Last updated on February 14th, 2024 at 05:03 am
Alright—so now that the pleasantries are out of the way, it’s time to get into some practical information about fatherhood, and where better to start than at the very beginning of the journey?
2013—the year we had our first child through induced labour in November—is admittedly a bit of a blur, with me doing as much as humanly possible to get things off of my to-do list before my life changed forever.
See—what you don’t fully understand about parenthood before you have kids yourself is that while everything changes once you have a kid in tow, it doesn’t just stop. You find new ways of doing the things that you would’ve done before if they still proved important to you.
But try telling that to 2013 Casey, convinced that his world was crashing down around him, trying to do everything he could before it was too late.
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How Casey Palmer was getting ready for a baby in 2013: HECTICALLY.
I did a lot that year. I went to Vegas twice, once as the prize from a Halloween contest and once to attend the popular “unconference” Bloggers in Sin City. I finished 33 of the hundred to-do items I gave myself on January 1st, working hard to become a better man than who I’d been at the start of the year. If anything, I wanted to keep as present as possible as a dad without the distractions that came from my blog life.
But I think many of us go through the same thing.
People say that women become moms when their babies start growing inside them, and men truly become dads when they welcome their babies into the world. Though we don’t go through the physical changes that women go through, babies also change our worlds overnight, and so many of us are ill-equipped to deal with it.
And so we try to get ready the best that we can. Save enough money. Plan enough time. Get enough things off of our bucket lists. We try to do everything we can think of to be amazing humans for the kids we have coming along, but the problem with that is this:
We try to do it all alone.
You only get one chance at a first impression as a dad. Let’s get it right.
It’s all so clear with hindsight, but there’s more that I wish I’d done before we had our first kid. That I’d read more books. Or talked to more people and learned from their experiences. Or that Sarah and I had deeper talks about our expectations for what life would look like as parents instead of with just the two of us at home. But you live and learn, and I can’t re-do the last eight years of my life. All I can do is celebrate the success, learn from the mistakes, and try to help the fathers yet to be to do better than I did.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to do thanks to a piece I did for Global News Weekend called “Baby real talk: Helpful tips for new dads“, with six tips new dads can use to hit the ground running.
- Take as much parental leave as you can.
- Set healthy boundaries for your family and friends who want to see the new baby.
- Pre-made meals and diapers are the gifts that keep on giving.
- Be supportive of your partner.
- Find your people—you’re going to need a community.
- Don’t try to be a hero. Have bad days. Be human. It’ll be alright.
Getting ready for a baby doesn’t have to be complicated—take it a day at a time!
So, for everyone out there who has fatherhood in their future, unsure if they will cut it… don’t overcomplicate things. Every family has its flow to work with, and you’ll figure yours out in time. You just need to do it step by step by step.
Good luck out there, and we’ll see you at the next post!
Posts in my “Forty Days to Father’s Day” Series
- Forty Days to Father’s Day: The Intro
- What IS a Father? The Definition of a Dad.
- The Importance of Sharing Fatherhood Stories
- Who Wants to be a Dad, ANYWAY?
- Getting Ready for a BABY: First Steps to Fatherhood!
- First Steps to Fatherhood: A Year Makes a Difference!
- 13 Things Dads Need to Know When Having Kids
- It’s Not Babysitting if it’s Your Kid.