You know, I never pictured myself as a father. It just never crossed my mind while I was growing up. I figured, when it happens, it happens. I'd deal with it then.
This month, I am a 3-month old (soon-to-be 4!) dad. It is both harder, and easier, than I thought.
Wait . . . What? Harder AND easier? Let me explain.
It is harder than I thought by the amount of time that you need to invest in your child.
Before my daughter was born, I figured it can't be that bad. How much time could a baby really take from you? You feed them and then they sleep most of the day.
I went from being able to do whatever I pleased, to barely having any time to eat. For me, that's difficult. I need my free time.
A baby is extremely needy, unless they are asleep, which isn't often or for very long each time. They need attention any time that their eyes are open. If you aren't changing a diaper, you are feeding, or playing, or holding, or trying your hardest to stop them from crying. It's tough. Luckily, mom takes most of the workload off of my shoulders.
But if you make the most of it, it's not so bad. The time spent together is rewarding and fun. Once you see your child's smile for the first time, you understand. You change your ways. Anything to make them smile again, and again, and again. It's all worth it.
So, what about the easier parts?
Well, changing diapers isn't so bad. Sure it smells. The occasional leakage problem isn't the most fun either. But is it hard to do? Not at all. It's like riding a bike. Once you do it a few times, you'll be a pro.
I remember I was nervous about holding babies. I never would, because I thought they were fragile. WRONG, again.
Well, yes they can be dropped and injured, but you really don't have to be afraid of them. They aren't going to get crushed in your hands. I would be comfortable to hold any babies that come my way. Bring it on.
I thought they cry all the time. Nope. At least not mine. She does cry, but it's usually for a reason. Take notes of what the different cries are. They might be hungry, or tired, or uncomfortable. If you know what they want, it's easy to control.
My advice for soon-to-be dads? Have fun with it. You aren't going to hurt the baby if you use common sense. Also, cherish every moment. They grow fast. From the first month to this third month my daughter has changed tremendously. Lastly, take lots of pictures and don't be afraid to take over for mom. It's your kid too, you know!
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.