Written by Benjamin Barredo.
Men prep. Every day of our lives we are preparing for something. We can’t make a decision without prep being in the step. I’ve spent my life prepping. I might be buying tools for any situation, or ammo for the zombie apocalypse, or keeping old car parts for recycled use. Being a First Time Dad, here’s how I prepared.
Daddy Prep Advice for a First Time Dad
One thing most men fall short on is preparing for fatherhood. When the news hits, we’re turned back into that awkward teen standing in the hall his first day of high school. Worst of all is the first eight months. What can we do? What role do we play? Well, I got two easy steps you can take as an expecting first time dad, to get you ready for being the best partner you can be, and get those much needed brownie points in the eyes of your mom.
I started off just like you but with a little over a month to go, I now feel ready and sure that I got this. I did it by reading and listening. This is what I mean:
First, I brought a book home. Well, I didn’t exactly come home with it but I wish I did. So make sure you beat your old-lady and come home with a good expectancy book. You’ll be her hero.
I recommend “What to Expect When You Expect” by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. You’ll learn things like:
- The development of the child (good to know stuff)
- How to deal with mood swings (just might save your life)
- Sex during and after birth (don’t worry about the baby, you’re not that big)
- What dad can do instead of being the third wheel (I mean, our job isn’t that hard by comparison)
Later on, surprise your lady-friend with reservations for a birth preparation class. You can ask your doctor or mid-wife (learn what mid-wife is, she’ll more than likely be the one in the delivery room) about courses in your area. Though they can be awkward at first, just accept that you’ll be sitting in a room with strangers doing some very “unmanly” things. But, when it’s all said and done, you’re going to make her so proud. She’ll brag on you for years to come. Plus you’ll learn some great stuff that’ll probably save you from maiming in the delivery room. Things like:
- Breathing techniques to take the mind off of pain
- Stretches to relieve pain
- Massages to relieve pain–get the picture?
Execute these two things, and you’ll be way ahead of the rest of our sex when it comes to being a dad. Plus you’ll feel like you’re a part of this thing. For many of us, that is the hardest part to deal with. Don’t stop there though. There are other small things that will assure mom that you’re in this for real, and gain you some props with the doctor and in-laws:
- Attend every doctor appointment if possible and ask question when you’re there. Any question.
- Help pick names. Even if she doesn’t like the name “Terminator”, she’ll be happy you’re involved.
- Be involved with picking out furniture, car-seats, etc.
Believe me when I say on day one I was a freaked out thinking of fatherhood let alone birth. Now I know how to change diapers, support my momma when the day comes, and even how to calm baby when mom needs a break.
And remember, if you walk away from this and decide not to take my advice, at least know this – make a point to be part of parenthood. Just because the baby isn’t in your belly doesn’t mean that you aren’t involved. Being a dad – a great dad at that – means that you’re active and prepared; it starts on day one.
If you’d like to hear more from me, visit me at my blog nittygrittyliving.com.