We are having a baby and I’m going to be a dad!! AWESOME!
It all starts with a nursery… clothes… a pregnant wife… life is about to be very different, very quick and you can see it all coming at warp speed.
As most things are, the more prepared you are the easier it is. Becoming a dad was not very different but one can only be so prepared for everything in life… especially for having a baby. Remaining a team throughout the process is so important as this is the best life adventure one can go on. For me putting us first is very important to keep that teamwork together. My Gramma asked me when I first started dating Chelsae “Do you love her” I said, “of course!” Then she said, “Do you like her?” and I replied with “yes, she is my best friend!” My Gramma had the biggest smile on her face and said “you must love and like someone to have a successful relationship” and I will never forget that conversation. We have built everything on liking and loving each other and will continue that as the guide to raising our family.
There is nothing like starting a family – from the joys to the obstacles that will be concurred along the road.
There are so many things to factor including:
- What type of parent do I want to be? (Cool Dad, Strict Dad, bad joke Dad (Chelsae says this is me)…you know the types)
- Are the cars safe? Is our house safe?
- Stuff (car seats, strollers, cribs, Rock ‘n Play, toys, clothes)
- The list could go on…
These questions and lists are never ending and everything is a first when you’re a new parent. As a dad, I want to love, protect, and provide for my family the best I can. Those have been the guiding principles for everything I have done. Now, of course, I am always one to do research on the safest, best rating and most affordable before making big purchases. There is always more expensive things out there, but they are not always the best. So I prepared by researching the car seat and the stroller. My advice for a new Dad is to ask a lot of questions to fellow dads who have recently been through it. Don’t ask about horrible stories but instead their recommendations on what worked and what didn’t. People will inevitably share their horror stories – try to ignore these! (Although it’s really not that bad!)
After all that preparing, the day (or middle of the night in our case) has finally arrived and we were off to the hospital. After a speedy labor and delivery, Olivia was born and then we were sent to a recovery room. We were so elated but now the mixture of emotions are beginning to hit. I was now starting to feel exhausted and a bit overwhelmed that I now have a tiny person to care for… forever! It was the happiest moment of my life and I couldn’t be more thrilled! But quickly the thought “What do I do now” crossed my mind. First diaper… first bath… first everything, and I have no idea how to do any of it. But there is good news, I quickly found out to just enjoy it. It will come more natural than you think. And if you don’t know, ask the hospital nurses because reality hits once you get home!
Home and Easing Back to Work
Being a first-time dad I was able to spend a week working part-time from home and helping with everything from naps to walks to changing Olivia! Chelsae chose to breastfeed so I was there to help with anything else she needed. I decided that I need to be as supportive as possible as Chelsae just went through a lot with giving birth. As Olivia was so little I knew it is important to love every second of her growing! As she grew, I had to adjust back to work which was a unique challenge, but staying positive was the best way! I have a philosophy – work-life integration, that I’ll cover in a later post. This philosophy helped integrate family and work. I was able to enjoy my family time with Chelsae and Olivia but not feel like I was forgetting that I also had a responsibility to work.
The best advice I can say is to enjoy every minute and stay positive! It can always be worse. Cherish every moment because it will make the obstacles seem that much easier!!