SEARCH THIS SITE
TRANSLATOR
F4F BLOG POSTS INDEX
Absentee Fathers activities Adopt-a-School Campaign attachment issues attachment issues babies babies baby blues Baby care baby clothing Baby firsts baby food baby girls Baby health Baby names baby products baby products baby proofing Baby registry Baby Shoes Baby’s first steps Bad Dads Bad Dads Bathing beach Being a Role Model Birth birthday party ideas books bottle feeding Breastfeeding Breastfeeding in public breastfeeding support Bullying buying gifts for moms Car Safety Caregivers charity child abuse child birth child care child development Child Protection Laws child rearing Child Safety childcare expenses Childhood Children Children's Entertainment Chuck the Chunk circumcision colds Commentary Commentary competitive mothers competitive parents crafts crawling Dad Dad Blogs dads dads dads and babies dads and babies dads and babies dads and birth dads and daughters dads and daughters dads in the delivery room dads to be daughters delivery and labor developmental milestones diapers diapers discipline Disney Disney Junior Divorce domestic duties Double Strollers Doulas equal parenting equal prenting Expectant fathers expecting a second child Family Car Family Fire Safety Family Get Togethers family reunion Father and Son Father of the week father pregnancy Father Studies Father’s Day Father’s Day Gifts fatherhood Fatherhood involvement Fatherhood involvement fatherhood studies Fatherhood Websites fathers Fathers and sons Father's Day Father's Day fathers to be Fears and Phobias feeding feeding an infant Feminists First steps first words Firsts first-time fatherhood first-time fatherhood first-time fathers Gender stereotypes gifts for dads gifts for new moms granddads grandma Grocery shopping Halloween Heatstroke help for fathers Hiring a Nappy Imaginary friends Imagination Movers Infant car seats infants infants Internet Censorship Interview Introducing solids introducing solids Involved Fatherhood KIPP labor and delivery language laundry Life and Death Loss of a child Love Lullabies marital relations marriage marriage advice Massago Massago app maternity clothing Maternity Leave Meal Planning memories men’s health men’s health Men's Grooming Men's Health Miscarriage Modern Dads Modern Family Mom Mommyitis moms Moms mother Mother’s day Mother’s day gift ideas Mother’s Day gifts music for baby new baby new dad New Dad D.I.Y New Dad D.I.Y New Dad D.I.Y. New Dad D.I.Y. new dads new dads new father new father to be new fathers new mothers new parents newborn babies Newborns parenthood parenting parenting parenting 101 parenting 101 parenting advice Parenting Blogs parenting differences parenting differences parenting father parenting for fathers parenting tips parents parents pets planned parenthood Play places post-natal sex Postpartum depression Potty Training pparenting for fathers Pregnancy pregnancy and birth pregnancy for dads prenatal classes Pre-natal classes preschools pros and cons; ritual circumcision protecting your kids push gifts raising a child raising a child Registered Massage Therapists relationships Reviews RMT rraising a child sahms School School Programs Schoola Sex after pregnancy Sexuality shopping with a baby Siblings sick baby Single Dads Sleep Training Sleep Trasitioning Social Media Sonogram sons spanking special needs children Special Occasions Special Occassions Stay-at-home-dads Step Dads styles of parenting SUVs taking kids to the park Teenagers Teething Relief Terrible Twos Testing Time-outs toddlers toddlers and language Top Tens Toronto Toys Tweens Uber Unsolicited advice vaginal birth Valentine’s Day Vasectomy w Websites for dads working dads Working moms
F4F MEMBERS ONLY
« FATHER OF THE WEEK: DARTH VADER? WHAT? | Main | DADDY AND DYLAN GO TO THE ZOO: ONE MAN'S DECISION TO SPEND HIS BIRTHDAY INTRODUCING HIS DAUGHTER TO ALL OF GOD'S CREATURES... BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY THE STUPID FACES HUMANS MAKE IN THE PRESENCE OF ANIMALS... AND BABIES »
Wednesday
May252011

TRUE DAT: THE STRAIGHT FACTS ON FIRST-TIME FATHERHOOD

PART THREE: THE REALITY

 Right. Part Three in our continuing series on the real deal regarding fatherhood. I promised to hold nothing back, and this installment is no exception. We've covered The Pregnancy (you survived). We've covered The Delivery (we almost lost you there when you saw the blood and the after birth... but you survived). Now it's time to cover what I like to call The Reality (i.e. YOU'RE A FREAKIN' FATHER!). Um, Nurse? Can we get an orderly to pick that dude up off the floor? I think he fainted...

