the myth then they’ll not have to confront their own fears.
Those guys are weak.

2. Being pregnant is hard

It effects not only physical form but also mental state. Every woman is effected differently, but they all need one thing: your support.
Don’t go off to the pub and leave her at home, just because you think you’re a man and that’s what men do.
What real men do is step up to the plate and back their pregnant partner every step of the way.
The same applies when the baby arrives too. If you’re planning on keeping your regular social life, and letting your baby momma get up on her own every time in the middle of the night cos you have work, then you’re being a dick about it.
Embrace fatherhood and recognise it for the awesome thing that it is, not as some inconvenience which keeps you from your ‘true calling’ i.e. beer drinking.
Stitching up your lady means that you’re a worthless scumbag.

3. Be at the birth

If you miss the birth you’ll kick yourself for the rest of time.
I’ve never before or since seen my wife @girltini be more amazing, strong and powerful than she was giving birth to our daughter.
How she went through it – with no drugs! – quite literally took my breath away. She nailed it.
One minute she was in unbelievable pain, and the next minute our baby was there, out in the world.
Honestly, no other experience is anything like it.
(And FYI, any man that says to you, ‘you will never look down there in the same way ever again’ is a neanderthal who either hasn’t been through it or just simply didn’t understand what happened.
If they failed to realise over the preceding nine months how much their partner’s body changed to give birth to their child, then they’ve missed out on one of life’s most awesome transformations. So fuck ’em.)

4. Babies don’t stay small for long

When it sinks in that ‘we are having a baby’ you think about them being little tiddlers that don’t do much more than drink milk and sleep.
In preparation for this, you buy tonnes of new stuff and wonder about what it’s going to be like having an actual small baby.
But know this: they don’t stay small babies for long.
We had our little girl 13 months ago. When we had her and I thought about what she would be like when she was a year old, I thought she’d still be a baby. But she already isn’t!
She’s walking around, talking a lot and has her own little – and properly awesome – personality.
There’s barely any trappings left that you associate with a baby – there’s hardly any milk, there’s no carry seat to take her around in, there’s no getting up in the middle of the night. That stuff is gone.
Already, she’s an actual child.
So when you do think ‘we are having a baby’ and it’s such a massive deal, remember that the baby part disappears as quickly as it would take you to grow a big beard, so make sure you look around and appreciate what’s happening, because those days don’t ever come back.

5. Changing nappies is easy

Ok, yes you’re going to have to deal with a lot of bodily fluids, but honestly you won’t think about it any differently to dealing with your own.
Your baby will be so much a part of you that wiping its bum or cleaning up its sick will be just a thing you do, it’s no more stressful than that.
So, changing nappies is easy, but…

6. Beware the health visitor!

I know, I said it was a top five, but I just remembered this one and it’s one worth knowing ahead of time.
There’s these people, who you’ve never paid any attention to before, that are called health visitors.
These people will come to visit you quite regularly after your child is born, to make sure that you and your partner have your shit together.
Now this in itself is nothing to fear, but what you will find is that as soon as you’re in the company of a health visitor, all baby skills you’ve acquired will go straight out the window.
Sure, in your own company you can change your baby out of its clothes, switch nappies and redress it with one arm, in the dark, at 3am, but as soon as a health visitor arrives, you won’t even be able to carry your child without feeling like you’re going to stumble and drop it.
I’m not sure why it happens, but I think it’s probably because you feel like you’re in a test situation, so trust me, your dad skills will be seriously lacking.
Don’t worry though, it’s not a man thing, your partner will lose it too.

Enjoy it

The biggest thing to remember about becoming a dad is not to be scared.
Babies are really cool, and becoming a father will change your life for the better in more ways than right now you can even think possible.
Just make sure you soak it all up and love the first part because those days are short and pass quickly. After that, it really does get crazy!

2 thoughts on “Top 5 Things New Dads Should Know

  1. Great stuff but worth remembering that just because you’ve taken on the new role of being a father you’ve still got the old roles to fufill. You’re still a drinking buddy to some people, a collegue or boss to others. You’re still a son or brother to your kin and a lover to your wife or partner. Being a Dad is brilliant but don’t let it overwhelm you, it’s not the only thing you are.

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