Written by James Smith
So you’re becoming a parent? Congratulations. Your life is about to completely change, and rightly so.
- For the first few weeks, you might feel like a bit of a servant to both Mom and your child. You’ll be fluffing Mom’s pillows as she recovers from pushing a big-headed life into the world, bringing coffee/tea/snacks, changing diapers, doing laundry, cooking meals, intercepting calls and visits from relatives, and swatting away the hands of the old ladies who just have to touch your fragile new child.
- As much as you may have loved the guilt-free flexibility of doing whatever you want, when you want, that’s changed now. Every outing and spur-of-the-moment opportunity to leave the house will now be dictated by your child’s poop schedule.
- You are no longer your first priority. The needs of your child take precedent. Becoming a Dad is incredible and can be a quick learning curve into the world of new responsibilities.
- Everyone will tell you to ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ or ‘remember to take time for yourself’ but that’s often impossible. From endless laundry, bottles to wash, or panic-buying a crazy amount of diapers, finding a second to do something remotely self-care related just isn’t happening.
- Get really good at packing a diaper bag. You’re gonna need: 1 diaper per 30 minutes you’re out (cautious estimate), 3 changes of baby outfits, chew toy, soft toy, something that rattles, milk bottle and formula (or Mom), snack for the parent, wipes and cloths, spare shirt for you in case of throw-up/food spillage, a baby changing mat. The diaper bags are huge and heavy but, for some reason, the smaller the person the more stuff they need.
- You’re going to miss your old life, and that’s totally normal. If you need to call your friends, play a little Xbox, or just catch up on Netflix, do it when everyone’s asleep and the chores are done.
- Being a Dad is a huge responsibility, and it doesn’t all fall on the Mom to do. She’s often exhausted from the feedings through the night, so make sure you kick up your game.
- You can still leave the house. Just now you’ll have a baby strapped to your chest. It’s actually pretty great. Everyone is really nice to you and loves seeing a Dad with a baby. Even though it’s 2022 and gender roles should be ancient history, it still looks good to be an engaged father.
- Get a really sturdy to-go coffee mug. You’re going to be constantly caffeinated and need a drink at all times. However, they have a habit of being kicked off the diaper changing table and you don’t need your precious coffee to spill.
- This is literally the best thing to happen to you. You get to pass on everything you know to a brand new person. You will be their hero. The strongest man alive who they’ll argue could beat up Superman. This is your opportunity to share the best traits of yourself and hide the parts you don’t want. You can reinvent yourself through someone else’s eyes and be the best version of you.
Congratulations on the best thing ever.
James is a busy Dad and creator of socialdad.ca. He lives in North Vancouver, BC, and tries to spend as much time outdoors as possible.