Any tips for Fatherhood?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by kerpow, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. kerpow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    London
    #1
    I don't really post that much on this site and when I do its usually on more technical threads. But I figured if I ask people here about parenthood you will all have at least one thing in common with me - an unhealthy obsession with Apple or technology in general :)

    My wife and I are expecting a baby girl in 5 weeks. Whilst I'm pretty excited about it I'm also nervous about how my, or our, lives will change. I'm 31 but still consider myself a bit a kid. I haven't changed much since I was at college, I go out to bars alot with friends and am mad about sports, games and other techie stuff. I'm guessing I won't have the time, or money, to do that anymore.

    I just wonder whether giving up those sorts of interests will be a compromise or whether I'll just naturally lose interest in those things once I have a beatiful baby.

    Any thoughts or personal experience would be appreciated.

    Paul
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    Unless you want to risk divorce from your wife, those other activities will fade away almost completely for the first month or so... mainly because you will be too exhausted to do anything about them (again, assuming you're helping out, hence avoiding divorce).

    As time goes on, you'll have more and more spare time to indulge in the old pastimes... but you won't ever have as much time as you used to until much later on.

    But kids are amazing, and I think you'll find that the time you spend watching her grow up will be far more intriguing than the time you spent out.

    You will, however, still love time on your Mac. ;)

    Oh, and one other thing: after a month or two, the lights go on inside, and you'll see that she actually notices you and other things. Before then, she'll just be a bit of a squawking mess. After that, you'll be amazed at how cool she is.
     
  3. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #3
    Time will tell, but I will say one thing... MAKE SURE both you AND your wife make time for each other, and yourselves. I've seen lots of parents feel guilty about that, then later on resent the child. Sounds crazy, but you can book it.
     
  4. Deepdale macrumors 68000

    Deepdale

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    #4
    Think fondly of the days when you used to get all the uninterrupted sleep necessary.
     
  5. kerpow thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2004
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    London
    #5
    Yes, I won't be risking the wrath of my wife. I have been more helpful and considerate around the house and will step that up several gears when she arrives.

    But as you say, the first few months don't sound like great fun and its that time frame which conncerns me. Exhaustion from lack of sleep, jugglinng work and home life, lack of sex (?), isolation from friends etc.
     
  6. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

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    #6
    In regards to that I'm assuming you're taking Paternity Leave?
    It can be taken a set number of days after the baby is born, as opposed to as soon as the baby is born. More info here.
    Congratulations BTW :D
     
  7. Deepdale macrumors 68000

    Deepdale

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    New York
    #7
    Optimism -- even cautious optimism -- is a wonderful thing, but it is probably safe to get rid of the question mark following "lack of sex." :) Listen, I am just being playful with you ... my best wishes to you and your wife once the baby arrives.
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Andover, MA
    #8
    The first few months do suck - but they are still a good time. The first few weeks are especially bad, but, in general, things get easier as time goes on.

    However, it gets rougher again quickly as they become mobile.

    Still, you get to do things you'd never expect, and have thoughts you wouldn't have had - like "wow... how do they make Cheerios?"

    It doesn't really pay off until you can get the little bugger to model and act in major motion pictures, but it's still a joy.

    Or, to put it differently, as much as it sucks at times, once they look at you and say "dada" (or, really, any gibberish) and smile, you wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.
     
  9. kerpow thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    London
    #9
    I'm getting 2 weeks paternity leave which I will use all of straight away. As I'm unlikely to have much of a vacation this year I'll get another 5 weeks of paid time off so that helps. My wifes parents are flying over from the US after my paternity time has finished so that will be beneficial. My parents are down the road as well. In many respects I'm very lucky.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #10
    It would seem that you are. It's especially nice to have relatives nearby (or so I would imagine... we don't).

    And it's fortunate that you already are lucky, because, as others have pointed out, it's unlikely that, anytime soon after the birth, you'll be getting lucky. ;)
     
  11. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #11
    I have friends (the fathers) who have specific time and duties with their children. One's a priest, and his days are full of visits and phone calls. But, he's home in the evening for feeding and bath time. Other friends have similar duties, but if there's a guy's outing, he can go out after everyone's in bed.

