Dear New Dad, Heed My Week One Lessons

Thoughts from my first week as a Dad.

Day One — Just Getting Things Straight

1 — Although his arms are attached to his body they are not his friends. They like to scratch his face, they upset his pacifier just when he's ready to relax, they get the sleep memo much later than the rest of his body, so as he sleeps his arms wake him up.

2 — He is the Houdini of the swaddle. No matter how expertly we wrap him: Swaddle, “DUDU” Method, Double Swadle and how close we hold him it is only a matter of time until the right arm pops outs and starts assaulting him. The only good part is when he lays on his side and bear hugs my arm with both of his.

“Swaddle Dissably Complete”

3 — Respect the pee maker at all times. Never, never forget to cover his bits with something absorbent, regardless of the last time he peed. I learned this lesson again today as I was changing wet diaper and something warm washed over my hand...the best Icould do was deflect the rest of the stream into his dirty diaper with my hand.

4 — Huggies are banned from our house. Leak on me once shame on you. Leak on my twice, we are no longer friends. If you give me huggies as a present, depending on the day I have had, I may send you a dirty one with your thank you card. :)

5 — Crying is cute and great “exercise for his lungs” …during normal business hours. At 2 am...not so much. Too many more of those nights and I am going to start waterboarding myself to prepare for the evening.

6 — When you are up at 2 am, it's best to tell yourself to just wake up and make the best of it. Thinking you can just do a few daddy ninja sleeping moves and go back to sleep is pure delusion. All that said, I can't help but to think that I can slip back to sleep every time. The upside is some of my favorite moments have been when he his awake and not crying at 2 am. Last night he laid on his back and played with my face, eyes wide open and curios.

7 — I no longer worry that I won't be able to fall asleep. I can now sleep anytime, anywhere.

8 — I am already on page two of a list of things I am going to ground him for when he gets older.

9 — I will remind him how much he enjoys being awake at 5 am when he’s 16!

10 — I love my mom and I know she is amazing, but watching someone become a mom is the most incredible thing I have ever seen. Elizabeth can run circles around me and I was the one that was worried about her. Watching her through this process has made me fall in love with her in an entirely new way.

11 — Along the same lines, hormones are beautiful and powerful…but you probably know that already.

This face is a survival mechanism, so that you don’t remember the previous picture in the morning.

12 — Beware the precarious power of the pacifier - It can work like a charm, but once initiated, it inevitably falls or his maniacal arm knocks it away and you are worse off that where you started. It’s a strategy, not a solution!

13 — You have to realize that your new role, at least at the start, is not about solving problems, it’s just being present and supportive. It’s a hard role to learn, but hopefully the birthing process has prepared you for your new role of supporter vs. do-er.

14— Create a distinctly separate playlist for lullabyes and white noise, so that your coworker doesn’t ask…”is that twinkle, twinkle, little star again?”

15 — By the end of week 1, your friends are already tired of seeign your kid pics on FB and Insta…sad but true…but you’ll keep posting .

16 — As cliché as it sounds, being a dad is a radical life change, you know that you are experiencing some of the best times of your life and you just wish you could slow it down so you can savor it just a little more...and you will live every cliché you’ve ever heard about parenthood…and immediate begin to sound like your dad!

Looked back on this post from 2012 when my son was born, gulp 5 years ago…some things have changed… It was a good list and I wanted to share with any new or expecting dads!

On This Day He Was The Self Appointed “ King Of Burger King” His Royal Highness

I hope you enjoyed the list! What are the lessons you learned from week one?

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Aaron

Husband, Father, Photographer, Reader, Writer, Fundraiser, Food Lover, Good Cook, Knowledge Addicted — Sold everything in 2017 & moved to Madrid with my family.