Adventures of Fatherhood: Part 1
Fatherhood Survival Kit
18 months ago I was promoted to the new status of “Daddy” and entered fatherhood. My life has changed drastically since then.
There’s plenty survival guides around out there, but I found they were all the same or are quite dated, so I’ve put together a very top-level survival guide of what I think you need to make it through.
This will no longer be a pleasant beverage but more like fuel. I was a avid tea drinker, but swiftly found my intake of coffee increasing once our little firework arrived along with the age old saying ‘can’t function without it’.
- Invest in a good coffee machine. I have this one which wasn’t too expensive but does the trick.
2. NAPPY PAPPY
From someone who’s never changed a nappy (or diaper for my American friends) in his life, I was dreading this. At first it will take both you and your better half to change a nappy tag-team style. By the end of the week you’ll be doing it solo with one hand and eyes-half shut.
• We used this to have everything nearby in arms reach which was super helpful.
• Be sure to cut your nails ;)
• When in doubt — give it 5 more minutes.
3. WHITE NOISE
Babies love the sound of white noise (weird I know right?!) But this will be your saviour at night. There’s plenty app / toys out there that produce a white noise / vacuum noise that help settle your little one down.
• Install it on ALL your devices.
• We use this app. And still do!
If you thought you were tired before, then think again. Having a child will unlock a whole new level of tired. Surviving sleep deprivation is the biggest challenge. Coffee and white noise apps may help, but there’s no avoiding it.
You will miss lie-ins. And because of the interrupted sleep the day will seem much longer. Everything will be much harder. Just the way it is am afraid. But it does get better.
• If you’re baby is sleeping well, don’t tell anyone! As soon as you start bragging you’re done for.
• Sometimes people without a baby will tell you they are tired. Try and remember you was once like that. Smile. Give them a chance and don’t say nothing. It’ll be a nice surprise :)
It’s important to be calm and forgiving, as you will be tested. Things won’t always go your way. Routines will get interrupted. Your child won’t do what you want it to at times. They will get ill when you least need it. People will meddle. And so on…
And you can only do so much.
But remember to keep calm.
During the early stages, before the baby can communicate all they can do is cry. It’s designed by nature to get your attention. Too much crying and you naturally start to sweat. Your heart rate increases. You start to panic. The brain will release cortisol; the stress hormone. It’s at this stage adults can easily lose control. So it’s important to try and be calm and forgiving. For yourself and your child.
• Communicate with your partner. Help each other.
“There’s 3 different types of mistakes:
2. Painful and permanent
3. Painful but temporary”
Most mistakes fall into the third category, which are necessary if want to learn and move forward. Say I love you and move on.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
8. Tissues / Wipes / Cloths
Carry that shit around with you at all times. Buy them in bulk!
The best things in life don’t come with instructions; so if something is not working out don’t force it. Give it time.
And that’s it! Hope you enjoyed reading. Part 2 will be coming soon. Until then here’s some other tips that didn’t make the list:
• You’ll get lots advice given to you about EVERYTHING. Be polite, smile and say thanks, then do what you think is right.
• Your child’s progress is your child’s progress. It is not a competition.
• Spend time with your child (doing something) rather than spending time around your child (looking at your phone).
• Don’t wear black.
• Lock all draws. Seriously.
• In the night garden, Mr Tumble and Peppa Pig, will be on your TV forever. Oh and Paw Patrol. It will haunt you in your dreams. You’ll know all the names of all characters and themes too. You dont have a choice either.
- Above all, enjoy the craziness.