Originally posted over at Every Other Thursday.
I am the oldest of two kids. This month, I'll be seven years deep in marriage and my wife and I have two kids. My closest comrade is my younger brother; five years younger to be exact. Today he'll be experiencing what I have experienced two times over -- fatherhood. In honor of my little bro's journey on the big blue ocean in the little dingy called parenting, here are some tips to help him navigate:
- The first few weeks will be joyous hell. What I mean is that your home will be blessed with this little bundle of joy that will wreak havoc on your routines and sleeping patterns. You'll never do anything the same nor sleep normal again. However, just stare at your baby girl for a few minutes and you'll forget about going to work on three hours sleep.
- The first few weeks are great as you'll have plenty of visitors bringing gifts, outfits, etc. Take it all. If you get formula and diapers, keep them. They're considered gold. Even more so than money, 8 hours of sleep (debatable) and a 12 pack of beer.
- With a steady stream of visitors, you guys will have a little break from parenting. However, when the craziness calms down and it's you, your wife and your kid, you'll need to step up. Your wife will need rest. She'll probably have some touch of post pardem that you'll have to deal with and manage your life around. Suck it up, change the diapers, do laundry and maintain peace.
- When you have to go back to the office, its going to be toigh on you, but mostly your wife. She'll be solo with no help defense in sight. It's all on her and it's a lot of work, but she's happy to do it. Get into the office as physically early as you can manage. The reasoning is that you'll be able to crank out a couple of hours worth of work before anyone else shows up. On the flip side, you'll can afford to leave at a decent time and spend some QT with the family. Bonus work tip: flood your cubicle with pics of the kid. it sets the tone for what you are all about and will put a smile on your face when work is getting you in a pissy mood.
- Best advice I could give is to enjoy it. Everything you do from here on out will be for the benefit for your family. Enjoy every second of when she's cuddled up to your chest like a football. There will be a ton of firsts. Capture all of them by taking video, pictures and even blogging. Catalog her life as you would a reporter covering a major news story. Sounds crazy right? Well, you'll need to becuase you'll forget all the small stuff and the little funny moments that make being a dad the best job in the world.
So congrats little brother. Can't wait to meet my god daughter.
P.S. One last bit of advice: whatever you do, avoid all things pink when it comes to the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics. Trust me, you'll have enough pink in other wardrobe areas. Plus, there's nothing cuter than a little girl rocking a Pats #12 throw back.