Brooke Tucker-Reid, momstown Writer
I’m lucky enough to share this crazy experience we call parenting with an amazing spouse. Before our daughter was born, he hadn’t changed a diaper. His only sibling was his brother so he was a little puzzled with what he could do with a little girl. Needless to say, the learning curve was steep. Our baby girl is nearing her second birthday and she always keeps us on our toes.
As Father’s Day approaches, I thought it would be fun to extract some of the baby daddy’s Yoda-like wisdom for some of the new and expectant dads out there.
What’s your best advice to expectant fathers looking to keep their pregnant wives smiling?
Although the temptation to make a joke is difficult to ignore, I’ll try to be serious for a moment. There is simply nothing more important than spending time together. We’ve all heard it before; half of being a parent is just ‘showing up’, and that starts long before your baby arrives. My advice is to spend time with your baby mama and be understanding. She’s going through a whole lot.
The delivery: what was your approach?
A friend of mine read every parenting book he could find, and by the time his son was born, I swear he could have worked in a maternity ward. That’s wasn’t me. Throughout the stages of pregnancy, I learned a few things but I had little desire to be part of the delivery. I parked myself at the head of the bed and kept a close eye on Brooke. To be honest, I was more concerned about her than the baby.
Who changed the first diaper?
Not this guy. I’m pretty sure it was the nurse. I did change the majority of the dirty diapers while I was off for a couple of weeks, though.
Any advice for new dads?
See my first answer – show up! And always carry wipes. S*** happens. Literally. Our walls will never be the same.
“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
What was your biggest “aha” moment?
The best part about being a father is that the “aha” moments keep coming. From the moment, my daughter grabbed my finger for the first time, and every little moment since, she continues to surprise me every day. If there is one thing I understand now, more than ever, is how quickly children grow up. Babies might be awkward, gross, and injury prone but they never take a step backwards. Every day our daughter learns something new. Sometimes it happens right in front of your eyes, and you find yourself impressed. Other times, they do something unexpected, and you’re amazed.
Have there been any awkward parenting moments?
I’m starting to lose track. Last week I bought a pack of princess undies as we’re starting to potty train. Don’t ever be embarrassed gentlemen. You’re a dad, own it.
What’s your favourite thing to do with your daughter?
As my daughter grows up, we’re starting to do a lot more together but nothing will ever be better than coming home, or picking her up from daycare. It’s impossible not to be excited to see your daughter when you know, the moment she sees you, she will run full speed into your arms yelling, “Daaaadddddy!” It’s the best!
“Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.” – Yoda
What do you hope for your daughter?
Happiness and good health – it’s that simple.
What would be your perfect Father’s Day?
French toast and tickets to the ballgame would be great but spending time together is the only thing that matters and we don’t need Father’s Day to do that.
That last question was a little selfish on my part. At least I know what to make for breakfast on Sunday! Happy Father’s Day to all the awesome dads out there.
“Pass on what you have learned.” – Yoda