It’s truly one of the most anticipated, exciting, scary, and defining moments in the life of new fathers – bringing home your newborn baby.
Up until the birthday, your wife has done the heavy lifting (literally) of raising your child. But now, it’s time to share the joy of nurturing and caring for your son or daughter.
You’ve read the baby books. You’ve read the parenting books. You’re prepared for everything, right? Um, probably not EVERYTHING.
On behalf of veteran fathers everywhere, here are 5 things new fathers should know (but no one ever told them):
1. Poop Defies Gravity – I don’t know how many times a diaper change has turned into bath time because poop has somehow blown out the back of her diaper, traveled UP the back of her onesie, and nearly reached the back of her head! It defies physics. It defies logic. But it happens. Often.
2. Spit-Up Will Happen When You Least Expect It – I’ll never forget watching my daughter smile at me for the first time. I was on the floor raising and lowering her to my face, triggering a smile as our noses touched each time. Trying to repeat the feat the next day, I got on the floor and extended her in my arms above my head. As I was lowering her to touch noses, a volcanic eruption of spit-up landed on my face. Without warning. As a bonus heads-up, there are three things you should know about spit-up:
- It burns the eyes
- It tastes awful
- You will never forget 1 & 2
3. Strangers Will Randomly Pick Up, Touch, Or Kiss Your Baby – When at a the local box store giving my wife a much needed break, a lady (whom I did not know) approached and saw our daughter sleeping soundly. She then proceeded to re-tuck the blankets, talk to my daughter in a loud “baby” voice (remember my girl is sleeping), give her a kiss on the forehead, AND – wait for it – wake her up. It was a good thing I was in shock or else they may have needed to call security.
4. Never Change a Diaper Without A Clean Diaper In Hand – For seasoned veterans, this may be referred to as the “duck and cover” maneuver. With what feels like a 10-pound, liquid-laden diaper to change, one would think that your baby could not possibly have any more urine in her tiny little body. But whether it’s the fresh air or just an expression of appreciation, always – and I mean always – have a clean diaper ready to cover any “expression” from your bundle of joy.
5. Battles Were Meant to Be Lost – No matter how hard you try, your baby will win most of the battles. You may go into fatherhood with a “no binky” rule, but you may come out of it owning 22 binkies. You may go into it with a “let them cry it out” mentality, but after 90 minutes of her screaming at the top of her lungs at 2 o’clock in the morning, you will find yourself on the living room couch holding/feeding the baby for the umpteenth time. It’s okay. Battles happen. You were meant to lose most of them at this stage of the game. You’ll catch up later!
I hope you take this lighthearted post in the manner it was meant. I love my kids with all my heart, and I am convinced that God uses moments like these to refine us and teach us things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
As we are God’s children, He has done no less, and much more, for us.