Ten Lessons Learned from Year #1 as a Dad
10. Take care of yourself and your partner. Doing so allows you to better take care of the baby. This includes mental, physical, and emotional health.
9. There will be bodily fluids everywhere. Most of them coming from the baby. Get used to it.
8. Some things will happen obscenely fast. “HOW DID HE GET SO BIG??? IT’S ONLY BEEN A FEW MONTHS!”
7. Others will happen excruciatingly slow. “IT’S BEEN 8 MONTHS AND HE STILL ISN’T CLAPPING!”
6. They demonstrate both remarkable resilience and exceeding frailty. A slow tumble off the couch yields a bloody nose while a cross-room flight directly into a wooden headboard leaves nary a mark. Don’t ask questions. Just count your blessings.
5. They will demonstrate their own personality early and often. Some of this will remind you of yourself. And some of that will leave you tickled pink. But some of it you will hate. This latter part might cause you to have a severe identity crisis.
4. Things will not go according to plan #1. Oh, you planned to run this morning? Or watch a movie tonight?
3. You will cease to matter*. From here on out, whenever you see someone, they will ask first about the baby and then about your wife. Should you interact with that person for approximately 72 hours, they might get around to saying, “Oh, and how are you?”
2. Things will not go according to plan #2. Oh, you wanted your offspring to be a certain thing (e.g., calm or lively or expressive or less clingy or…)? Ya know what, just stop planning things altogether.
1. They will fill your life with so much joy and happiness, you won’t know what to do with it. You might feel motivated to try to eat them. Attempting to do so risks running afoul of #10 on this list. “TAKE HIS HEAD OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!” was a common refrain the first few months.
Happy birthday, Mayo! (Click for totes adorbes video.)
* This one might be unique to husbands/fathers in heterosexual relationships.