No matter how many books you’ve read, classes you’ve attended, or documentaries you’ve seen, nothing will ever prepare you for the moment that you become a father.
Out pops this tiny human who is blue in color, slightly slimy, and most probably screaming, and you instantly feel a rush of love. It’s an indescribable feeling, and one of the best emotions you will ever experience. In a matter of seconds, your whole world changes, and you know that nothing will ever be the same again because you are now a father.
That being said, life as a parent isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, those first few months are particularly hard. However, they will also be some of the best months of your life. To help to make those first few months of fatherhood easier, below are some things that you (and every first time dad) should know.
- Treasure those first few precious weeks
Yes, those first few weeks of fatherhood will come with a lot of screaming and crying, and it will be stressful at times. However, whatever you do, don’t wish that time away, because the first few weeks of your little one’s life are precious and should be cherished, despite the constant screaming you are subjected to.
- Make as many memories as possible
Ensure that in those first few weeks, you make as many memories as possible. Your new addition will only be a newborn once, so making memories is important. To do this, take photos every day, book a photographer for a newborn baby shoot, mold your little one’s hand and foot prints out of clay – find as many ways as possible to make memories.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
All parents make the mistakes, even the most experienced of fathers make mistakes, so don’t worry if you do something wrong. You’ve put the nappy on wrong, and now poo has leaked out all over your little one’s legs – don’t stress, it happens. You’ve accidentally made up the formula wrong, so it has lumps in it – don’t worry, just start again. Somehow you’ve managed to dress your little one in a back to front babygro and have only noticed now you’re at the grocery store – don’t let it get you down, it happens. Fatherhood is a learning curve, always remember that.
- Hand-me-downs are great
A lot of first-time parents aren’t keen on the idea of hand-me-downs. Don’t be one of these parents, take any help that you can get, especially free clothes – babies grow incredibly quickly, and baby clothes are surprisingly expensive. As long as they’ve been washed, there’s nothing wrong with second-hand baby clothes.
- You’re not the babysitter; you’re the dad
Don’t be the type of dad that only takes care of their children on the odd occasion. Be a hands-on dad who is part of their baby’s life. Don’t be a babysitter dad – aka a dad who only cares for their child when their partner is out. You and your partner should share child care duties between you, with both of you doing an equal share, that’s the only fair way to do it.
There you have it, five things that all first-time dads should know.