What I Have Learned So Far

January 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm 6 comments

Many men will have the good fortune of becoming dads in 2013. For all of those new dads I offer this short list of what I’ve learned so far. I hope it helps you.

1 – You will lose lots of sleep. Believe every horror story about it because it is all true.

2 – Step into your new role as father and own it. Your child will only have one Dad and you are it.

3 – Allow yourself to be a little confused and angry once in a while about your new situation because at times it will be absurd. It’s a shocking and permanent change, and you cannot go back.

4 – Don’t ever assume your wife will handle something. She is just as overwhelmed as you are and she’s the one who actually had the baby.

5 – Get ready to come in second to your child – a very distant second. The bond with his mother is very strong and you may often feel isolated and useless. I’ve found that one solution to relieve this is to create your own traditions with your child. Challenge yourself to do unique things that will cultivate your own bond with him.

6 – Treat the mother of your children with respect. She is their mother and your children rely upon her greatly. They are watching what you do with her.

7 – During the moments you celebrate a milestone in your child’s life you are also going to mourn the loss of the way things were. It’s okay to take a moment to miss the crawling while you’re celebrating the walking. It will make you value this new stage of your child’s life even more.

8 – From the blood and terror of delivery through the sleep loss, the chaos of early morning crying, and the daily mess and muck of your baby, you are still capable of great acts of compassion. Never lose sight of that.

9 – Get away from your kids once in a while. Preserve a part of yourself that isn’t influenced by them. They may dominate your life but they aren’t your entire life. Kids need parents who are whole persons, not just their caretakers. Also, they will learn a lot about the world by watching what else you do in it.

10 – At random but frequent intervals give your daughter a hug and a kiss on the top of her head. Eventually those will come back to you and they will be some of the greatest moments of your life.

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Mocha Porter Monkey Business is Booming

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. newenglandfather  |  January 29, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Excellent advice for new fathers!

    Reply
    • 2. Hop Dad  |  January 29, 2013 at 10:03 am

      Thank you!

      Reply
  • 3. Nadene Good  |  January 29, 2013 at 8:59 am

    What a wise young father you are. Thanks for caring and sharing. Nadene

    Reply
    • 4. Hop Dad  |  January 29, 2013 at 10:05 am

      Aw, look at that – you called me “young”. Thank you!

      Reply
  • 5. Brewsurfer  |  February 11, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    That is perfect advice. Especially the part about it being OK to leave and have some space. I brew beer, play music, exercise, surf, etc. for my sense of sanity. However, my children are watching and learning how to be passionate. Someday they may learn to play music, brew and appreciate the art and tradition of beer, be healthy and someday, God willing, I will teach them to surf. Then the cycle will be complete.

    Love your insights into beer and fatherhood. I’m a fan!

    Reply
    • 6. Hop Dad  |  February 13, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Thank you so much! You have a excellent combination of hobbies that can foster healthy, creative habits, and a great plan for your kids. I think you said it right with the words “may learn” and “appreciate”. They may not end up doing the exact things you want them to do. But I believe if you show them your passion and how it positively impacts you they will want that feeling for themselves, and appreciate those activities in their adult lives regardless of whether they actually do them.

      I joke about grooming my daughter to attend the University of Hawaii, major in astronomy, and play for their volleyball team. That way I can go see games, visit the observatories, and chill on the beach while sipping a pint of Maui Brewing’s Coconut Porter. But really all I want is for her to pursue what makes her happy and my job is to instill in her the drive to do that. The best way I can think of is to do what I want in life and show her how happy it makes me.

      Thanks again for reading and the kind words. Look for an email from me soon about one of your past posts. Your blog is a great one.

      Reply

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