Not so very long ago, though it feels a lifetime hence, I became a father. This world altering event came slowly and then abruptly. We’d waited for nine months and then a little more – for our dear daughter sought to stay a little longer inside. Only, when she finally graced us with her presence, did the fear set in.
Friends with children and family joked from the outset of the terrors we might encounter, yet countered said fears with words of empathy.
At no point did they say how it really was.
My wife and I speak often, when not exhausted of how things should be and could be and would be, were more information given, more honesty offered.
Herein lay our thoughts on the beginning of a parenthood…more is yet to come.
The birth: Fathers, there’s no need to cut the cord. It’s not ‘unmanly’ to not do it. You don’t have to watch the baby pop out either. Just hold your wife’s hand, try to say comforting things, but accept, you’re only a spectator.
Once the child has arrived, allow yourself a moment to breathe. If you’re anything like me and had to be at the hospital for three days awaiting the induction; go home and sleep. I arrived home, leaving my wife on the ward and promptly opened a bottle of whiskey I had bought for the occasion, drank half a glass and passed out.
The first week: it’s hell! Not kidding. They cry, that’s fine, but it’s when they SCREAM, that’s when you start to panic. Just remember, after you’ve changed the nappy, feed her (or him), rocked her, sung to her, cried with her and every other old wive’s trick there is…it’s not your fault. They aren’t being vindictive and it’ll be OK in the long run.
Alternate who looks after the ‘little bundle of joy’ when they scream. No more than 10-15 minutes each. It’s enough, trust us. She will stop.
Help: ask! Never be afraid of looking silly or unprepared or inexperienced…you are. Chances are it’s your first child. Ask anyone and everyone for help, most will offer…ACCEPT (words of wisdom from a friend – Kyrsta).
Top Tip: get Netflix. Honestly, not kidding. You’re not going to the movies anytime soon, she’ll interrupt whatever you watch and it’s really cheap. £7 of entertainment per month…might just save our marriage.
Don’t overstimulate her. Let her sleep whenever she wants. You too, unless bags under the eyes are a new fashion trend?
More moans and groans will come, I’m sure, but for now, when she doesn’t scream, just look at her and remember…she’s beautiful and she loves you too.
PS. buy a baby rocker, they are a Godsend.