Intro To Fatherhood

Photo by Derek Thomson / Unsplash

Being a parent is a test in communication and endurance. I have only had the privilege to be a parent for a couple of months now, but yeah, endurance and communication are currently the words to remember.

Communication

I used to be so confused with parents who "knew" their baby's cries. Like their baby would cry a certain way and the parent just knew what their baby needed. I watched my friends and family do it all the time. It was hard to comprehend how this, well, instinctual (?), level of communication could be established, but I get it now. It's one of those things, like how a picture doesn't do a night sky justice. You have to care for a baby nearly 24/7 to get it, at least I did/do.

And for any non-parents reading this, it's not just the cry. It is everything the baby does. The way she squirms while you are holding her, her facial expressions, what are her arms doing? And then of course the cry she is making. Everything that your baby is throwing at you comes together to create a cohesive message for you as a parent to decipher.

Endurance

Have I mastered my baby's communication? Hell no. But I am getting better. I measure my progress in how long she cries before I successfully resolve whatever issue she is dealing with. It's only going to be one of a handful of things. So as a new parent fighting with sleep deprivation, fall back to the basics when in doubt.

Hungry? Diaper? Check, and check!

Now here is the fun one. She's tired, already has "FOMO" and doesn't want to sleep. I will get back to you once I get this one dialed in a bit more, but currently, rocking her/bouncing on a yoga ball + singing the ABCs works about 50% of the time LOL.

My newborn is not one of those babies who will cry for a few minutes and then go to sleep. She will cry for hours on end unless she gets some kind of body contact from being carried. Oh, and sleeping? She will cry and fuss unless whoever is carrying her is in near-constant motion. I have been doing lunges, squats, and walking up and down the stairs to the point that my legs are sore the next day. On the plus side, my step count is great according to my Fitbit!

Endurance to fight through the lack of sleep in order to piece together fragmented one-way communication.

Happiness

Being a parent is a lot to take in and learn, but so is the amount of happiness and joy she brings my wife and me. And to our whole extended families and friend circles too! She has grown so much and will continue to do so as long as we all keep pushing through to care for her. But pushing through isn't as bad as it sounds. Her cries bring stir something within me, where I just drop whatever I'm doing to rush over and check on her, even if someone else already has the situation handled.

It's tiring, but not in the way that you might have to force yourself to go to a job you hate. When being woken from a deep sleep by her cries, any irritation from being woken quickly dissipates once I pick her up into my arms and attempt to understand what she needs. Being a parent so far has been amazing, and any negatives that come along with it are quickly negated by happiness and joy she brings, simply by being her.

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alex
Honolulu, HI