How To Not Suck At Being A New Dad (Part II)

Prepare to Step In

A large cross-section of Bahamian men seem to be stuck in a way less well-dressed version of the Mad Men meets Marvelous Mrs. Maisel halcyon days of family life. In this imaginary world they smoke cigars in their study while their women take care of the kids in an apron and high-heels with their hair and makeup perfectly done.

Thanks to our cost of living greatly outpacing our wages, That ain’t really feasible anymore. The cost of everything is much higher which means your kids’ mom has to work, leaving more stuff at home needing to get done. 

And YOU have to do it homie. 

The best way to go about it is to jump in there every opportunity you have. Changing your kid’s diapers, bathing her, and putting her to sleep this may sound revolutionary but it’s imperative that you learn to take care of your child. Even if you’re a selfish jerk and you don’t believe that you should participate in caretaking, I’ll give you one compelling reason why you should: 

The day is going to come when you can’t avoid it.

Assuming you’re not a total deadbeat it’s inevitable. And when it happens, you’re going to have to know the basics of keeping your kid alive assuming you want to stay out of prison. So get your reps in when things are low-stakes, and give yourself the confidence you’ll need to be a dad. 

Forget About any Semblance of Timelines

We may think of kids as adorable little humans, but I’m gonna let you in on a dirty secret: they’re actually timelords.

These munchkins can make four hours go by in 20 minutes while eating snacks and watching Cocomelon.

Want to leave the house at 1:00? You’ve started getting the kid ready at 12, all you have to do is bathe them and put on their clothes, smooth sailing, right?

WRONG! It will be 1:20 before their shoes are on. 

It’s always like this, kids are like little time-compression machines. I don’t know why, they just are. It’s like they have magical powers.

Don’t ask me what my counter is, I have none. What I do have is a lot of time on my hands and a lack of any overwhelming desire to be anywhere at any particular time. If you need to be somewhere on time, I don’t know what to tell you, buddy.

The Food You Cook Will Taste Different

As your child transitions to solid food, you’re going to have to make sure that they enjoy a nutritious diet. Things get weird here because kids are picky, and their taste in food changes by the day. I would feed my daughter anything I could get my hands on, including some of the food I cook for myself.  

After a while, I started factoring her into my meal prep, even if I’m only planning on giving her a little bite, because of this I’ve become less heavy-handed with the seasonings if you know what I mean. And it’s not even something I consciously do, I’m genuinely surprised when I taste my food now. It’s not like my food is bland either, there’s still a lot of flavor to it, it just isn’t very spicy.

Having kids is a strange experience.

It Will Be Difficult At First But Stay With It

I’m sure you’ve heard this before but I’ll say it again:  parenting is hard work. 

The first few months of your child’s life will be the most difficult time of your and your parenting partner’s life. I definitely have had moments where I’ve wondered why anyone would trust me, a person whose most notable accomplishment was helping to start a local sports blog, with being responsible for human life, without classes, practice or any kind of manual, just some books my wife wanted me to read (that I hadn’t bothered to) and some parenthood blogs. You were more prepared to drive a car at 17 than you are to raise a child as a full-grown adult. But here you are, carrying out the most important task anyone can undertake with zero training.

But you may have also heard this one before: It gets better.

As you continue to love and care for your little one, they’ll grow from a screaming, sleep-depriving poop machine to a small human complete with an intellect and a personality.

As they develop a vocabulary and preferences, the feeling that everything you invested into this little life so far is paying off and it’s going to blow your mind.

When that feeling comes, give pause take a breath and congratulate yourself. You did right by your child and your partner and for that, you deserve to be proud of yourself.

You did it, dad.