    I admit I wasn't the greatest dad during the infant years. I tried to do what my wife asked me. There was some fear of infants then. Now that they're older (6 & 12) I'm really into them and we have lots of fun together.

    The greatest thing you can do is support your wife. Parents and in-laws mean well, but you and your wife will have to agree on how to manage their time, as well as your time.

    Is your wife working, or will she return to work after a few weeks?

    Unless, she wants more children.

    You know what the coyote position is? When you sit by the hole and howl!

    sorry...had to share it. :)
     
  12. freeny macrumors 68020

    freeny

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    #12
    Your life will become so different you cant really think on terms of what you will be and wont be able to do once the baby comes. Just concentrate on being a good father and husband at the beginning and as the months/years go by you life will take on a new form with new interests and goals. some old pastimes will stick around but probably not the ones you think.

    My one piece of advice would be to not fight change but embrace it. It will make things allot easier.
     
  13. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Los Angeles
    #13
    Congrats, daddy kerpow. You're gonna love it!

    Your interests are bound to change, but don't think of it as being denied your other interests (friends, sports, games, tech) as much as having a great new interest to add to your life. I've loved being a dad since the first moment, and I hope you'll have the same great feeling.

    If you gradually spend less time watching the game of the week with your feet up on the coffee table and a big bag of chips, it'll probably be because you'll prefer to spend some of that time playing peek-a-boo, taking photos, pushing a stroller, or doing other "dad" activities. You don't have to give up anything point blank, just scale back here and there. Perhaps you'll do less of each hobby, but you won't mind.
     
  14. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

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    Feb 7, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #14
    Sex? I don't remember what that is. The best way to keep that part ok is to help around the house as much as possible so the wife is not too tired.
     
  15. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
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    South of the border
    #15
    sleep. now.
    sleep deprivation - it's an amazing experience.

    and take lots of photos/videos because your brain won't be working well enough for the first six months to remember things properly and they change so fast.. i look at old photos now and i barely remember who it is - "he looked like THAT?"

    You won't get out much, your non-child friends will drop off to some extent, you will experience a range of emotions you never thought yourself capable of (including the black rage where everything descends into misty tunnel vision...), they won't eat, they won't sleep and then they won't shut up, they'll find your every weakness and exploit it, the bald-faced lies, the public meltdowns. And yet you won't care, you'll love it and never look back.

    It's fantastic, life-changing. I wonder what the hell i did with my time in that other life, it all seems so pointless, wasteful, now.

    Write it down as much as you can, this will be a growing experience for you as much as it is for your child. The bad stuff is so easy to describe, the good is so inexpressibly good, so unfathomably unlike anything else, i've never found a way to even begin to convey it to someone who hasn't been there.

    Congratulations (such a feeble, diluted word - it's not big enough for this, but it'll have to do).
     
  16. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #16
    Get a digital video camera and then you can use your mac and do things with your kid - and your wife will love it -

    shameless self plug :D

    Mine is 26 months now and its absolute great.

    Congrats!

    D
     
  17. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

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    #17
    That is so BRILLIANT! (ah the regrets, the guilt i feel now at not having got off my arse and done this myself...)
     
  18. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502

    AJBMatrix

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    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Athens, Georgia
    #18
    Well, most other people have given some pretty good info but one thing for those of us that it is not too late for.

    Condoms! That is my Advice.
     
