Six things I’ve learnt in the first two weeks of being a new dad.
For the past 14 days, I’ve been living in a completely different world to my previous 30-odd years I’ve been on this planet.
Because now, besides myself, I have someone else to be responsible for.
Because now, life is throwing me a bunch of things I have NO IDEA about.
Because now, I am the proud father of a little (or not-so-little) girl weighing in at healthy 9lbs 4oz (4.2kgs), with a full-head-of-hair, and whom we have named Emmie.
After 24 hours of labour and a bit of drama in the theatre, Emmie arrived, and over the next two weeks a few things have become apparent to me about this parenting thing…
- You don’t need sleep at the start.
With labour starting just after midnight, (but wifey didn’t wake me until 4am) then baby not being born until 1:54am the next day, and then us having to stay in hospital until 4pm, and then having a newborn and not having a clue what to do… well it was surprising to me, just how little sleep we both needed across that weekend! Maybe it was the adrenalin that kept us going, which of course didn’t last, cause that third night was awfully rough!
2. Changing of diapers ain’t that bad.
I was particularly concerned about getting my hands dirty so to speak, but so far, have been pretty good me thinks. Me also thinks that in the weeks to come it’s going to get worse… much worse…😳💩
3. Don’t say it… just don’t say it!
Maybe its the exact time between sleep sessions, or the quality of the latch, or the ease that the burps are coming, but just when you think you’ve sussed it… No matter what it is, if you SAY IT OUT LOUD, you’ve jinxed it/put the mocker on it/given it the commentators curse! So in this household we’ve learnt not to say anything, it makes for a quiet home that’s for sure.
4. Cabin fever is your enemy.
Getting out of the house, just to walk to the end of the street to get milk from the dairy felt so good! The fresh air flowing into my lungs was just the best feeling, so much so that we then ventured out again that afternoon, the three of us trying out the new pram, all getting out of the house, and away from those four walls! We have subsequently, gone out for coffee and a family breakfast and it really shows the value of getting back to doing the normal things (ie those things that we took for granted before) - we certainly feel like humans again!
5. Google is your friend.
Now i’m not saying that we’re diagnosing medical issues, but doing research on things like how long should they sleep, can you swaddle a baby too tightly, and how to time drinking wine with breastfeeding have all been asked (and answered thank god!)
6. You have so many more friends and supporters than you think.
Right from the moment we announced the pregnancy, through to announcing her birth, the level of love and support from everyone we both know has been pretty amazing. And when you’re up at 2am trying to get bub to sleep and you read through the cards, messages, tweets, grams, and snaps it really does fill you with warm fuzzies (so thank you everyone — especially the mother-in-law!)
We now enter our third week with our new flatmate, where my paternity leave comes to an end and it’s time for me to re-activate my PR brain, and for Mum to fly solo during the day, so no doubt there are many more life lessons to come. Wish us luck!