My firstborn is four weeks old today and she’s a right little legend.
If you listened to other parents or read too many “parenting” tips online you’d almost be put off this incredible experience with all the warnings of sleepless nights, tongue in cheek craic about your life being over or how it takes over your life.
I’m here to tell you it’s just not true, in fact for men, it’s actually very easy.
We don’t have the pains of pregnancy and labor, the breastfeeding, the hormones flying about and the getting up in the night.
First up, they really don’t do much past eating (Mum), sleeping (Their bed) and pooping (Their diapers,> Dad) with the latter actually being a bit of a laugh to do. The constant tete a tete staring into this other sentient beings’ eyes trying to work out whether she will indeed squirt shit on your hands or wait until the new nappy is nearly on before launching a piss fountain.
Couple this with a competitive gamification timing your changes like an F1 pitstop and it really isn’t much of a chore.
Now on to sleep.
Maybe I’m lucky but my girl sleeps most of the way through the night. When she does wake up my wife feeds her quietly and I’ll be honest, I don’t even wake up. It’s all good.
She is being breastfed and my wife doesn’t want to wake me up for the sake of it just because she has to. Perhaps this gets worse, I don’t know?
So how about on to “Your life is over”?
I’ve been to the pub more since she was born than we ever did beforehand. It’s good to take her out so I strap her to me in the papoose, we walk down to the canal and go for a pint. All there while she’s just chilling or sleeping.
I carried on playing 5aside within five days of her being born and then every week thereafter and we’re wetting the baby’s head tomorrow.
Perhaps those reading are thinking I’m some kind of hands off, old school Dad who doesn’t muck in and leaves everything to Mum when really that’s just not the case.
I do most of the cooking, washing up, make the wife a drink whenever she asks but let’s be honest, in the words of Roy Keane “that’s your job”, you should be doing that anyway right?
I’m fairly sure my biggest contribution to my baby’s development and care at the moment is our daily “naked dance sessions” (her nappy, me football shorts) where we dance in the living room singing along to everything from Elton John to Stormzy to the Lion King and giving her some recommended skin-to-skin contact.
I have no idea whether or not she can hear the music properly or cares for my singing but she seems to enjoy it and doesn’t cry so we’ll carry on this tradition.
Perhaps we’ll stop when she’s 18?
Perhaps this parenting lark will become a bit more difficult by then?