Being a father is the hardest job a man will ever have. It takes patience, love, and a good sense of humor to be part of a child’s life. Of course, before you become a dad it is a good idea to know what you are getting yourself into and how to avoid messing up your children forever. Men around the world can tell you the experiences they have gone through, and here are 5 things all first time dads should know that will help you become the best father out there.
1. Your life is no longer your own. Getting married to the love of your life might have felt like the end of your freedom but in reality it has nothing on your new found bundle of joys control over your life. Every night you will stay up or wake up at least 3 times, and it won’t be for your own midnight snacking. You will be feeding, burping, and changing your baby. Get used to the idea of zero freedom and get comfortable because this will be the case for at least the next 18 years of your life.
2. You are an equally important part of your child’s life. Men have a tendency to believe taking care of a baby is primarily the mother’s role, but it’s not. The fact of the matter is you should be involved in every step of your baby’s life. Just because you cannot nurse him/her doesn’t mean you can’t have a bond and show them love. Remember that you are just as responsible as your wife for caring for your child.
3. It is acceptable to feel overwhelmed. Having a baby in your life will forever change it. You will be giving up weekends out getting drunk, and a good portion of your income too. When you are having a particularly frustrating day (as is inevitable) you will likely feel overwhelmed and stressed. Don’t worry; this is a natural part of being a father. It means long nights and often tiresome days, but the rewards are sweet once you can recognize them.
4. Expect your wife to be overly emotional after giving birth. Babies are joyous, but giving birth can have a dramatic impact on your partner’s emotional state plus she is still experiencing those pregnancy hormones. Expect her to be irritable and less kind than usual. After all she just gave birth to your 8lb child. Do the smart thing and avoid starting any confrontation with her. You will be exhausted but she will be nearly dead. Consider her feelings along with your new baby’s.
5. Don’t be shocked if you don’t bond right away with your baby. For mothers bonding with your new baby will be much easier than it will be for you. Mothers come complete with a pack of chemicals in the brain that make love come natural. As men we don’t often bond with our children for sometimes days after they come home. Don’t concern yourself with this, you will grow to love your new baby more than you ever thought possible.