By our awesome Adelad Jarrod Walsh
Five Things I’ve Learned about being a Dad
Well, time flies when you’re having ‘fun’ being a parent.
It feels like yesterday I was sitting here writing my thoughts four weeks before the expectant birth of my first child. And here I am on the eve of her (her being Rayne Dominique Walsh, my daughter) fourth week birthday. Oh God I am already one of THOSE parents who have forgotten to count in years, and have decided to count in weeks.
What I thought I would do, is write down a few things I have learned over the first few weeks, about being a Dad, about being a Husband and mostly about myself so if any new Dads are feeling the same way or freaking out prior to birth, we can connect and talk about our normality or abnormality.
So here we go – the Five Things I’ve learned about being a Dad!
1. Prepare to be Unprepared
I am a routine kinda guy. I need routine in my life: Fitness, Work, Family Time, Video Games, Dog Walking and Relaxation – all in a particular order. But trust me, there is NO preparation that will prepare you for being a parent. You can’t train like you would for a sports match. You can’t just wake up in the middle of the night a few times and think you’re going to dominate broken sleep. It just doesn’t happen. Your routine will go into complete chaos, but trust me – you adapt.
2. It’s OK to accept help
Coming from a proud couple, this was extremely hard to do. Family and friends WILL offer to cook your meals, do your laundry, walk your pets and do general tasks and you WILL feel bad saying yes (when you really want to). And after a few no’s, you’ll learn that it’s OK and they are offering because they care about you and want you to focus on your child. So say yes early, and say thank you and take them out for dinner later on in life.
3. You need YOU time!
During the most bizzare experience of your life, you will feel absolutely consumed by your child. And so you should! But you will need some YOU time to reset and take a breath. For me, I took an hour our and went to the gym and came home re-energised and ready to tackle the next part of the day. Just know that if you’re going to take some you time, when you get home – you’re ready to take over, so that mum can have some you time as well.
4. It’s OK to sleep in the spare room
For me, this was the biggest hurdle. I felt like I was doing nothing as a Dad. I don’t have a breast to feed, I could only feed with the bottle once a night after my wife expressed and I had to go back to work. But while mum is doing mum things, if you are heading back to work – you need to be functioning. You both can’t be exhausted 24/7. As much as my sleep is still minimal and broken, I am getting enough to function which is what I need to get through the day. Put the pride away and rest.
5. Women are bloody amazing
I fell in love with my wife all over again when she gave birth to our daughter. I always wondered why at the end of every birth notice people write ‘Insert Partners Name was amazing’. Well I now know. My wife took it in her stride and absolutely smashed giving birth out of the park! And the moment she looked at Rayne for the first time – they connected, and she turned into a mum. I watch in awe as she takes care of our daughter so brilliantly and grows with her every single day. My mother and sister have both been incredible as well and it’s amazing to watch the girls in my life just dominate life!
Oh, just one more thing.
As strong as your Adelady may be, being a new mum – they are freaking out just as much as you. So pull them aside, give them a hug, make them a tea and tell them they’re doing a great job – as they need to hear how amazing they are!
So there you have it.
Adelads do you have anything you’ve learned along the way?
I would love to start the conversation as us men don’t talk enough about this stuff!
Let me know and let’s talk!