Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Jon's Fatherhood Survival Tips!

Ok, so you and your otherhalf, Girlfriend,  partner, wife (delete as appropriate) have discovered that you are to become parents for the first time - Congratulations, your life is over! 

Well ok it's not really over, it's just going to change massively, but for the better (I promise!)

So, you have an arrival date for your little bundle of joy, nursery is ready, tiny little Baby clothes all lined up in a tiny little wardrobe, and a ton of nappies (if you're going down the disposable route that is). 

Guaranteed, it won't be enough nappies, but you live and learn and that is what this post is all about.

Everything is new and exciting. 

And scary.

 If you say you're not scared you're delusional, or just lying to yourself. 

Tip number 1.... stop pretending not to be nervous, it fools no one.

 Give up the pretence and just accept it, it will get easier if you do.

I became a father for the very first time later in life than many, aged 40 to be precise, and now am ready to become a father for the 2nd time in a matter of hours... I didn't have any experience with kids, short of cousins and nephews/nieces and I can tell you I was nervous.

All of the usual what if's, and how do I's went through my mind, and despite reading everything available, speaking to friends who were already parents, watching You Tube for parenting channels, and I was still nervous and knew only a little more of the basics than when I started out. 

There's so many conflicting idea's and schools of thought regarding parenting, that you'll struggle to find one that connects with your ideas completely.

 If at all.

Tip 2. Throw away the parenting manuals. 

None of them will be bespoke for your lovely new bundle of joy, and tailor for your individual ideas on the best way to raise your new child. Most are mumbo jumbo, and you'll end up wondering why they contradict one another, or asking yourself  'Haven't I already read this?'

Chances are, they may make you feel like you're doing everything wrong or because baby doesn't behave/respond exactly as the manual dictates, something must be wrong.

This is where you have to listen to your child and your hunches. 
You will soon discover that little 'Johnny or Jenny' react in a certain way if they are hungry, tired, need changing or just a cuddle. 

Trust instinct more than the printed word and buy something other than a parenting technical manual next time you're on Amazon. GTA 5 for instance, though it's unlikely you'll get a chance to play it before GTA 7 comes out....

Tip 3.  If you're lucky enough to have paternity leave, or time to be around with baby, make the most of it. 

This is a real time to connect with your child and give Mummy a break. She's been growing another human for 9 months and now really does need to recuperate (you'll probably hear those words a lot...)

Happy rested Mummy=happy child. Happy child =happy home. Happy child, mummy & home =happy Daddy.

Remember this little human needs to connect with you if you're ever to stand a chance of surviving the next few years. Enjoy this time, you'll learn more about your new baby, and yourself.

Tip 4. Sleep. Forget it. 

On a serious note, you'll start to think that sleeping standing up with your eyes open could become a viable option. Or that you'll be able to let just one eye close for a few minutes whilst driving then swap. 

It doesn't work I've tried.

We all have contemporaries who state their child has slept all the way through the night since birth. 

They're lying and trying to portray their child as perfect, which is crazy because everyone knows that Your child is the most perfect child in the world right?

You will rediscover the beauty of sleep eventually, though it may take a few years.



Bet you didn't see that coming!

Tip 5. Enjoy this journey.

It's not easy, and it's tiring and hard, but above all it's fun and there's no reason it shouldn't stay that way for both parent and child. 

You will discover a whole new world through the eyes of your child, and that may sound corny but it's true. 

You'll find you can be a great Dad, and put up with smells Satan would back away from...and what's even more bizzare is that you'll enjoy it! All of it. Even the smells...kind of.

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