 

 

# 3.  ALL WORK AND NO PLAY... THE FUN OF NEWBORNS

 

 
Well, your Mom warned you. Remember when she used to curse you by saying: "one day I'll get my revenge when you have a child just like you!?" Well, that day has come. And it doesn't really matter what your personality is, your Mom didn't need to add the words "just like you," as just cursing you with a child should have sufficed. No. I'm not saying a child is a curse. But what I am saying is your Mom's been waiting for the day when you finally realized the sacrifices she made as a parent, and what a soul-sucking, life draining ordeal it is to care for a newborn. Today is that day.

 

Lucky for you, I'm in a good mood. I'm on four hours of sleep a night for two months straight, my daughter has the stomach flu and either pukes and/or soils her diaper with diarrhea every hour on the hour, she fights me and my wife every time we try to give her liquids, and the whining and crying has been non-stop for two days. What does that mean to you? I'm not in the mood for bullsh@#. You want to know what it's like to care for a newborn - your own - 24/7? Brace yourself... you're in for a bumpy ride.

 

 

What's it like to care for a newborn? No different than caring for a toddler or a teenager, except for the fact that a newborn can't talk (which can be both a blessing and a curse). There's the crying, the wailing, the screaming, the crapping, the pissing, and the puking. There's the lack of sleep, the lack of sex, and the lack of any common sense on your part (according to your wife and all her friends). There's the loss of free time, loss of time to yourself and loss of self as your learn that your world is no longer about you and your needs but about the needs of your child and the needs of your wife to remind you of those needs and her own, ignoring yours entirely (for a few months anyway). There's the stress and the struggle of coming to terms with the fact that your life (and certain parts of your wife) will never be the same and you're about eight months past the point when you should have complained about it. The whole thing is alien to you, and staring at a useless blob that looks kinda like you is unnerving at first because you don't have the slightest clue who this person is, and, like any family member that comes to visit, you want to know what the hell he (or she) really wants from you. It's scary, and suffocating, and surreal to think that you, the guy that used to let his friends push him down hills made of asphalt in a shopping cart while high on the fumes of cooking spray, is now a father.

 

 

Caring for a newborn is thankless. You won't win any awards from your wife, or child for doing what needs to get done just to get through a regular day, but God forbid you wash one bottle improperly and you'll hear about it for months. Caring for a newborn is a competition; not an intentional one, but a competition none-the-less of who did what when and who deserves a break now. Caring for a newborn is complicated. It's like getting a superhero costume, but throwing the instructions away by mistake... and we all know how that turns out (see The Greatest American Hero). Caring for a newborn is tedious, and taxing, and ten times harder than caring for any dog you've ever had in your entire life. It's a roller coaster ride that turns into a hall of mirrors (my favorite one is the one that makes you look fat after only a few months) then a haunted house where you are guided around in the dark and asked to stick your hand in various containers holding one disgusting concoction after another.

Gross, hunh? Feeling woozy yet? I haven't even talked about babies with colic, or croup. I'm just talking about kids that sleep through the night, eat and poop regularly, and cry occasionally. It's not the babies that are the problem- you'll grow to love them- it's the schedule, and the sleep deprivation, and the stuff; all that stuff that goes with you everywhere and just gathers and gathers until one day...well, you have another kid and just get more STUFF. And what about the stuff the comes out of them... (sorry, I dry heaved in my mouth a bit)?

So what am I saying? Newborns are hard work. Work that neither you, nor any other father in history has been prepared for. But, like any job, if it's worth doing it's worth doing well. And the payoff? Well that's up to the individual to discover for himself. If you ask me, fathers (and yes mothers too) are under appreciated, but every once in a while, if the stars align, the world is a happy place.

 

 

Unless your daughter is sick with the stomach flu and your happy place turns into a diarrhea infused disaster...

Enjoy...

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>