I haven't been a parent for very long. I'm an only
child, so I had no little brothers or sisters to learn from or to
gain experience on what it might be like to raise a child. I
literally knew NOTHING about babies before my daughter was born.
Here are a few things that I know now, that I didn't know a few
1. Babies take over.
Everything. Think of something and I can tell you
how it is now your child's. If you really like something, give it
up before you have kids. Take my motorcycle, for example. It is
being sold this Spring. Not because I want to, but because I have
no use for it anymore. My days off of work are spent with my
daughter. There's no point in keeping it.
2. You get to sleep when they decide you
There is no sleeping while baby is awake. How could
you? They need lots of attention and someone around at all times. I
advise you to take lots of naps, just like they do. My daughter
sleeps pretty well at night, but sometimes she cries. And when she
cries, everyone knows it. She makes sure of that. Babies don't know
time. 8 p.m., 3 a.m. or noon. It's all the same to their little
3. Being in public will never be the
I am the type of person who doesn't like a lot of
attention. When we go shopping, I play a mental game of beat the
clock. A sleeping baby is like a ticking time bomb just waiting to
go off at any moment. Brynlee has been pretty good with us, but
there have been a few incidents in public where I was
uncomfortable. Like getting out of the car while at Chase bank's
drive-up to get into the backseat and calm down a screaming baby.
Or one time at Target when she decided to projectile spit-up all
over the floor of the aisle. The best you can do is try to be
prepared. But you are never going to be completely. I've come to
realize that other people understand, especially
4. Writing a blog is a lot harder to keep
Even though I am doing it right now, it's not easy.
She is currently in her jumper, spinning plastic tumblers and
flipping the pages on a plastic book. She is loving it of course,
but any second now I will be tending to her next interest. Good
luck, fellow bloggers. Hopefully you don't mind working late at
5. Breast milk is better. And it's
Do whatever you can to breastfeed your child.
Obviously not YOU, dad, but you know what I mean. Formula is way
too expensive and the health benefits just aren't the same. I know
some women can't, or simply don't want to, but it's worth it. Stick
it out too, because the longer you can, the better. My wife still
is and it's saved us lots of money. Bryn has tried formula when we
are desperate but she doesn't digest it very well, even the
supplementing kinds. With breast milk she has no problem. (Isn't it
crazy that a human being can live on nothing but milk for the first
six months of their lives?)
Never heard of it before. Now I know that it's a
must when doing the baby's laundry. Our clothes get the normal
detergent, but baby gets Dreft laundry detergent. It's gentle for
the little ones. Who knew? Not me. As a matter of fact, there is a
whole assortment of special things made just for babies. Shampoo,
body wash, medicine and nursery water are just a few.
7. Babies "R" Us is usually cheaper than
Buy Buy Baby.
Buy Buy Baby is a nicer store. At least I think so.
And because they are sister stores, BBB takes Bed, Bath, and Beyond
coupons which come in the mail quite often if you are part of their
newsletter. There is usually a 20% off coupon attached to their
catalogs and that usually makes a deal worth it to me. However, if
our coupon stash is depleted, Babies "R" Us is our go-to store for
just about everything from bottles to diapers. Speaking of diapers
. . .
8. Diapers are pricey, and gone in a split
We go through probably ten a day on average. Is
that normal? I don't really know. But it's a lot. Especially when
diapers are around $.25 a piece. That's $2.50 a day or $70.00 per
month. Do what we did. For our baby shower we held a diaper raffle.
Basically, there is a prize - ours was a Coach purse - and for
every guest that brought a pack of diapers, they received an entry
into the drawing. We ended up with so many diapers that we don't
know what to do with them. But at least we won't have to pay for
any for a while. Problem solved.
9. You will fall in
As manly as you might be you will still have your
heart stolen. Your little boy will be the best thing that ever
happened to you. Do you have a daughter? She will be a daddy's
girl. Trust me. Your heart will melt when she runs to you as you
walk in the door. Every day, she will be waiting for you. It's
awesome. I can't wait until my little girl is old enough to do
that. I have heard plenty stories from others. Brynlee already puts
on a big smile when I get home. That's all it takes for
10. Friendships fade.
My friends don't share any of the same interests as
I do anymore. I don't have time, money or a desire to go out to the
bar on a Friday night anymore. I have a child to take care of, a
wife to spend time with and bills to pay. Good friends stay, but
you don't see them as much. Unless they really like babies. Women
do, but guys . . . not so much. That's why you see dads become
friends with other dads. There is common interest there. It's
There are plenty more things I've learned but the
most important one is pretty obvious - your life will
I can tell you something else, too.
You'll be glad that it did.
Kevin Whitehead lives in the Southwest suburbs with his wife and almost one-year-old daughter Brynlee. He started PregoForMen shortly after finding out his wife was pregnant. He invites you along on his journey as he discovers just how much life can change in nine short months and beyond.
See more of Kevin's stories here.
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