Once you start changing nappies, it becomes second nature after a week. I found this was a task that I could excel at and I made this my main area of responsibility. In this way, I felt I was making a small contribution to parenting duties, as my wife seemed to be doing most of the work.
However, this task is not without its drawbacks and certainly not for the faint hearted, particularly in the first few weeks. More on this to follow..
Once my son started developing nappy rash, I followed consensus and applied olive oil to the area after each change. This works surprisingly well, however, if you’re changing a number of nappies throughout the night you inevitably start to get oil on yourself as well. Even after showering you end up leaving for work smelling like a basted chicken, and this aroma stays with you for the day. Neal’s yard baby balm was the perfect solution and meant we could leave the olive oil for dressing salad.
When my wife first suggested we join up for an NCT antenatal class, I was skeptical. After all, I had heard many of the guys in the office complaining about spending evenings and weekends at classes.
However, I found our NCT sessions to be very laid back, informative and a bit of banter. Meeting a new group of guys that were about to be Dads had a lot of advantages and our organised nights out came in handy once our babies were born. Going out for drinks is very difficult, if not impossible, at that stage with a newborn. I found myself running around buying various baby items and whatever my wife needed. It would have been extremely brave to ask for a night off to meet the boys but drinks with the Dads group was always permitted.
There was also the added benefit that most of the group were dealing with the same issues of lack of sleep, getting into a routine, when to put the little one into their own room and gory nappy stories. All of which, I couldn’t discuss in the same detail with my other friends.
Everything changed when my son was born, but not in a negative way. I made a conscious decision to continue with my normal lifestyle as best I could whilst ensuring I was an involved and hands on Dad. The result has been both incredibly rewarding and challenging on many levels. There is never a dull moment. I regularly find myself in unexpected predicaments and adventures but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve been a Dad since May 2012 and can honestly say I knew nothing about babies before my son was born. I had met a few newborn babies, but the extent of my experience and interaction with them was the occasional utterance of “goochie goo”. The first time I learnt how to hold a newborn baby was at an antenatal class, where I was taught techniques with a plastic baby doll.
I was the first of my buddies to have a child and I still consider myself young (early 30s). Prior to becoming a Dad, my energies were solely spent working hard in the office, participating in sporting events, enjoying an active lifestyle and living it up at weekends; frequenting parties, restaurants and coffee shops.
This is not a “how to blog”.
This is an avenue to share my experiences and adventures, from a Dad’s perspective, which my young son has brought to daily life. Also the challenge of attempting to juggle being an involved Dad and family man, with a career, active lifestyle and social life successfully on a daily basis.