A few of my old school mates who I haven't seen for some years now (except virtually of course...thanks to the power of social media and all that!) have recently become fathers for the first time. This is so very exciting and I often feel really blessed to have had this experience in the first place, so when I hear of others that I have known for literally twenty-five years or so having little ones too, it makes me feel genuinely excited.
Their new experiences are something that I had the pleasure of three years ago for the first time, and continue to experience as my daughter ventures into new and exciting stages. Because of this, I'd like to dedicate today's blog to them and share some ideas on how to go about keeping afloat in the first few weeks. So, here are some obvious, but often overlooked, home-truths:
1. Compassion - both the little one and your wife will be in a fairly fragile state. Although children are extremely resilient (just look at that poor little boy who survived being flushed down the toilet in this week's headlines), they need love and care; as does your wife, she too has been dragged through the mill.
2. Humour - this is key! Running around the house fetching and carrying dirty nappies, getting the nipple cream, being wee'd on, not having sex for...well, a very long time, etc. (the list is neigh on endless), all take their toll; try to have a sense of humour about it...laugh, it'll do your abs some good.
3. Trust yourself - for the most part, you'll be doing plenty of new things for the first time. You know what, there is no perfect way to change a nappy, there is no master plan when it comes to bath time, and being paranoid about every heat rash is completely normal. Use your imagination and trust yourself.
5. Be a servant - serve your wife and child and fulfil every possible need you can...it's tough to be the one running around and helping out all of the time, but that's what real dads do. Have fun with your new role as someone who can be consistently relied upon. Believe me, the rewards will come back to you in more ways than you could ever imagine (I love the fact that my daughter is now telling me how much she loves me and is always ready to offer a kiss when her daddy requests it).
This is dedicated to Tim VS & Grant T...and to all the other new dads out there!