I work from home. I have 2 young kids at home. It’s the end of a loooooong summer. So getting out of the house is like a vacation to me. Heck yes, I’m in.
My wife asked, “Are you going to wear something nice on tv?” I said, “Yeah.”
Adam asked me to provide a “refresher course” on parenting a baby. It’s been 9 years since I’ve had a newborn, but thankfully, The Dad team is made up of dad experts. If Adam wanted a reminder of what it’s like to have a new baby, I could’ve cried uncontrollably, kept him up all night, threw up on his shirt, and pooped my pants. Messy. Instead, our team carefully curated a new dad starter kit, with all the necessities for a new dad.
We included baby wipes, which all veteran parents know are the Swiss Army Knife of parenting.
Not related to the baby in any way, but every dad needs duct tape and WD-40. With these two things, anything is fixable… from something that won’t move to something that moves too much and needs to stay in place.
We gave Adam a Paternity Shirt he can wear to match his baby as he enters the world. First impressions are so important.
When you get a hairdryer, it has an instruction manual. When you get a Lego set, it has an instruction manual. But somehow, when you have a baby, the nurses just tell you, “good luck!” and you’re on your way. Dads often don’t read instruction manuals, but they’ll wanna read this one.
In our critically acclaimed The Dad Instruction Manual, there’s a chapter called “How to prepare for baby”. Perfect. To paraphrase:
- Get a piece of paper. Write out your parenting plan: your discipline strategy, healthy meal plans, sports you want them to play, mistakes your parents made that you’ll be sure to avoid, etc…
- Crumple up the list and light it on fire. Laugh maniacally. Nothing can prepare you for what you’re about to experience.
The best advice for paternity leave is actually a cliche: CHERISH EVERY MOMENT. But it’s true. Because there’s another cliche: it goes by so fast. Also true. My kids are 9 and 12. I get emotional thinking about when they were babies.
Parenting is incredibly difficult, but it’s the most fulfilling thing in the world. It’s the best.
So Adam, and all other new parents, congratulations. Welcome to the club. Do your best to check out of other obligations, be present with your partner and your new child. Cherish every moment. It goes by so fast.