This, my friends, is what it means to be the parent of a newborn.
Sure, maybe my abs have disintegrated over the past two months. And I'm pretty confident that I haven't ironed a single item of my wardrobe in as much time. No, I did not get into a fist fight.....that's what happens when you don't get 8 hours of sleep for two months. You just look like that.
I may not recognize myself anymore, but I found something that made all the above worthwhile - my son recognizes me. Now you may be thinking that this is the point where I tell you that it's not that hard, or that nothing else in the world matters when you see them smile. You'd be wrong. Let me give you the straight and narrow on new parenting.
- Your life, as you knew it, is over. Just accept it. Your new life is different. Great....but different.
- You're lucky if you get to eat, sleep, shower, shit, get dressed, make coffee, etc. when you WANT to.
- There will be a lot of crying....some of which from the baby.
- When your wife/better half gives you a look that suggests she may want to kill you in your sleep, it's probably because she wants to kill you in your sleep.
- Changing a shitty diaper isn't really that bad unless you're changing said diaper and they're still shitting.
- The only thing precious about bath time is when it's over.
- The kid is king....followed by caffeine.
- Having a nanny becomes more exciting than having a Ferrari.
- Get used to saying, "Has it been two hours already!?!?" and "He just ate!"
- Pretending you didn't hear them cry so that you're not the one to have to wake up doesn't work.
- If given the option of changing the diaper or giving them a bottle...always go with the diaper.
- Your friends without kids are replaced with people you don't like nearly as much, but who also have kids.
- The value of babysitting will surpass the price of gold starting week 2.
- When they sleep, you sleep.....oh wait, that's right, you have shit to do. Nevermind.
- Keep saying to yourself, it gets easier, it gets easier, it gets easier.
- The day your baby makes landfall you become exponentially more paranoid....which is still nothing in comparison to how paranoid mom will be.
- You will think your kid is the cutest, most amazing kid in the world.....but he's not.....ours is.
I allowed myself to think, just for a second, while writing this, about what my life was like prior to becoming a father (it's better to forget). Would I give up the most amazing thing I've ever done or made? Would I trade our son's laugh for eight hours of sleep? Would I trade all that we will experience as a family, together, for anything I could have experienced alone? Would I rather work 10 hours straight than give my son a bath? Would I trade the chance to become my son and his mothers hero for more free time?
Being a father isn't easy. But it is worth it. Change your expectations, and let them show you what really matters in life.