The last 9 months of my life have been unlike any other. I have received countless advice and preparation as to what to expect once Gavin was born. Much of it was unsolicited and honestly rather frustrating. Some of it was priceless. As we sit at the 2 week mark of Gavin’s life, I’ve had a few weeks to reflect on what was told to me as an expecting father and what I actually experienced. I have come to two conclusions:
- Becoming a parent is far more overwhelming than anyone can prepare you for. The most common thing that I heard from people was to “enjoy your sleep while you still can” almost as a curse on my dire future with a baby. This got frustrating to hear after about the 3rd time and was almost unbearable to hear the 75th time. It isn’t the amount of sleep that leads you to feel overwhelmed. It is your realized ignorance and inadequacy in a major new area of life compiled with a new responsibility unparalleled to any other.
- Becoming a parent is far more amazing than anyone can prepare you for. The first time I heard him cry. When they told me how much he weighed. The first time I saw him bundled in a blanket. The way his mouth curves when he is hungry and frustrated. Every time he gets hiccups after he eats. The way his eyes look when he is happy and content and stares back at you. Just thinking of any of these things could bring me to tears with pride and joy.
One of the absolute greatest sources of help for Michelle and I has been a book called “On Becoming Babywise” by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. In my opinion, this book is worth its weight in gold. I absolutely recommend this book to any parent with a baby…especially first time parents. It has been a rare source of confidence in a very unknown aspect of my life thus far.
So…my two week conclusion about parenting: awesome.