To all the men who told me that I would not be 100% ready for all of fatherhood: thank you. This first week and a half with my little girl has been a whirlwind, learning how to be a first-time dad. My wife is healing as well as she can and it is my job to make sure she can rest when she needs it. Our dog also loves to bark and needs attention, but thankfully my little girl doesn’t hear it when she is sleeping. It is a lot of work taking care of my three girls, but it is worth it. My love for them has blossomed even more since last week. I am also extremely grateful that I have had these two weeks to spend with them before starting a new job. It has allowed us to get into a rhythm and we can hopefully get our rhythm smooth before I start.
It hasn’t all been easy though. We have had issues with the dog making too much noise during the day and night, along with our girl not wanting to sleep during the night (That is expected with a newborn, of course!). With my wife healing, I have been taking the lead on trying to get our girl to sleep. It has meant being awake a lot during the night right as we lay her down and before and after feedings. I haven’t gotten as much sleep as I am used to, which I knew but didn’t prepare for. I have gotten frustrated that our girl won’t stay asleep and as soon as I get back into bed, she squirms again. But guess what this has taught me: patience. I have assumed that our newborn will just fall and stay asleep like an older human being, but that isn’t the case. I have been reminded by my wife (who is totally right) that I just need to take a breath and remember that she is just a baby. She doesn’t have a schedule like we do, and she doesn’t understand being in bed and trying to sleep. I can’t blame her for not sleeping; she is a week and a half old baby. My patience has been tested and I am already learning how to handle a newborn. Patience has been my number one flaw and I have already told our little girl I am sorry that I mess up. I will try my best to be the best dad that I can be, but I know I will mess up as I raise her. There were some basics I had to learn such as how to hold a baby, because I haven’t been around babies before her; I was so afraid of hurting her while holding her but I am learning the best ways to do that.
All of this has been such a learning process and our girl is only a week and three days old! I have learned so much already, and understand that she will help highlight some of my flaws and how to fix them. I can tell that I will learn as much from her as she does from me growing up. It’s all in the life of a new dad!