You're going to be a DAD!
Me? A DAD? Is the world ready for a mini-me? Am I ready for a mini-me?!?!
Seems like a long time ago: the wife and I were at home, baking cupcakes and she dropped something (which I thought was a spatula) and asked me to pick it up. As I got closer, the shape of the item was odd and had a blue cap at the end...yup: pregnancy test: he shoots, he scores!
Pretty crazy feeling: met with tears, excitement, nerves, and just sheer jubilation of what's to come.
Going to bed that night was not like the nights before: I now have to actually prepare for fatherhood! What do I do? Who can I go to for advice? Is it normal to think nothing will change? How do I even change a diaper? Will I get pooped and barfed on? How expensive are kids? This was just the beginning...
The one thing that I can truly say is that being a bit nervous is totally normal and in fact, if you're not, you're probably in some serious denial. What you became so used to as "normal" is now a thing of the past: traveling as 2 with just a carry-on bag, or driving that 2 seater...not in this life, anymore...
I think the initial shock of coming to terms with how life will now change (even though you've been mentally preparing since you decided you wanted to be a DAD) is far outweighed by the excitement of what's now to come: FATHERHOOD.
Now, every conversation that took place between my wife and I was around what stroller and car seat to get (Britax B-Agile Stroller and Britax B-Safe Car Seat http://www.britaxusa.com/travel-systems/b-agile-travel-system #britax) or how to best sleep train our baby: No cry versus "cry it out" (http://www.amazon.ca/The-No-Cry-Sleep-Solution-Through/dp/0071381392 or http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-ferber-method-demystified_7755.bc?showAll=true) or what diapers we should use to prevent leaks (http://www.pampers.ca/new-baby-diapers-swaddlers), among many other things.
The time spent on planning is immense, and the knowledge vault is endless - it's almost impossible to learn everything, and so much of what you read/hear contradicts something else that you initially believed in. So, the real take away from all of this is don't lose yourself in trying to know everything, because what you perceive as "everything" is nothing when it comes to parenting. One massive learning is that it's never ending, and what you learned yesterday and applied to your situation at that time, probably won't work this time around - such is parenting and life, and that's the fun part.
If you're one of those people who've just started to plan to be a DAD and are now neck deep in information: take a step back and take things slow. Don't use all your spare time in trying to become the perfect parent, because remember: to your kids, you are perfect and you're their hero. Hard to realize when it's 4am and you're pacing with baby in hand because she's colic and is in between feeds. No one said it would be easy, but everyone agrees it's rewarding.
Now with 2 little ones, personal time is between the hours of midnight and 3am every day. That's the time I get to reflect on my day, plan my next, and keep focusing on the end goal, while catching up on news, sports and life. Sure, I get 3-4 hours of sleep every night, but the trade off is that I get to put both my kids to sleep, spend time with my wife, and then get "me" time - life, especially parenthood, is all about sacrifice and focus - identify what's most important, stay on path, and don't sweat the small stuff!
Being a DAD is awesome and almost 3 years in, I'm still a student and from what I hear, the learning curve is extremely steep forever. Really, it's up to us to embrace, educate and enjoy...
#laad #lifeasadad #livinglaad #fatherhood #dad