10 Lessons Learned The Hard Way

Being a dad is great! Although I’m new to the whole dad thing, I have been blown away at how fun the whole experience has been. There is nothing like walking through the front door after a long day of work and having your little one come running to the door with a big smile and out stretched arms. It’s in these moments you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, “this is the life.” As much as I love this whole dad thing, there have been some things I’ve had to adjust too.Here are a list of 10 adjustments for a new dad. It all starts in the womb mind you.

1. When “Oh no I’m sick” turns into, “oh no I don’t feel sick phase.” Get ready for this phase guys. As men we will never understand the physical sickness and agony our wives go through during pregnancy (We would probably die if we had too.), but prepare yourself for this phase. There are obviously mixed emotions when finding out about pregnancy (depending on whether or not you were trying), but after settling into the fact that you’re going to have a miracle bundle of joy, something happens. All the happiness turns into nausea. Now you’ve hit the morning sickness phase. Prepare yourself, because this is going to be a roller coaster ride. At first, your wife is going to think something is wrong because she feels way to sick. This will continue for weeks. Right about the time you have been able to comfort her, she will then start to feel better. You’re going to be tempted to think that everything is down hill from here. Pinch yourself, because you need to wake up. You’re now moving into the second part of this phase, which is, Oh no, I don’t feel sick-something must be wrong phase. You will now have to switch gears on a dime, and everything you told her for weeks is now the opposite. Where you were only a few days ago trying to convince her she is supposed to feel sick, you will now have to convince her she is supposed to feel hunky dory. Good luck.

2. Don’t ask about the coffee cups phase. Men, we will never be able to understand the changes that are taking place in a woman’s body during pregnancy. More than once, my wife thought she was losing her mind. I’ll never forget the morning I woke up looking for my travel coffee mug. We had three the last time I looked, but that morning I couldn’t find any for the life of me. I checked every cupboard and every bag, and eventually I even looked in the cars. After searching everywhere I knew, I finally went in to ask my wife (Bad idea if you haven’t already guessed.). I woke her up gently and asked, “hon, where are the coffee mugs?” Without hesitation she sat up like the saddest basset you’ve ever seen and burst into tears. You must tread lightly in this phase, and never ask where the coffee cups are.

3. The please don’t die phase. I’ve skipped ahead  a bit, and now your baby’s been born. You saw the miracle of birth and hopefully didn’t pass out, but now you have this little creature that is yours, and if it wasn’t for your wife (and her mother in most cases), you wouldn’t have a clue in the world what to do. Now is the time to panic, and pray (for the sake of your baby mind you), that your wife recovers miraculously. It’s in this phase that we realize our wives are super hero’s. During the pregnancy we thought they were losing their minds, but now we see clearly that it’s they that are the strong ones, and we are puny weaklings. After some time in the hospital God will cause a deep fog to surround the nurses and medical teams to convince them that you’re are able to take care of your wife and baby at home, and they will release you. They will hand you this tiny little human and send you on your way. You are going to feel like you just pulled a fast one on the hospital. You’ll be thinking, “I sure duped them. I can’t believe they are letting me leave and with a baby, Suckers.” This is when you hit the next phase. This beautiful little creature that is now in your full care is going to sleep, well, like a baby. There will be more than once that your baby will be sleeping so hard, you will think they are dead. They’re not, they are just messing with your head. The next three months you will be living in this phase. You’ll have every gadget none to man to monitor your child, which leads us to our next phase.

4. What is sleep phase? No matter how many times people told me that I would be tired, I didn’t get it until I held my baby in my arms. But, don’t make the mistake that I made. No matter how tired you may be, your wife is a million times tireder. She has gone through the most excruciatingly painful experience known to man (side not: and actually wants to do it again, which is the biggest miracle of all. The population would no doubt die off if men had to give birth.), and in many cases now has to live on an hour and a half sleep cycle for the next month. I’m tired, but she’s delirious. No matter what, if you pass out on the couch for five hours, don’t wake up and say something like; “wow, we really got some good sleep.” There is a 99% chance that “we” doesn’t exist. “We” was just “you”, and “you” will never live this down, trust me.

5. What is that on my shirt phase? Well, there’s no easy way to break this to you, but for the next few years, you’re going to have slime, sludge, food, and spit up all over you. There are going to be times while at the grocery store that you’ll notice your sleeve and think a slug traveled the length of your arm. The worst is when you’re in a meeting and realize you smell like sour milk. Embrace it, because this is your new life. Rejoice that you’re already married because you’re going to seem like a disheveled mess.

6. After a few months everything will go back to normal, right phase? Let me just break it to you now. Normal will never be NORMAL again. If you’re ever tempted to think this, ask a good buddy to slap you across the face because you’re living in a delusion. Look around you, because what you see is the new normal. Every scattered toy that you step on to every smell on your shirt is now what you need to call normal. The sooner you adjust to this fact the sooner you will be able to move on with your life.

7. How can something so cute produce something so vile phase. When you look into the face of your beautiful child, never in a million years would you think they would be able to produce a waste by-product as gnarly and vile as they do. And not only that, there will be a time that you’ll be in a public setting that your child will mess themselves in a way you never would have remotely thought possible in a million years. I don’t know how a tiny little 8 lb thing could have the pressure of a fire hydrant, but they do. You don’t believe me, just wait. They will poop on their heads.

8. There’s a new kind of currency phase. At some point your going to take your children to the store (Starbucks is where it first happened to me), and once your ready for check out, you’ll discover a new kind of currency. You’ll reach for your wallet, but instead you’ll find a snot rag. You’ll try a different pocket, and there you’ll find Cheerios. You’ll look everywhere, but money you won’t find. If you’re really bold, you’ll ask the cashier if they take graham crackers as currency.

9. When your worst nightmare comes true; your wife wants to buy cloth diapers phase. Brace yourself for this one. Baby’s are expensive. At some point money will get tight. You will cut out everything, but still, you’ll need it to stretch further. This is God’s way of showing us what really important. Right when you think you can’t cut back on anything else, the mother load will hit. “How about we try cloth diapers?” she’ll ask. Your response will probably be as ignorant as mine was, something like; “you mean like the 1890’s?” At this point, you’ll go to the kitchen to get your giant humble pill and swallow it without a glass of water while you order your new cloth diapers on Amazon. Take heart though, their not as bad as you think, that is unless they poop on their heads.

10. ?

You’ll notice I left 10 blank and that because you probably have something even funnier that every parent learns the hard way. What’s the funniest thing you’ve experienced and adjusted to as a parent?

If you like this post read: 10 Things You Need To Know In Beijing

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