Becoming a dad, ah the memories. Problem is I can’t remember much – all a bit of a blur really. Especially the first couple of months. I actually don’t remember much about my pre-baby life either. What did I do with all the free time I must have had? Beats me.
Nothing can really prepare you for the roller coaster ride that parenting is and the transition from carefree and child-free to primary carer. And even though I love being a dad, I just wish someone had given me a heads up on these ten aspects of my new life:
1. You become invisible
What is it with midwives? Does their training specifically require them to ignore dads? Same goes for family and friends after the birth, it is all about bubs and mum. You have been warned fathers-to-be, you will cease to exist.
2. You become less of a man
No, really there is scientific proof of this. A recent study confirmed that after a man becomes a dad, our testosterone (the macho hormone) levels go down. Just to make sure you are totally focused on the task at hand – helping mum to raise junior.
3. You become more of a man
This is totally unscientific, but I did notice some ladies, well you know, checking me out when I was with bubs. Something to do with being able to successfully procreate and produce such beautiful offspring perhaps? My wife maintains they are only interested in our little bundle of joy. I remain unconvinced.
4. You get a dad bod
Yeah, you know the look, slightly squishy all over and not a toned muscle in sight. It is ever so easy to get out of shape when you are only getting a few hours sleep a night. But at least you have an excuse all those out of shape unattached males don’t. I am raising children here ok! And in case you are interested there is also scientific proof confirming the dad bod phenomenon.
5. You actually lose weight
So, this can go both ways. I actually lost weight in the first six months after the birth of our first child. I put it down to carrying a pram up two flights of stairs a couple of time a day. And the fact our local supermarket was at the top of a rather steep hill. What, more nappies!? There is a lot to do when you have to look after a totally helpless human being.
6. You forget a lot of really important stuff
Hey mums, baby brain also affects us dads. I totally blame the sleep deprivation for forgetting my wedding anniversary, my wife’s birthday and anything else my significant other has diarised. Now what was I saying?
7. You think station wagons are cool
Forget about hot rods and sleek Italian sports cars, you are going to start drooling over station wagons. Think Mazda not Maserati and you will get excited about fun stuff like boot space, the number of seats and fuel economy. Yeah, having kids definitely brings bring out the practical in you.
8. You get to play (again)
Remember how much fun you had with your toys way back? Well, guess what – you get to do it all over again except with more developed fine motor skills. So you can now actually build a scale model of a helicopter in Lego. How cool is that! Just don’t forget to do all those all important chores around the house, like taking the rubbish out.
9. You become totally overprotective
This must (surely) be down to some innate Neanderthal biological trigger. Everything from the corner of a coffee table to cyclists on pavements – all become potentially lethal threats to your kids. Crossing a road with a pram – forget it! It is a very dangerous world out there. Paranoia, you ain’t seen nothin kid.
10. You will rarely go out anywhere
Well, not anywhere. You get to go to work, the supermarket and the chemist. Oh, and the baby shop and playground. But nowhere else – for months, maybe even years.
And even though it doesn’t sound like much fun, I wouldn’t change a thing. Let us know what you love most about being a dad.