Things no one tells you about being a new dad

Keeping it Fully Real: Get up to Speed with the Things that No-one Tells A New Dad

New dad: first cuddles with newest member

Image by Thomas Seeber and family

This is the one job that new dads usually approach with trepidation, and rightly so…

It’s not just the Mum who goes through nine months of radical changes to their mind and body (whoa, Nelly!).

Here’s the d-low on what to expect when you’re (the Dad) expecting;

New dad expectation #1

It’s a given….you’ll gain ‘sympathy weight’ with your pregnant wife (fancy a 1kg box of cheezels at midnight, anyone?!). She’ll most likely be ‘eating for two’, so be prepared and buy yourself a few new pairs of tracky dacks two sizes up to get you through the nine months that the bubba is cookin’. Just buckle up for the ride, and make a pact to help each other with exercise and a healthy diet after the baby is born.

New dad expectation #2

Come to terms with the fact that you’ll miss your favourite team’s games…yes, even if you barrack for the Dockers, they might as well be part of the Star Wars trilogy for the next 12 months – they are a galaxy far far away in the world of new Dads. The sooner you come to grips with that, the better, because you’ll find no sympathy at home.

New dad expectation #3

OK, this is weird, but you need to keep your chest hair covered. Your baby will mercilessly pull it out, and again, you’ll get no compassion from your baby-mumma…she’s facing an hourly assault on cracked nipples, so you’re a wuss for even raising it.

New dad expectation #4

Expect a tsunami once a day – even the most angelic bubba will melt down on a regular basis. But, keep a few tools in your toolbox, man. I’m not talking about spare bottles of breast milk positioned around the house, I’m saying that there’s almost nothing that can’t be solved with an enthusiastic game of peekaboo or ‘emergency bubbles’ (I carry a small bottle of bubble mix in the nappy bag and I tell you, it’s as essential as babywipes in crisis negotiations).

New dad expectation #5

You’ll never believe this, but your mother-in-law is about to come in handy. Surprise! Really. No, really. Practise positive reinforcement by telling her how fabulous, capable and essential to your marriage she is. She’ll dig that big time (and keep being helpful).

New dad expectation #6

I can’t emphasise this enough – you ARE going to have less sex for a few months after your little one arrives. OK, far less sex than you’ve ever imagined. No, wait. They probably told you that already, didn’t they? Think strategically. The best way to get back in the saddle is to organise a trustworthy sitter (yes, mother in law, I see you) and take your baby mumma out for a romantic (and perhaps slightly boozy – she can pump and dump if breastfeeding) night at a dark and moody restaurant a few weeks out from the little one’s arrival. You’ll get to know each other again as loved up kids, without having to talk about the kid.

New dad expectation #7

Other parents will take great delight in telling you how having a baby will suck all of the fun out of life. Ignore them…they’re most likely having a second, third or fourth baby (remember: four is the new two apparently), so there must be something to it.

New dad expectation #8

As a Dad, just remember that you’re in the trenches for those first few months…just keep going and do what you need to do to survive (and thrive). Let’s face it, no-one is going to take your newborn away from you if you sit him or her on your lap and watch Fight Club. Maybe someone should…but they won’t.

New dad expectation #9

If your wife is breastfeeding, she’ll be dehydrated and literally hoovering down food to support the milk-production process. So, do her a favour…think of yourself as a super-attentive waiter. Your job, every few minutes, is to come by and refill her water glass and pop a bowl of nuts / healthy snacks at her side.  There’s bonus points for repositioning the pillow under her arm or offering the change the baby’s nappy mid-feed (yes, it will be a ripper).

New dad expectation #10

You may have seen the sun rise over the Uluru. You may have honeymooned in the Maldives. It’s all incidental really, as I promise you that you’ll never see anything more beautiful in your travels than your bubba soundly asleep, with your baby mumma napping nearby. Enjoy the ride, guys. It’s surreal and sensational at the same time.

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