Posted in parenting, new dad

15 things I wish I knew before becoming a Dad

Those that have read my earlier posts will realise that I began my career as Dad being a clueless intern. I’m now a little better and though I am not expecting any Father of the year awards quite yet, I’m certainly not the worst.

There are many things that I feel I should have been given more training on before Robbie arrived. Looking back I would happily swap my three years studying philosophy for a thorough course on bringing up a child, it would be far more practical. So anyway, heres’s my top 15 list of things I wish that I was ready for when becoming a Dad.

  1. Don’t panic before it even starts

Finding out your wife is pregnant is a shock regardless of how prepared you feel. I spent a huge part of the pregnancy trying to figure out plans of how to make our lives better suited to being parents. From wanting a new job and looking at moving house through to small household changes, my mind covered everything. In reality though, I changed very little and it was the right decision as things change so quickly with a child that you can never really be fully prepared.

2. Learn the essentials

Being a clueless Dad is not fun. I had read numerous articles regarding emotional bonds with your child and how to control emotions and behaviour but what I should have learnt is how to change a nappy and work a milk prep machine. I was caught out at the hospital as my wife was ill after childbirth and having a doctor watch you fail miserably to change a nappy is not an early experience you want as a new Dad.

3. The TV is no longer yours

Just face facts, it’s gone. You will soon realise that the only options are to have it turned off or to watch toddler tv programmes all day long. When your child sleeps you will have the volume so low that you can’t hear it anyway and you will never be able to concentrate on a show you love why they are awake, so just admit it is gone for a few years. Sorry.

4. Mum is now always right

It’s just not worth arguing. Of course it is a terrible impression to give your kids anyway but when Mum shouts ‘Ok, the kid is your problem for the day,’ you soon notice how much better her idea was.

5. Drinking is no longer that fun

Now don’t get me wrong, I still drink and will never give it up. The difference now is that it will very rarely be in the pub with friends but more likely sitting on my own in a dark room. Even then, too much hurts. Being Dad with a hangover is far more painful than an extra beer or two is worth.

6. Your social circle will change

This is not a bad thing but that that guy you only really see in the pub will probably not be coming round to spend time with you at home too often. You will find new friendship groups, mostly with other children in playhouses and classes.

7. Kids don’t sleep

Of course everyone knows that newborn babies don’t have much of a sleep pattern. What many don’t realise is that my boy is now 20 months old and has still never slept through the night. Every child is different but don’t go in thinking it will only be a few weeks and they will settle, they really might not. Ever.

8. They grow up way too fast

Yeah that old clichè. This is not just an emotional feeling but also a harsh reality. Those hundred sets of new born clothes you received but still bought a few more yourself are all getting thrown away without a wear. Toys, nappies and everything else soon change too so never get ahead of yourself too far.

9. There is no pain like your child being sick

You can not really put into words the feeling of your baby being ill. You have no real idea whether it is really serious or nothing to worry about and trying to find out on the internet will lead you to the worst case scenario every time. Whatever happens, seeing pain on your child’s face and being unable to do anything to help is heart wrenching.

10. Your finances will change

The general assumption is that having a child basically bankrupts you but this is not entirely true. Yes they cost a huge amount of money with general maintenance but you soon find that actually just their existence makes your own life a little cheaper. Pubs, restaurants, holidays and any other form of leisure become far too much of a hassle and this covers the extra cost of the nappies. It may not sound like much fun, but just don’t get yourself too stressed about money.

11. Returning to work is awful

Whether you love your job or you hate it, going back after paternity is tough. Your sleep pattern will have changed, along with all of your priorities in life. Your partner will have all sorts of worries about looking after the baby alone and most of all, you just will not want to be away from them. Normality does return soon enough.

12. You will miss things

However much of a hands on Dad you plan to be, it is inevitable that you will miss some of your child’s milestones and hate yourself for it. The first time they turn, crawl, speak, smile only happen once and it is just not possible to witness them all. You may not see the first time, but you will see it thousands more times so no need to beat yourself up.

13. You will become a child yourself

No, not literally. A common feeling around becoming a Father is that it is time to grow up. In some ways this very is true but in others it could not be further from the reality. You will spend far more time singing, dancing, running and playing games than ever before and even if you don’t admit it… You’ll love it!

14. Routines will not go as planned

You will often hear that the key to bringing up your child is to have good routines set. This advice should not be ignored but it is important to know that you will at times find yourself watching repeats of the Teletubbies at 3AM whilst wondering how this ever happened to you.

15. Life is better

It may seem tough to picture it but despite all of the changes above you will be a far happier man. Sleep deprivation, starvation and a lack of human friends are not really an issue when you see your child smile and laugh every day. Good luck and remember to enjoy every moment!

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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TOTS100

A new adventure

So here we are back in lockdown and to be honest, I’m looking forward and hoping the next few weeks are better than the last.

Blogtober is here!

Now I realise that most of you reading this post will have absolutely no idea what that title means and I must admit, I only learnt myself last week. My little old blog is less than a year old so this is my first October as a blogger.

Author:

Just your average Dad with a diary. I have now been blogging for a year happily sharing all the highs and lows of being a father to a beautiful little man. Also a very occasional helper to my wife’s personalised gift shop, though perhaps not as helpful as I could be!

10 thoughts on “15 things I wish I knew before becoming a Dad

  1. 22 months we went without a full night’s sleep with our second. The first slept thru at 11 months and I thought that was bad. Both of them it was totally unpredictable, like switch flicked one night and that was it, they slept thru. There didn’t seem to be any reason, they were just ready when it suited them.

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  2. I don’t have any kids (yet) but I’d be lying if I said this post didn’t give me a little more “baby fever.” You making parenting sound rewarding 🙂 #KCACOLS

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  3. What a lovely post and so true! I was only saying to my other half yesterday how quick the time goes. Our girl is 2.5 now and if feels like the time has gone in a flash. #KCACOLS

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  4. This is such a lovely post and so bloody true! Life really is never the same again. Lovely to read from the dad’s perspective. So true with TV as well. we are seven years in and still don’t watch much !

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time!

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