01 Sep GUIDE FOR NEW FATHERS
You’ve heard us say it plenty of times: it’s not easy being a man. So it should come as no surprise that it’s not easy being a dad either. But what’s more manly than fatherhood?
Now, let’s get one thing straight. Like an earthquake, there’s no real way to ready yourself for the upheaval created by an eight-pound human dropped in your midst 24 hours a day. The best you can do is shore things up and prepare as best you can. With that in mind, here are a few truisms you’ll want to absorb before the stork shows up.
1. You will sacrifice a room in your house
Yes, an entire room. You may be thinking that your desk, your foosball table, or your life-sized cutout of John Wayne will be able to share space with baby. You’ll be wrong. Within the first two months, baby’s stuff has a way of aggressively metastasizing and crowding out anything in its vicinity.
2. You’ll want multiple versions of everything
While some of that stuff will feel utterly superfluous, you’ll want it. In fact, you’ll want multiple versions of everything. Trust us: from sleep sacks to bottles, when you’ve got a screaming infant on your hands, you’ll be happy you can keep trying variations until something works.
3. You won’t have to pay for most of that stuff
If you play your cards right, between your baby registry, your wife’s baby shower, and the unexpected largesse of your parents and in-laws (who will have the mailman wearing a path to your door with deliveries of baby stuff), your wallet can escape with minimal damage.
4. Make a tighter budget and get used to it now
While your parents might foot the bill for a few dozen onesies, they’re not going to be there when you need to buy diapers every week. Also, depending on where you live, day care can run as high as $2,000/month. Nannies can be $15/hour. That is, every hour that you’re at work, you’re kicking $15 back to the nanny. Ouch.
5. You’re about to enter small-talk boot camp
If you have a baby, it means everyone else has a license to strike up a conversation with you. From coffee shops to the grocery store, you’ll find that your baby is an instant conversation starter—whether you want it or not. The whole world is suddenly a cocktail party without the cocktails.
6. You’ll appreciate your wife like never before
If you’re impressed at how your wife carries the baby, you’ll be even more impressed when she delivers it—and you’ll be unendingly grateful that you didn’t have to do it. She’s not done there, either. Once you get home, you’ll enjoy a bit of sleep while she feeds the baby every three hours. So make sure you get her a “push present.” Yes, it’s just another excuse to give her jewelry.