So it’s been a month since my little bundle of joy arrived into this world. She is just perfect and I am so lucky to have her in my life. She has changed so much already but then so have I. Your priorities change and you have a new meaning to life. Over the last few days I’ve been thinking about all the good things that come with having a new born, as well as some of the not so good, even though I would not change my life as I feel like the luckiest dad alive!
Do you remember what a TV is? – Now for some people this can be seen as a negative. I don’t get any time to watch TV anymore. I did joke to Shannan that we should just sell it. But I promise it does get better. But for me, the reason you don’t watch TV anymore is because you just stop and stare, you can’t help yourself.
For the first two weeks we just sat and stared at Penelope and we couldn’t believe that something so small and perfect could make us so happy. Every little noise, yawn, sneeze and stretch gives you a grin from ear to ear. Amazingly this is the only entertainment you will have and you really don’t care.
Is it wind or not? – Four weeks in and Penelope is definitely smiling. This makes up for all the sleepless nights, the 4am feeds, the 6am nappy change. You can’t ever start to describe the feeling when you make your daughter smile for the first time. To know that they are happy because of something you did. It’s magical. Now you will see them smiling before this .. but you do have to remind yourself that they are smiling because, just like you do, they are passing wind and are happy about it.
You may need to invest in some comfy shoes! – My step count for each day has gone through the roof. Whether it’s because I am holding Penny and walking around the house to keep her happy, or running around the house for another outfit when she .. erm .. ruins one.
This helps you keep active and in turn increases your health and well being. Being a new dad can be tough but it can clear your head, make you more active and increase your mental health. This is something you can’t avoid and something that is only going to increase. When they start to crawl and walk you will only be doing more steps!
Do you remember what you did all day? – So I have found myself wondering what I did all day before Penny came along. I can’t really remember which means it was a complete waste of time. Now my life has a sense of purpose, a reason to work hard and a reason to be the best person I can be for my daughter.
It’s amazing to think that for the rest of my life she will be learning from me (which sometimes is a very difficult thing to comprehend), she will be reliant on me and she will, hopefully, always be looking up to me. Being a dad really makes you have a sense of purpose and I love it.
Nothing but change! – So .. I wish I had counted, but the amount of nappies we have gone through already is enough to make your eyes water (and that’s not just the smell). As a dad, the first nappy change is the hardest, as you can feel the watchful eyes burn through the back of your head. Luckily Shannan was very positive and helped me out and now I can do them half asleep at 3am.
Speaking of 3am.. – I don’t need to tell you about the lack of sleep you get when you have a new born baby. But I bring some reassurance. It isn’t as bad as you think. We have been very lucky to be fair and only had the odd bad night. The biggest advice that everyone tells you and advice I advise you to take, is to sleep when your baby sleeps. This is hard at first but eventually you will find yourself getting excited for your power nap.
Going back to ‘it isn’t as bad as you think’. Before your baby arrives you don’t look forward to little sleep. You may be experiencing less sleep due to being uncomfortable during pregnancy and you cant imagine less sleep. The only thing that makes this so much easier is the fact that you have a baby, the fact you can’t sleep is because you have this little bundle of joy staring back at you. You soon forget that you are tired!
It’s a full time job – Imagine going to work all day and all night, working flat out, without rest. Now imagine doing it for free! This is exactly what it is like being a new dad. Now obviously you don’t get rewarded financially for being a dad, in fact it costs you a fortune, but you do however get rewarded in ways that make it all worth it.
It can be difficult – So this is the thing I have personally struggled with. Shannan is breast feeding, which means Penny is so reliant on her. Now the hard part is, you really aren’t needed. You do your bit around the house and help your partner as much as you can but it still doesn’t take away the fact that you feel completely useless when your partner is up all hours in the night and there is no way you can make that any easier. Now this is easily forgotten about as the days and weeks roll by. When you learn how to settle your new born and have a sense of purpose in their lives. But just for a little while it can be difficult. So just remember, it does get better.
There is no right or wrong way to do parenting. No right or wrong way to feel. The only thing you need to make sure you do is look after your new born and each other.
It’s not all plain sailing but thats what makes it exciting. Learning on the job makes the rewards that much better and nothing is more true than ‘the good times outweigh the bad’.
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