Papa's POV: The 5 Most Unexpected Things About Fatherhood
Lately, we've been talking a lot about expectations--of babies, breasts, bellies, birth--you name it. The MOM POV: We've got it squared away. Of course, this led us to ask: what about the papa pov?
We teamed up with Life of Dad cofounder and dad extraordinaire, Patrick Quinn, for a little help, Thankfully, he, along with some of his fabulous father friends, gave us the scoop.
What are the five most unexpected things you've discovered on the highway to fatherhood?
Disclaimer: Be prepared for a couple tears and some good laughs. NSFW status: Questionable.
Tim, A Geek Daddy Blog:
1) Time begins moving in fast forward once you become a parent. Take time to slow down and cherish the moments; they fly by before you know it.
2) Your kids mirror your tone & temperament; being calm benefits both you and them.
3) Food allergies are a serious and dangerous problem that can be life threatening for kids; do some research and have an action plan ready when you start introducing your children to real food. Don't get caught off guard if trouble arises--not having anyone in your family with food allergies doesn't mean that your kids won't have them.
4) These days, what kids learn in kindergarten is much more advanced then when I was a kid. They need to know the alphabet and numbers before they get there. Invest time in making sure they're up to speed with a good preschool learning regimen so they know the basics and don't start out behind as they begin their school years.
5) That first poop is one of the most disgusting things you'll ever experience in your life, but changing that diaper will be a lifelong memory.
Jeff, Out with the Kids:
1) Despite the genetic logicalness of it all, I didn't expect to actually be one day conversing with a four-foot-tall female version of myself.
2) I didn't expect to suddenly have a purpose, and that said purpose would unfold and evolve into equal parts advocate, champion, hand to hold, friend, and totalitarian dictator.
3) I never expected to find other dads I'd want to share stories with, and spend time with, with and without our kids.
4) I didn't expect in a million years that being a dad would come to define me, and that I'd be 100% happy about that.
5) Finally, in those early years, I didn't know there'd be so many damn dishes to do--all those breast pump pieces and bottles and nipples and everything!!
Chris, Dad of Divas:
1) I didn't know I would lose as much sleep as I did, especially as a new father, or that I could survive as a living zombie for as long as I did.
2) I knew that I would love my daughters, but not as deeply as I know now.
3) You constantly question your actions as a parent.
4) You will be tested, and tested, and tested yet again by your kids.
5) Getting on the floor and just playing with your child can be the most rewarding part of the day!
Beau, Lunchbox Dad:
1. Being covered in more bodily fluids than I could ever imagine.
2. The volume of toys to pick up and organize on a daily basis.
3. How much I would have to listen to the Frozen soundtrack in the car.
4. How much I can actually function on so little sleep.
5. How none of the above matters after looking into my baby's eyes and realizing what a blessing they are to me on a daily basis!
1. Contrary to popular belief, babies, while fragile, are very resilient. Your lack of sleep will not be. You will NEVER recover those missed hours. The bags under my eyes are proof. One day they showed up and never went away.
2. Breastfeeding boobs are amazing but you will never, NEVER touch them. Admire them from afar while they are there, but know this: they aren't for you.
3. Don't force memories with your child, the bonding will happen. I learned this the hard way trying to make my son's experience with me special. Long story short, I had to be rescued by a speedboat.
4. Your kids need to know you are human, and that you too, make mistakes. No one is perfect, though they may see you like that early in their lives. Make sure they find out that no one is infallible.
5. I never knew I would laugh or cry this much in my life. I've had tears of joy and sadness with all three of my kids for various reasons, but the laughter will always stick with me.
Carl, Big Cheese Dad:
1. Baby-making sex can be both beautifully satisfying and terribly frightening at the same time.
2. I loved interacting with my baby before she was born by singing, talking and praying. She would often move more at the sound of my voice.
3. Because I did the above, my baby knew my voice once she arrived. It blew me away when she whipped her head around at the sound of my voice moments after she was born and placed in my wife's arms.
4. Each of my six children's births have been incredibly emotional experiences for me as a father. Bring tissues accordingly.
5. Be prepared to play second fiddle in your wife's eyes. She will still love you but having a child changes your relationship, not necessarily in a bad way.