  19. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #19
    you'll be amazed at how much love your heart is capable of once you've met your child for the first time. your interests and ideals in life will change dramatically and without you minding it for a moment. things take on a whole new meaning.

    the best advice i can give is to be supportive, thoughtful and understanding; be open-minded and flexible; remember that it's ok to feel overwhelmed and remember that even the best parents get frustrated and need a break; you two are the most important people in your child's life, take time to keep the romance alive in your marriage, and know that it's the little things that are usually remembered; cherish every moment you have with your child, they grow so incredibly fast; take lots of pictures and be sure to backup your data ;) and last but not least, enjoy the ride.

    congratulations :)
     
  20. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
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    Andover, MA
    #20
    And here, my friends, we see the difference between the male and female view of children. ;)

    Just kidding - we fathers tend to focus on the impact on our lives as they were, and mothers more easily see the true joy children bring. They are more insightful. We're just self centered. ;)

    Children are, indeed, fantastic. Just don't buy World of Warcraft now, expecting to level up a lot....
     
  21. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    #21
    Obviously you're going to be busy with baby stuff for a while. Some things will have to be compromised.

    But it sounds like you'd make a cool dad. :cool: :D
     
  22. hcuar macrumors 65816

    hcuar

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #22
    1) Watch for postpartum depression in your wife. Be sure to recognize if it happens (it will to some extent). It's quite a big transition once the kid is born. It's 9 months of build up, and then over in a blink of an eye (well after 24 hours of labor/birthing for us). :D Going home may be scarey for your wife as well. They have the support and care of the nurses, then feel overwhelmed at the idea of going home.

    2.) If you have the opportunity to utilize a nursery at night for the baby, use it. Take advantage of any time that the hospital can give you to get some rest for your wife and yourself.

    3.) I'd recommend going home at night and allow your wife to get rest in the hospital. It gives her some alone time with the nurses to get things like breast feeding straightened out. Plus you will be recharged for the next day to help.

    4.) Bring a pack of wet wipes along with you to the hospital. They only supply dry wipes that you have to wet. Bring a pack of wet pamper wipes along... They are MUCH easier to deal with. (Ours had this problem... yours may too.)

    5.) Take lots of pictures and video. If you wife has a c-section, this is of the up most importance. They won't remember much, and it means a lot to them to have videos and pictures of the big day.

    6.) Talk to your wife that she may give birth naturally or by c-section. They have a tendency to get fixed on natural birth, then get shook by the c-section. Prepare her mind for it.

    7.) Have someone to help for the first week or two when you get home. If your wife has a c-section, this is must! Trust me... it's a killer.

    8.) Don't feel like you have to fall in love with your baby the minute she is born. This is something linked with the postpartum depression. Many times new mommies feel detached from their baby, and take some time to come around.

    9.) Prepare to work your tail off Daddy. I'm not kidding. Your going to be worked to death the day of the birth. Be ready to help, and get dirty. It's a long day, and many hospitals ask the dad to actively participate in the labor and birth.

    10.) Get the house setup like you are planning on having a C-Section. Your wife will not be able to get onto the floor, or traverse stairs but twice per day. I'd recommend getting a changing area setup near to your main living area. We cleared our dining room table, and setup wipes, diapers, and all our babies outfits.

    11.) Enjoy the first weeks with your daughter. It's a unique time with your baby. They are so tired and cuddly. They love sleeping in your arms during the day while you guys relax and watch TV or browse the net. ;)

    12.) I'd recommend attempting to get your baby on a schedule right away. I believe this helps getting them to sleep through the night sooner.

    Hopefully, this will help you get started. My wife and I had a baby girl last November. She is almost 4 months old, and is getting very aware of what's going on around her. Have a good time. When you child first makes her appearance, it's the most amazing feeling in the world. Time almost stands still. Let us know how it goes.
     
  23. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    London, England
    #23
    hey, it was my description of summaries my own husband has made. :p it's like that commercial with the two parents saying "people told us how our lives would change and we'd say "i know" --- well you don't know." it was funny but pretty true. it's just not something anyone can really understand genuinely until they've been there. it's the most difficult tasks i've ever undertaken but it's rewarding just the same. i am actually one of the least "maternal" people i know but it awes me how i've changed and to know what i am capable of.
     
  24. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #24
    Great advice. I don't know why but your post suddenly made me want to have another baby and almost made me get a little teary eyed (in a good way) :)
     
  25. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

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    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    #25
    Having a baby changes everything...well the commercial said so;)


    Bless
     

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